*Sorry this is so late. We had an appointment (not for me) this morning that resolved the underlying cause of the ER visit a week ago, and if the diagnosis is true, it’s not bad at all. -SAH*
It is a characteristic of the human mind to try to make sense of things by weaving a story. It might be a necessary characteristic and even a survival enhancing one.
For instance, if you see someone walking funny ahead of you, and something in the back of your head pings “danger” you’re not going to pretend you don’t know anything. You’re going to avoid them. Even more so, if two people flank you in a dangerous area of town, you back up fast and take off running. There is a story in your head these people are going to mug you, and maybe it’s false. Maybe they accidentally flanked you. But–
For the record both happened to me. The first one, when I lived in Colorado Springs Old North End neighborhood and I got up unholy early to walk the 1.5 mile to the center of town and back, there was someone ahead of me acting funny. First he caught my attention because he was a heartbreakingly beautiful Asian young man, with beautiful long hair down his back, (Artist speaking, not woman. He was probably younger than both my kids) and he was shirtless in 35 or 36 degree weather (just above freezing.) Then I realized he was doing a sort of zombie walk. And then he started… well, dancing is one term. Sort of dancing/martial art moves. I didn’t know what he was doing but I assumed “drugs” and therefore ducked into a side street and went another way. This week someone posted videos of people doing the “Flakka dance” and yeah, that’s what it was including the zombie walk, but he can’t have been on it very long, because he didn’t look destroyed Anyway, given the aggressive nature of that high, I did the right thing.
The flanking thing, same neighborhood, but older son and I went for a walk of a Sunday (the most dangerous day, since that’s when the downtown is empty) and two critters flanked us. For those who don’t know my sons, by the time they were thirteen people thought they wee my “bodyguards.” They’re both over six feet and built. So, flanking me? low level hoodlums. Flanking Robert and I and moving center? We decided they were trying to mug us as soon as we got off the center which still had some people. So we ducked into a shop, and out the shop’s other entrance. Maybe we were wrong. Maybe the two guys were innocent strollers THAT time. They hadn’t been in other occasions as we checked them by look (there used to be a website) when we got home and each had a demon’s resume.
In those circumstances guessing people’s motives/intentions can be survival enhancing.
For anything more complex, it helps to remember you’re not psychic.
Honestly, I’m so afraid of ascribing bad motives to people, particularly people I deal with/am friends with, that I have gotten stung a non-trivial number of times. I extend more chances and observe behavior, and try to formulate an hypotheses why. If nothing makes sense, I drive myself nuts. BUT after x number of times I assume there’s malice for a reason I don’t know, which will continue to happen, and then I cut all contact. Pretty much forever. Because at that point there’s every reason to expect this will continue to happen.
What I try not to do is attribute motives. Because at that point the motive doesn’t matter. And because I’m not psychic.
And while — see cases above — I’ll react to protect myself, I really do try not to imagine things for which I have no proof.
So, say when I was out with Robert who was then two and a nice old gentleman kept insisting Robert sit on his lap (in a wheel chair) and he’d give him a ride. Of course I didn’t allow it. Stranger in powered conveyance picking up my kid? nope. But I’m not going to tell you the gentleman was a pedophile, or wanted to kidnap my kid.
Perhaps. I mean, he struck some odd cords, and it was a so so area of town. And he was really insistent. OTOH Robert was a cute kid, and older people who like kids can get lonely and, well… it might all have been very nice.
It’s important to remember I’m not psychic, otherwise the incipient paranoia kicks in, and we start going “What the? Perhaps…” And next thing you know you’re shouting “get away from my kid, pedophile” at what is probably just an addled elderly man. Like the crazy woman’s studies professor someone talked about before who, when two guys approached to see if she needed help ran hell for leather to a policeman and told him these guys wanted to rape her. (They just wanted to see if she needed car-help.)
That’s part of the problem.
The left is really good at creating in-head narratives that get added to disparate facts and convince people they’re psychic. They’re not.
Take the Covington boys. I never saw a smirk. As the mother of boys, now men, what I saw was mortally embarrassed teen boy.
But if you think that all white people particularly those who support Trump and wear MAGA anything are racist, you’re going to see the kid, with the Amerindian that close and be “psychic” about what the kid is thinking and what his face is doing. (For the record, because DAZ 3-D renders suck on expressions, I keep leaving them blank. But people SEE expressions according to context, which in this case was in their minds.)
Same with the guy in Chicago (some kind of TV star) supposedly assaulted by people who yelled racist and homophobic comments and yelled “this is MAGA country.”
And this is where you know the left is not telepathic. Sorry. I can see someone assaulting a black gay man somewhere (it’s a country of 300 million. There’s assholes.)
But if this happened at all — and it’s not a fake one, which it kind of smells like for other reasons — the chances of attackers yelling “This is MAGA country” are close to zero.
Why? Because it’s not a phrase anyone on the right would say. EVER. I move in those circles and I’ve NEVER heard that.
But the left has so convinced itself that MAGA means white supremacy (Are they that racist that they think when the country was great it was all white? When would that be? I can’t think of any time, ever) that they think this is perfectly plausible.
The rest of us go “Racist, homophobic attack? Sure, could happen. Probably not political, though. Just two outlaws (it’s always the known wolves) trying to be cute.”
But the left sees politics. The same way during the Covington incident, they heard the kids shout “build the wall” because, you know, they’re obsessed with this, so the right will just shout it at random. And it would be random. There was no one there that would have been kept out by a wall. If the kids were surrounded by a hostile Mexican gang? Maybe that would make some sense. This way? No.
It just goes on. And they deduce the craziest things because they think they know what we’re thinking.
Hence you know, you think the current books winning awards suck? You think that a revenge fantasy which imagines that all of the working class in America is racist, sexist, homophobic shouldn’t even be on the awards ballot, much less two awards ballots and win one? Well, that is because you’re trying to keep minorities and sexual minorities from writing sf/f. Even if it doesn’t make any sense. Even if you’re not a gatekeeper. Even if you are a woman, a minority or gay yourself. It must be, because that makes sense, so the left “psychically” sees through your motives.
Or you don’t like your box who happens to be a woman, and you’re a man? well, you’re sexist, have mommy issues, and your penis is small.
What the hell is this even? It’s like the worst of Freudianism, where the theories kept getting more complex, until no cigar was just a cigar, no fish was just a fish, and it was all deeply sexual and having to do with your mother or father or….
Reality is not like that. In reality, you don’t know what others are thinking. You should watch how they act, and if they’re not dangerous, you should give them a chance. Or you know, ask them why they did something.
And just because TV sells the idea all people to the right of Lenin are racist, sexist homophobic, what you should ask yourself is how they know. Because they don’t. They’re just otherizing people who think differently.
And they’re not psychic either. And 90% of the time they’re objectively wrong the only way it counts: in predicting how people will act in the real world.