Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Flight of Ideas

Want to sound like a psychiatrist? Phrase of the day: flight of ideas. Boom, you can now fit in when all your psychiatrist friends are chit-chatting at the party. Wait, you don’t invite psychiatrists to your parties? You my friend are a racist.

Flight of ideas: basically it’s when someone speaks in stream of consciousness. They just keep talking and talking, each phrase peripherally related to the last. Today’s post will be in a stream of consciousness format.

The topic: would I date a racist?

We’ll get back to that in a minute. First, why write a blog?

I’ve thought about this many times before. Is it really a good use of my time, or anyone’s really, to write a blog? What does it accomplish? After 5/15/50 minutes of writing, you really haven’t created anything concrete. I don’t really anticipate my grandchildren (fingers crossed) searching the internet and finding my blog and suddenly having a diary of my life. I don’t anticipate a publisher running across my blog and deciding to give me a book deal. Though, publishers, you should. But my blog does accomplish 3 main goals.

1. It means I don’t have to write as many letters and make as many phone calls. If you want to know what’s going on with me, you can read my blog. The burden of effort is automatically shifted to you. If you don’t write a blog for me to know what you’re up to, that’s your fault. Yes, I may not tell you what I had for breakfast or what I did at work, but that’s not what I would want to talk about if we were actually speaking. Dating racists is what I would want to talk about.
2. It reminds me how to write. Like using semicolons and adverbs.
3. It allows me to analyze myself. Sure, you can sit and think about yourself and your actions, but trying to hold a complete picture of yourself in your own head doesn’t work well. You’re too complex. Or at least I am. So by regularly writing about myself, I’m able to analyze myself. And by reading this you can analyze me as well, if you so desire.

One thing I was analyzing about myself recently was what jokes I find acceptable. The answer: all of them. We were discussing racist jokes, and I wondered if I should be morally outraged by them. Yes you say. No I say. Being racist is bad, and sincerely deriding another group of people is bad. A joke is inherently insincere. If it were sincere, it would be a sentence, maybe in an encyclopedia. A joke is connecting various bits of information in a way your brain finds pleasing. I can think of no subject that I feel I can’t make facetious comments concerning. Sure, I’m not going to make a lot of crucifixion jokes, but I don’t feel like I can tell someone else they can’t if they really want to. The point being, racist jokes might not be my cup of tea, nor is a cup of tea my cup of tea, but I don’t think the telling of a racist joke makes one racist. Does telling a lawyer joke make you an anarchist? Does joking about serial killers make you one?

I’ve never told a racist joke. Now I can say this only because I don’t really tell jokes. I joke about things. Sadly, the part of my brain that should allow me to remember humorous anecdotes and rejoinders verbatim is absent. So all I can do is make up my own commentary about situations. So while I don’t really know any racist jokes, I most certainly have joked about racial matters and racism.

A key point here, in case you’re about to leave in disgust, is that I would imagine that 99% of the racially charged statements that I may have made have been to a member of that race. Why joke about Argentineans if there are no Argentines in the room? Spellcheck says both of those are correct. And while I have no issue with people making jokes about white male Mormon Yankee slightly overweight Republican heterosexual psychiatrists of Danish decent with great taste in clothing behind my back, I’d much rather they do so to my face. Because I’d like to hear the joke. JOKES ARE JOKES. Joking about a subject doesn't make you for it or against it. It just makes you aware of it.

BUT, certainly telling a racist joke would statistically increase the chances of you being a racist. Which begs the question, would I date a racist? In case you are wondering, I am anti-racism. I feel the unprovoked, unconditional and illogical hatred of another group of people is unbecoming. Call me old fashioned. Or perhaps, call me new fashioned. Racism is unquestionably a character flaw. BUT, is it a fatal one? Yes you say. Maybe I say.

I have a type. Well, my first type is Kristen Bell, but after that, my second type is intelligent brunettes who are kind of mean. Now most would consider the meanness a character flaw, but I need it because without it we couldn’t make fun of each other, and if you haven’t noticed, making fun is fun. But unfortunately the girls who are smart enough and cute enough that they fall into “my type” are usually kind of vain. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re smart and beautiful and entertainingly mean. And I accept that they’re going to be a bit vain, and that’s just part of the package. There is no perfect package. Except for Kristen Bell.

I used to eliminate girls as dating prospects rather readily. Liking country music, being from Utah, lactose intolerance, owning You’ve Got Mail, being a dog person, having a U2 tattoo, the list could go on ad nauseum. Point being, none of those are deal breakers any longer. Similarly, I don’t feel like character flaws can really be deal breakers either. I’m not excited that a girl is selfish or lazy or dim or a redhead, but can any one flaw eliminate the person as a dating prospect entirely? The magnitude of the flaw certainly plays a role. If a girl has a literal shrine to herself in her bedroom, that’s probably a relationship to avoid. If she has an overly elaborate makeup set, well, we all have foibles. If she’s a member of a Nation or Militia or Klan, then yes, that could safely be a reason not to investigate further. But if she just doesn’t care to be around Luxembourgians, well, I think that’s probably ignorable.

I could talk about comedy or dating all day long, and about racial issues for at least a third of a day, so I’ll try to conclude this rambling flight. Racism is bad. Making light of irrational racial stereotypes, is not so bad. Dating a racist, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Unless she's a gypsy, because I hear they can’t cross over water. I’ll just say this: that you racist girls are going to have to be pretty hot to compensate for it. Analyze that.

1 comment:

Kate said...

"I’m not excited that a girl is...a redhead..."
Even though we live over a thousand miles apart, you would throw me under the bus yet again. But I thank you for saying it to my face and not behind my back.
Also, regarding your comment about being a Mormon Yankee with great taste in clothing-did you finally buy a new wardrobe?