Emma came over for dinner last night and Jeremy made a point of showing both of us this video. We all sat and watched it together. Well, Emma and I watched it at least. I wasn’t able to tell if Jeremy was watching the video or our reactions to the video. He was probably doing both.
Here’s a direct quote from Buckley…
“We are generally “tolerant” and “accepting” of things that are shitty or annoying, but that we have no control over… like assholes texting during a movie or taking up two spots in a parking lot, or morons who bring 13 items into the 12 item or less checkout…
We shouldn’t be “tolerant” or “accepting” of homosexuals as though they’ve done something wrong but we’re forgiving them for it or ignoring them in spite of their shitty behaviour. Gay people exist and it’s neither right nor wrong. It simply is. It’s not something you need to “accept”, it’s done. Homosexuals have existed long before you did.”
While Buckley’s often rude and even more often abrasive, he does have a good point. People don’t tolerate or accept me as straight, they just automatically assume I am, like it’s a default setting. Jeremy got asked this morning, by a total stranger, if his girlfriend picked out his hair colour. Like I said… automatic assumption.
I’m warning in advance that Buckley lost me at around the 5 minute mark, although Jeremy seemed interested right until the end.
I remember when tolerance was the key word then people started saying that wasn’t good enough and that acceptance was needed. I agree that we need a new word but have my doubts that “apathy” will be it. It does almost fit though. If Sarah and Bob move in next door, the focus is on whether they’ll be good neighbours. Do they have kids? Are those kids loud or quiet? Any pets? Are they carting in several thousand dollars worth of stereo equipment? The focus should be the same if it’s Sarah and Barb moving in or Scott and Bob.
I’m going out on an empathetic limb now. I’m a vegan, which gets brought up a lot because people bring up food a lot and/or eventually notice when I don’t eat meat. I don’t mind answering honest questions. No, I’m not worried about dying from kwashiorkor, my protein levels are fine. I get my protein from plants, the same way cows do (but without the regurgitation). But sometimes I’d like to just sit down and eat my lunch without having someone investigate my meal and deciding whether my vegetable soup and salad are weird or normal. And for the love of all you hold holy, don’t wave meat in front of me to see if I’ll start craving it. I’ve been a vegetarian for 23 years now, meat simply makes me queasy.
One lunch break, I had a coworker look over at my salad.
“What’s on top of your salad?” he asked.
I looked at my meal and gave an inward cringe. “It’s tofu bacon,” I replied. “I made it last night.”
“Cool. Can I try a piece?”
That wasn’t the reply I’d expected. “Sure, okay,” I stammered.
He took a piece. “That’s good,” he replied, then he went back to his own meal and paid no more attention to mine.
No questions about why I’d make fake bacon instead of eating the real stuff. No comments about how much tastier bacon would be. No comments on how weird it looked. And that felt really good.
I figure most people are like this. Most people want to simply live their lives without a bunch of questions or anyone trying to figure out if what they’re doing is close enough to normal.