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Moment of Truth: Strong

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

"Some men are intimidated by strong women." This has been a glib, empty, un-self- aware dose of pabulum on the left for at least the last thirty years. A moment's reflection reveals its nonsensical nature. A moment's reflection is something frowned upon on the left, unless it's reflection of an acceptable dogma or bland agreement. Yes, strong people intimidate weaker people. But you're not being woke or clever or anything remotely laudable by pointing it out. Capitalism exacerbates that dynamic, incidentally. Your strength is both increased and rendered more intimidating by capitalism. Consider that, if you can.

Yes, I'm intimidated by strong women. Why shouldn't I be? Like strong men, they can reject me socially, hurt me physically, humiliate me, or merely exert power over me to my detriment. I'm supposed to feel ashamed of being intimidated? Blow me. I've got enough negative feelings just being intimidated, I'm not going to judge myself for it. Especially not by your criteria.

Yes, I've intimidated others, and I'm not proud of it. There are ways to defuse the intimidation dynamic, if you want to, if it's important to you, but it takes work, and some humility on your part. You have to be secure in yourself. And yet humble at the same time. That's the burden of the strong. That's how you see beyond your privilege.

Don't worry, I'm not very good at it either.

This is the duty, in my opinion, of everyone with privilege, whether white, male, rich, beautiful, or otherwise gifted, exalted, or accomplished. The people who understand this are incredible, you know them when they reach out from their strengths and lift you up simply through the act of reaching. Not everyone has the ability, and even fewer want to have it. It's a singular strength, the ability to be humble and open about one's strengths, because we live in a culture that rewards bullying and egoism and not caring. Winning. We're all about winning, and we have a very narrow definition of victory.

But in some ways, that's the kind of animals we are. We jockey for prestige, we cultivate the best people as friends, we learn the tricks of making ourselves useful and helpful, or trusted, or admired, or highly regarded. And if we fail at these things, we lose. We become poor or lonely. In short, as a species, we are cliquish a-holes.

We also congratulate ourselves on not being the types that are self-satisfied or hypocritical. We fool ourselves into believing that we are noble or correct or smart or kind. Not to say there aren't some of us who actually are noble or correct or smart or kind. Most people are at least one of those things at several points in their lives.

But winning or being loved is relative. It's easy to misinterpret one's position in relation to others. Interpretation is key. It's not everything, but it's key. If you feel you've failed, you have indeed failed. If you feel you've succeeded, you have indeed succeeded. Who can tell you you're wrong? Oh, there are some easy gauges of success and failure, winning and losing, like if you're trying to take over Europe and your armies are crushed in a shattering blitzkrieg. Or if you are in a contest and fail to win, but even then it's possible to interpret a loss as a win, as when a dishonorable society fails to acknowledge your worth. Sure, it's cool to win, but isn't it nobler to lose when the criteria are so ill conceived, and the judges so corrupt?

And people can manipulate your feelings, make you feel you're winning when you're losing, or losing when you're winning. "No one can make you feel bad about yourself," the pseudo-enlightened like to say, but that is false. Some people are masters at making others feel one way or another. I'd like to add, they're the real losers, but that's just my interpretation.

It's fun when the mighty are brought low, but it wouldn't be any fun if intimidation, strength, fear and despair weren't on some level real. Physical wounds are real. Poverty is real. Deprivation is real. Death is real. It's fun to say, the true measure of strength is not how many are weaker than you, but how many you make stronger. But that's a load of crap, isn't it? We're not God. Can God make a person so strong that such a person could destroy God? No, God's not strong or weak enough to do that, but humans can reach out to the weak, make them strong, and then be destroyed by them.

The fact is, I'm afraid of everything all the time, I've lost, I'm a fool, and I've squandered what gifts I ever possessed. It's terrible. And yet, because I can emotionally rise above my obviously crushed and humiliated condition, I win. And if I can convey my winning state convincingly enough to you, you who lord it over me, well then, I can make you lose.

We are abhorrent creations of a cruel, uncaring universe. Our resting state is discomfort. Our resting face is bitch. We are born to strive for satisfaction, but never to be satisfied for long. Ridiculous. And yet we are so good at failing to be satisfied, and leaping for further satisfaction, like salmon leaping against the current to spawn, that we succeed at being that which we are created to be. We can't really fail at that, can we? I hope you're happy, universe, you have created us only to destroy us. What kind of loser does something like that? And as a habit, yet. It's enough to make your head explode.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Moment of Truth


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