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Who is in your tribe?
It’s time to talk about hate and love. In that order.
The Criminal Justice Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences Bill ( quite the mouthful) is meandering its final way through the Irish Seanad as I type. I expect it will shortly be passed into law. This soon-to-be law, like many others, in recent years, wipes its ass with our constitution. If you want concrete proof of how much of a hollowed out shell of a social justice politician our president, Michael D. Higgins, has become just watch as he rubber-stamps this bill. Instead of sending it directly to the Supreme Court for detailed inspection.
Now, let’s not bore ourselves with eking out common-sense, reasonable explanations as to why our political dork class have taken it upon themselves to pollute this latest toxic waste onto the Irish landscape. In the plainest terms we are dealing with the invincible ignorance of our elites. Or as we used to say about an old Irish teacher - people who are a capital “U” in uafásach. Educated mediocrity behaving like super-humans drunk on power. Perhaps even, stupefied by it. In March 2020 we gave our politicians and institutions the keys to every pub in the country, and now, three years later most of them need to be locked into a 12 step program. However, for the moment, and in the first instance, let’s look to poetry and a Bukowski poem, for clues as to who and what we are trucking with here.
“beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world”
For me, the poem, The Genius of The Crowd, describes vividly our political and media class especially in relation to the soon to be born hate speech laws.
Do they not attempt to destroy any opinion that differs from their own?
Aren’t their failures always dressed up as our failures, and failures of the world?
And indeed, is there not a wicked genius in their hatred of us?
This hate speech legislation, to my mind, quite clearly makes a thought a potential crime. What is a smartphone if not a digital manifestation of the human mind in addition to it acting as a physical evidence bag?
Our government and state pillars believe they have the right to commandeer those digital thoughts now. No matter if those thoughts were published publicly or not. When you sit down to think about it, and I mean really think about what is going on, the conjured up image should tickle the funny bone in your mind’s eye and not your anger. The absolutely ridiculousness of it will almost certainly collapse in on top of itself at some point in the future. So, in that sense, I am not really personally worried about the hate speech laws shutting me down. I refuse to give this banana plantation of an idea or the people pushing the censorship that kind of power over me. One of the few lessons I have learned in my life is that you should choose very wisely the people you give the power to affect how you think about yourself as it is a power not easily taken back once granted. This government is certainly not amongst that number in my own case.
The government goal here, if there is a central one, is for people to start self-censoring and I am sure that might well have some initial success. We saw during the pandemic that the biggest enforcers of the emergency legislation were not the police but the general public. No doubt, the usual NGO suspects and state functionaries will be lined up to belly-ache and report hate speech once the starting gun is fired.
The central rationale for the introduction of this bunkum was that all Irish legislation regarding hate speech was enacted pre the social media era and Irish law needed to catch up. If social media has taught anything it is that our legislation needs to double-down on protecting an individual’s freedom of speech and right to free expression. Which brings us to the real source of worry for the radical power brokers that run the country. It is not freedom of speech, per se, they worry about but freedom of reach. The ability for the ordinary punter to go viral or for a voice to stumble into a following is not something that sits easy with these mediocre “socially progressive” maniac types.
In addition to the latent self censoring this HATE=LOVE program will engender, government funded misinformation or “ good information “ projects will be the petrol that fuels this new legislation and the foundations for that have already been laid in one of our leading universities supported by the currently in favour big Irish print and radio media. A good information cartel if you will. And like any cartel it will need mules. In my opinion, the intent will be for misinformation to become a new industry and in the near future we’ll have college degrees and post-graduate masters courses specializing in churning out disinformation specialists.
What do we do?
Survive and dare to thrive is the simple answer and I will get into this further down. Hate is just the latest tool of oppression being added to the expanding arsenal of weapons accumulated and deployed against us.
Who are us you might well ask?
Let me answer that question in a roundabout way. So, in whatever part of Ireland you are reading this piece in try to focus on the town you are living in. If you don’t live in a town think of the nearest suburb of a city or major town of over 5,000 people closest to your dwelling.
What’s in this town?
Maybe seven or eight pharmacies, six doctors offices, three or four solicitors offices, same number of dentists, a few accountants, schools, a county council office, maybe a factory, a GAA club, a couple of hotels, some B&Bs and a couple of international supermarkets and one Irish one. Now consider this: None of the people running any of the above entities in your town are “us” and most of the people working in them can’t afford to be “us” without significant bravery or potential cost.
“ Us “ is everyone else that is left in that town.
So then, we are easy to marginalize and what’s more many are on the lowest step of the socio-economic ladder. The regime is not interested in bribing us in the same manner it’s bribing or has bribed some of the groups and local chieftains I have just outlined above. Part of this new season of Hate is an attempt to further muffle and silence us. None of the above groups have any incentive to rock the boat indeed more than a few have much to lose. You can get angry and emotional about it but at the end of the day what use is that to you in your day-to-day existence. Use it as knowledge I say, put it to good use and find a good home for it. The good news is despite all of the hard knocks, threats, illegalities and coercion “they” ( all of the above ) are still afraid of us despite not usually acknowledging we exist at all. They are afraid of our insistence on personal freedom which is why all of the narratives at play in the globe share that common trait. From climate to open-borders to hate. They are all attacks on our personal freedoms.
Earlier, I asked a question. What do we do?
Each person has a different answer to that I suppose. Protest, march, petition, run for election and many more. All good endeavours but let’s try something a little different here today and attempt to answer it from a different thought perspective. First though, I need to ask you a few more questions and I must ask that you temporarily forget the people or family that you currently live with:
How many people are in your personal tribe ?
Do you have a tribe and if not why not ?
How often do you talk and how often do you meet ?
If you don’t have a tribe why don’t you create one?
Allow me to explain. I started an experiment about three or four months ago, maybe even a touch longer. I created a tribe for myself in my head. People that I wanted to be in my life and that I would dedicate real time, effort & yes love towards. People I want the best for in life and share life experiences with whether that be work, leisure, news, adventures, writing or thought exploration.
Now, some of the people know they are in my tribe, but some of them don’t know and at least one of them, I am sure, thinks I am bat-shit crazy. I am not a great tribe leader of this self created tribe if the truth be known, I forget, neglect and don’t always dedicate my time resources equally to all that I chose. Yet, curiously, it has kinda worked as I had hoped so far. A pleasurable and fruitful endeavor when given the proper attention I believe and this has enriched my life tremendously and hopefully theirs too. The reason I bring this up at all is that the answer to hate speech might well be love speech. And the answer to people that keep slamming the same doors in your face is to start knocking on some new ones.
If your town doesn’t want you it’s time to start building a new one.
Even if the foundations start in your head.
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