There is nothing so bad for you, and your prospects as being convinced you are owed everything.
I repeat because it might seem the strangest thing ever. There is nothing worse for you, your work, your willingness to toil at education or getting proficient at your profession, your general character and your happiness in life as feeling you are owed a living or honors or whatever it is, by a world that has “done you wrong.”
Which is why the cult of victimhood gets on my nerves.
Perhaps it is that we’re so immersed in storytelling and most of it is very bad. It’s easiest to get sympathy for a character at least in the beginning of a book if he’s “oppressed” or tortured, particularly if he seems gormless.
And bad story telling begets bad storytelling. I became aware oh, ten years ago that my younger mentees had no idea how to create an engaging character. They just made him terribly victimized, and then, suddenly he was worth of getting everything and the universe on a platter.
Maybe it’s the result of almost universal kindergarten and at the back of their minds they imprinted on the image of the teacher making “everything fair.”
It’s lousy — horrible — story telling in the measure that it’s bad art. Good art imitates life (and sometimes life, art.) Bad art violates it and imposes upon it not only a pattern that is grotesquely wrong, but one that makes people act in ways that will damage them/internalize ideas that will damage them.
To the extent art comes from and exists for humans, that is the very definition of bad art.
Its bad effects are not in dispute, as we see them around us every day.
People who believe they are owed a living or great positions because they or someone like them were victimized once are not people who look at their own attempts and go “Oh, maybe I need to correct this.” They’re not even people who are able to account for the unfathomable works of chance in the chaotic system of humanity.
They are instead people who know — know — that they should be given everything they ever dreamed of, and if you don’t hand it over right away you’re an evil oppressor.
Those who succeed in getting these positions or even money handed to them are pathetic people, who often suspect that, since they have it relatively easy, other people MUST have it easier. They are privileged ivy league graduates with a vague soupçon of a tan who claim that Holocaust survivors have “White Privilege.” Because surely, if it was that easy to them others must have it easier.
Their standard is the pouting weasel, their standard bearer is Michelle Obama, who handed a royal ride to the top of the pile and money for nothing and her fame for free always looked dissatisfied and annoyed, her mouth puckered with the feeling that somebody somewhere was having a better/easier time than her, and that they were therefore oppressing her. She couldn’t have got the best, because she wasn’t happy.
And that’s the ones who succeed. Then you have the failures which are vast, a horde, a multitude and of every corner of the Earth and every possible color. They feel they or someone like them was once oppressed or suffered something terrible. Therefore the world owes them fulfillment and consolation. They will do nothing, and eternally mewl about their wrongs. They wrap themselves in a blanket of self righteousness, in the certainty they suffered and therefore they must be worthy, and demand that you hand everything into their unprepared hands. And when that doesn’t happen, they start envying everyone around them, and become even more whiny.
A friend of mine was talking about how the hidden prince meme was a very old one, and people are attracted to it. And it’s true. But something always present in the “fated boy” or hidden prince meme is that he must prove himself.
In the best works, he undergoes the most strenuous tests, before the sky opens, and the crown drifts down on his head.
Yes, in most modern works, particularly YA (no, not really Harry Potter, in which the defect as far as there was one was front loading the victim aspect which other people might think was just more sanctified victim stuff, but he still had to endure tribulations, and fight for what was fated.) there is a tendency to do the victim/victim/victim — tada, king thing.
But that’s not what’s imprinted in most human back brains. Because stories made by people before this crazy idea set in knew it was crazy and destructive. As in, you don’t, actually, build leaders and people of character by picking people who let themselves be abused and handing them power and glory.
Sure, some victims become heroes. But see the “become.” As with everyone else, it involves an inner transformation, a willingness to work towards something. Along the way they stop being victims, or forget their victimization, because there’s more important things to do. There always are more important things to do.
When I was little I used to listen to the parable of the talents and it made no sense to me. As an adult, I’ve known too many people who buried their talent in a hole, because they were scared and they were OWED success and they resented having any responsibility at all.
I have known to many people who lost their lives while trying to save them. As in saving in a keep-fresh container, for some great destiny, some miraculous, wondrous moment when they get everything they would have got if it weren’t for the “oppressors.”
Our school pushes this too, on minorities and women. They’re owed something, because they were historically discriminated against. Ignoring “historically” doesn’t refer to anyone alive.
This primes people to see every slight as lese-majeste, every accidental slip as a micro aggression. There are males, and yep white males who suffer from the same, for personal reasons, but INCULCATING it wholesale into groups is an act of unparalleled evil in our educational system.
If you’re busy being oppressed you don’t work, you don’t improve, you don’t learn. You just wait, until you’ve “suffered” enough and the sky opens up. And you imagine more suffering than is really occurring, and you become bitter that no one is rewarding it.
We have a significant percentage of the nation living like that, poisoned by this insanity. No, not as many as were inducted into it, because most people at some point take a look around and at themselves, and get over it to a greater or lesser degree.
But the arts and academia, not to mention the news are full of people poisoned by the envy and malice this bizarre idea fosters.
I don’t know the solution. Except to make good art to counter the bad, and to fight the culture war as hard as we can.
Lest we end up fighting a real war or let the nation perish at the hands of unsatisfied, delusional ego maniacs.
*NOT our due and there are some excellent books in our category, but if you guys read Uncharted by Kevin and I and feel thus inclined, remember to vote for it in the dragons, under alternate history-SAH*