I am kind of a buzzkill about things. I like ruining everyone's fun. Here are some things I am buzzkilly about:
1. Sending gazillions of balloons into the air to commemorate an important event. I know, I know, you've all done it, and it is a very visually appealing gesture. I am sorry to ruin your fun. But it is really bad for the environment, okay? It hurts birds and dolphins and furry animals, and it is sort of a dick move to honor someone or an important event by making the earth a less safe place for other creatures. Maybe you could plant a tree instead? Or some nice flowers? Or come weed my yard? Maybe take the money you would have used to choke a blue heron and buy some frozen yogurt?
See more information at Balloons Blow.
2. People dressing up as another culture for funsies because it is cute. I KNOW I AM A BUZZKILL. I am a buzzkill, but here is the thing, I am not overly-sensitive, or obsessed with destroying good fun with political correctness, nor do I need to "find something more important to care about." First, I can care about a great many things, both important and silly, at the same time. In fact, due to my ADD, that is actually sort of my superpower. But anyway. Dressing up like Pocahontas or a geisha or whatever devalues the legitimacy of the culture you are appropriating, and those cultures are already often devalued or stigmatized. Let's all agree to dress up like a sexy roll of toilet paper or a pan of lasagna this year. I personally am going as Governor Herbert's sex education plan. (I am almost seven months pregnant, so I am just going as myself.)
This particular buzzkill rant was motivated by THIS news story-Short version: Some high school students dressed up like Native Americans on a float in their school's parade.
Listen, there is a photo of 16 year old Child Bride dressed up like Pocahontas for Monster Mash. I didn't know any better. I am sorry. My buzzkill rage isn't directed at the students who wore the costumes, they probably didn't know any better either. I don't think they are bad people.
But it isn't the intention or the goodness of people that matter, it's what those good people do when they make a mistake. Native and Indigenous women experience sexual and violent assault at twice the rate of white women. The offender is a non-native person 2/3 of the time. What does this have to do with high school students wearing Pocahontas costumes, you ask? Appropriating cultures of minority groups teaches children that women from Native or non-white cultures are not as "legitimate" as white women. Their culture is a costume, and therefore their identity is disposable as well, and doesn't matter as much as other women. Also, it perpetuates the history of violence and stigmatization against a culture that does not wield equal political or social power.
So don't yell at the girls on the float, or complain about "liburahls" and their agendas. Teach your child not to treat cultural identity like a costume, and everything will be fine.
You can read more about violence against Native Women HERE.
So what if I dress up as George Washington? Is that like, white racism? Is that devaluing white culture? Hahahaha, I sure got you, Child Bride!
Shut up. There is no such thing as reverse racism, the victim cannot take away power from the oppressor by becoming, or acting, more like the oppressor. Go home and cry your #whitemaletears into your Cheerios.
3.That's a nice transition to the next buzz I will harsh-White fragility and whining about how hard it is to be white, and how really, really, hard you worked so it isn't fair that you didn't get that job or that scholarship because obviously a black guy took it. At this point, I shall pass the microphone to someone who says it better-
"Part of white privilege has been the ability to not know that your privilege exists. If you benefit from racism, do you really want to know that?" I can see where it would be uncomfortable for people to admit that their lives are shaped by unearned advantages, especially in an environment where those advantages may be beginning to slip away, but the blindness itself is a part of the problem. White people have duties as part of the American community. They must be honest with themselves and their co-citizens and admit that white privilege shapes a lot of life in this country. They must understand that the truly pernicious, life-defining sort of racism is not interpersonal, it's institutional. The systems that shape who lives where, who gets educated, who gets jobs, who gets arrested, and so on, these things shape lives, and they are all heavily weighted in white people's favor. To ignore all of that is to misunderstand America. If white people admit those things, it will be plain that they are not, in any way, victims."
You can read the whole article HERE.
Anyway, I also spent a lot of time recently buzzkilling people who were whining about gender neutral bathrooms being the sign of the apocalypse, getting my blood pressure up after reading an article about how to teach my child to be heterosexual, (sorry fetus, Mom's gonna skip that lesson!) and in general just being cranky. But I need to go eat some ice cream now and take a shower, so just know that if you start going on about that nonsense, I'll kill your buzz. Thank you. It's been great.