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The Macho Sue political template

mecurtin writes about the Macho Sue story template as the Republican model of the virtuous politician:

"We need better stories. Republicans are using a Macho Sue template for leadership (and masculinity), which comes with a complete set of inspiring cultural icons and exciting movies. I think the gutless division of the Democratic Party is saying 'mythic figures are unnecessary and tacky' -- but human beings don't work that way, so emotionally they're still in thrall to Macho Sue and will lick his boots reflexively."

Full post here - quoted with permission.
ozarque has a particularly interesting entry here about the exhausting ordeal of running for President. (I'm linking rather than quoting because I don't have permission to quote yet.)

It intrigues me that I immediately respond with sympathy to the post, which makes me want to check my own premises. This is, after all, the process that candidates for President go through in every election. Why is it, I wonder, that I find myself instinctively agreeing that it isn't fair to a woman to be put through this wringer? I think that betrays some hidden sexism in my own attitude, which I need to acknowledge.

Meritocratic Aristocracy?

lillakat said on her personal LJ:

I was just telling my violin teacher the week before last that this is the first year EVER in the almost eleven years that I've been legal to vote that I have honestly and truthfully considered NOT voting. To tell you the honest truth I have given serious thought recently as to whether I still believe in democracy at least as it's practiced in the States. (Before the politics mavens correct me yes, I am aware that technically what we have in the states is an electoral republic but it doesn't change the fact that here we do things by a voting system in which the governed have a say in the election process hence is CALLED a "democratic" system. While I don't believe in the old-style absolutist monarchy system or despotic systems, unlike many Americans I am not *against* monarchy--especially Constitutional monarchies such as those they have in Britain--and I no longer am sure that I believe that every Tom, Dick and Harry no matter how wilfully ignorant is created equal to those who do everything they can to educate themselves and further not only their intellectual knowledge, but their experience and insight into the world and their fellow sentient beings. (I'm including non-humans in there by the way as I am not speciesist enough to believe that animals and perhaps in their own way even plants can't "think" and feel.

I don't know. I really don't. I am going through a period where I am seriously beginning to rethink my whole being-view in regard to politics among other things. I just don't fit into the human systems of thought anymore, or at least am beginning to do so less and less the more I awaken as an elf. (Yes, I identify as an elf--get over it. For more information on those who like me identify emotionally and/or spiritually as something other than human, see this site: http://www.otherkin.net )

To be honest, the system of government I have in mind (and which I don't have a very detailed vision of yet only the general idea) has not yet been invented among humans--at least not offline. I have a friend who runs a micronation that has a nobility that is conceived of along somewhat similar lines to this but not quite the same:

A meritocratic aristocracy. That is, an aristocracy of people that was based on *merit* rather than on heritage and bloodline or military knowledge the way human governments have been, and where those who have *proven* themselves honorable, just and good before society rule over those who have not *yet* proven themselves. Anyone could conceivably become an aristocrat, and an aristocrat who ended up acting in a way not in keeping with someone of noble character could have their noble status taken away from them by the people.

I am working on developing this kind of society in a fantasy novel I'm writing. (Oh btw, to the cynics out there who might read this--don't bother posting to me or snarking that that kind of society would be found ONLY in fantasy. I know I am an idealist but I actually *do* live most of my ideals much of the time and have been doing my utmost to do so since I was twelve years old--so go spew your bitterness on someone else please. Thank you).

I'm just tired of politics in general. Tired of the backstabbing and the kind of bs in American politics where what is considered debate is essentially "Well I'm better than you because...."

Context is QWP.

innana88 on self-love and self-acceptance

innana88 wrote:

Nobody, no matter how hard they try, can ever love you enough to compensate for the lack of love you have for yourself.

It is so easy to hang your worth on the fact that someone, especially if s/he is an incredible human being, loves all that you cannot.

But if that love is the certificate you think you need to believe that you are okay, then you won't really be able to accept who you are until that is out of the way and you are brought to the door of yourself to have a reckoning with all the parts of yourself that you believe are unworthy of your love.

That doesn't mean that the love someone else had for you was in vain.

That's what sometimes brings you to that door.

And you carry it with you for ever.


Quoted with permission; the original post, which is friends-locked, was here.
If you have to be fixated on how meaningful every moment is, then the moment isn't actually all that meaningful. If you have time to think that, you are not in the moment. The times in your life that matter will stand out. There's no way they can't. The times in which you are living most fully are the times in which you aren't self-conscious about it. I don't like the artificiality of this pretension I'm seeing. I also don't like the fixation on the inner life of the mind. Which is funny coming from someone like me who is so much about thought and growth. But... you just do it. You don't fix on it. You don't ignore or avoid true connection to other people. You don't live in the impossible future in which you will have fully explored yourself. You don't wait for someday. You do. And you do now. NOW. Life is not a waiting game.

The whole post is worth reading. QWP.

Florella7 realized today .....

florella7 wrote in todayirealized:

Today I realized that sometimes you just don't mean as much to your friends as they mean to you, but it does not mean anything is necessarily wrong with you.

Quoted with permission, in full, original source here.

westmarked knows who deserves attention.

I have a humble suggestion: stop talking about Cho Seung-hui. Don't discuss his mental problems, don't speculate on what finally made him snap, and for the love that all that is good and holy don't post his sophomoric tirade on video about why he was compelled to be a mass-murderer. Disturbed individuals are a dime a dozen--leave his psychological dissection to the specialists.

Instead, talk about Dr. Liviu Librescu, who shielded his students with his own body. Talk about Ryan Clark, who evidentially died trying to defend Emily Hilscher when Seung-Hui first started shooting. Talk about any and every event of bravery and heroism that happened on April 16th, by the living and the dead. Give the dead honor guards at their funeral.

There's been worry (there's always worry) that an incident played this large in the media will spawn copy-cats. If we are going to have it happen, let's have them copy the right people.

That's the whole post. QWP.
justhuman had these words to share today, which really spoke to an issue that I've been wrestling with myself: Can we compare suffering? Should we feel guilty that we have suffered less than other people?


I could try to talk about what happened at Virginia Tech, but it's not like I'm going to make anymore sense out of it, because there's no good reason why this had to happen. On top of that, I was skimming headlines today I found an op-ed piece pointing out that over a thousand college students die every year in seemingly senseless ways - that was right after I saw the headline about over 150 people dying in a single suicide bombing in Iraq - people shopping at an open air market.

I mean you can't measure one tragedy against another, because we all readily recognize it isn't just about the body count. It's a whole lot of things including the loss of potential when we lose the young achievers and the loss of innocence when we lose the children and the personal heartache when we lose someone close, among a thousand things.

And because I've repeated this in several places over the last couple of weeks - your life matters too. When we try to compare our daily woes with those of others, we lose -- god, for your sake, I hope you lose and I feel very sorry for the one who wins. But the thing is just because our troubles don't necessarily measure up on a galactic scale, they matter because they affect our ability to live our lives. We have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of the rest of the world.


Quoted with permission, and in full. Original post is here.

First World of LJ metaquote!

rainbow_goddess had this to say about Nancy Schimelpfening's most recent column at depression.about.com :

I subscribe to an email newsletter called "About Depression." It comes from about.com. Today's edition says that college students who show signs of being depressed should be kicked out of school and kicked off campus if they live there (because, of course, being homeless makes depression so much better). Why should they be kicked out of school? Because according to the newsletter, depressed students are the ones who go on campus shooting sprees and kill their classmates.

Edited to add: Oh, it seems that the Virginia Tech shooter might have been on antidepressants. So of course, that explains everything, right?

It seems that some universities actually have a policy of evicting suicidal students from the dorms. Like I said above, being homeless is really going to help you if you're depressed and suicidal. The state of Virginia actually passed a law to prevent universities from doing that. So according to the newsletter, that law is what enabled the shooter to carry out his plan.

Quoted from rainbow_goddess with permission.


Edited to add: The Virginia legislation reads as follows:

An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 1 of Title 23 a section numbered 23-9.2:8, relating to policies for addressing suicidal students.
[H 3064]
Approved March 21, 2007

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Chapter 1 of Title 23 a section numbered 23-9.2:8 as follows:

§ 23-9.2:8. Policies addressing suicidal students.

The governing boards of each public institution of higher education shall develop and implement policies that advise students, faculty, and staff, including residence hall staff, of the proper procedures for identifying and addressing the needs of students exhibiting suicidal tendencies or behavior. The policies shall ensure that no student is penalized or expelled solely for attempting to commit suicide, or seeking mental health treatment for suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Nothing in this section shall preclude any public institution of higher education from establishing policies and procedures for appropriately dealing with students who are a danger to themselves, or to others, and whose behavior is disruptive to the academic community.


What do you think universities should do about students who express suicidal or homicidal thoughts? Should students be mandated to receive psychiatric treatment, and expelled if they refuse? How would this affect the rights of students to express their feelings freely to each other in the campus environment?