It Was a Better World When We Laughed at Weirdos Instead of Catering to Them
Don't adapt to the weirdos, let the weirdos learn to adapt
When I was growing up in the eighties, there was a crossdresser who lived in the same little southern town I did. I was never mean to him. I didn’t know what brought him to the point where he was dressing in women’s clothes in public and I didn’t care. I just didn’t want anything to do with him because I considered him to be a weirdo. Today, if that guy was around, he might be reading books to kids or be on RuPaul’s Drag Race:
Personally? Although I’ve heard of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’ve never seen an episode. Why would I want to? Drag queens are weirdos and while we’re on the topic, they sure don’t belong around kids.
We could have a debate about whether they’re mentally ill or not with people falling on either side, but we should all be able to agree it’s a deeply unhealthy compulsion. We could say the same thing about furries, transsexuals, people that need “safe spaces,” people that want everyone to know their gender pronouns, people that hate whole races of people or the opposite gender, incels, femcels, Satanists, pedophiles, the body positivity wackos who claim being 100 pounds overweight is healthy, and all sorts of hypersensitive woke-Americans.
Have you noticed that in recent years, the number of unhappy, broken, disturbed people like this in America seems to have exploded? How is it that weirdos used to be blessedly rare, but now they seem to be everywhere?
Well, there are two reasons for it.
The first is that the Internet has allowed people like this to congregate and enforce each other’s bad behavior. This was described beautifully in one of my favorite essays on the Internet. Believe it or not, it was written by a liberal named Zack Parsons way back in 2004 on a once hilariously funny, but now apparently dead website called Something Awful. The people at Something Awful spent a great deal of time making fun of weirdos on the Internet, particularly people that embraced strange sexual fetishes. The snowball of strangeness Parsons described 17 years ago has turned into an avalanche since then:
Since I took this gig writing for Something Awful almost three years ago I have encountered an increasing volume of perversity on the Internet as part of my job description. I've gone from randomly encountering it, to actively seeking it out for the purposes of mockery. I've found individuals and groups that have sexualized things like sneezing, farting, popping balloons, inflating latex or rubber bodysuits, and most frequently, I've encountered furries.
… I won't bore you with the complete history of the furry culture, but needless to say, it is relatively long, convoluted, and owes the …. lion's share of its popularity to the Internet. It has gradually transformed over the years from a slight fixation with anthropomorphic characters to a lifestyle choice that involves donning elaborate costumes and awkwardly humping in convention center hotels. The bottom line is that furries would basically be nonexistent were it not for the Internet. They would be thousands - maybe tens of thousands - of healthy and relatively well-adjusted people with maybe a slight fascination with Gadget from "Rescue Rangers. In other words, they would be "Mundanes" as the furries call the rest of us with hilarious derision.
...I've talked about how the Internet enables pedophiles, furries, and others to congregate and share ideas, but I only briefly touched on the most important aspect of this. In the endless expanse of communications the Internet is, probably the greatest and most terrible gift it offers to furries, pedophiles, and others is the ability to shut themselves off from the mainstream. They huddle in cloisters that are virtually unassailable by the outside world and whisper encouraging things to one another that would be nearly impossible to say in real life. Free from the pressures of society to conform to a boring standard they go in the exact opposite direction, externalizing things that are roughly as far from "normal" as can be expected. Then, within their protected virtual enclaves, they declare these things to be the norm. By declaring their perversions, mores, and general imbecility to be their own status quo they have simultaneously validated their own existence and demonstrated the inferiority of outsiders.
A sense of belonging and community is disturbing and sad in the hands of furries and downright dangerous in the hands of pedophiles. Nonetheless, this is what the Internet has given to these groups, and it can be both a peril to the members and, in the case of menaces like pedophiles, a peril to the rest of us.
These sorts of weird, dysfunctional subcultures are now EVERYWHERE in America and it’s not just about sexual fetishes. Everything from critical race theory to the unhealthy extremes of the body positivity movement to transsexualism has taken off because the Internet allows and even ENCOURAGES THEM to segregate themselves from normal people and build a social group full of individuals that share their weird views and reinforce the deranged nonsense that they believe.
By the way, some of it is weirder than you might imagine. People who think they’re living anime characters, cats living in a human body, or people who get sexually aroused by wetting themselves all exist now even if those things aren’t regularly promoted yet to kids the way transsexualism is these days.
So, what happens when people embrace these strange, dysfunctional ideas and go into our wider society? In a few cases, we mock and denounce their behavior. For example, that’s how we treat pedophiles, white supremacists, and incels. Ultimately, that is a healthy thing.
Well, for the same reason you shouldn’t reward your dog for bad behavior. If your dog lunges at other animals, gets terrified every time your child walks near him or chews up your shoe and you react by petting little Benji on the head and saying, “It’s okay! You’re a good boy, aren’t you? Don’t worry, buddy,” what you are doing is teaching him that his bad behavior will be rewarded.
With that in mind, what are we doing when Tommy shows up at school, says he’s changed genders, and his name is now “Tina?” What are we doing as advocates of critical race theory aim all sorts of vile comments at white people and we give them a pass for their racism? When we take a woman who’s 100 pounds overweight and tell the world that’s healthy and put her on a magazine cover while calling her a “super-model,” what message are we sending? When hypersensitive people demand someone be fired over a bad joke or rude comment that most people think is trivial, what are people taking away from the fact we gave in to their demands?
When we give in to bad behavior, we get more bad behavior. When we cater to weirdos, we get more weirdos. Just like the dog who never gets corrected when he lunges at other dogs and snaps at other people, their behavior inevitably gets worse over time.
Again, sticking with the canine theme, like dogs, weirdos don’t need hatred from society, they need, as Cesar Millan would say, “rules, boundaries, and limitations.”
What kind of “rules, boundaries, and limitations?” How about not rewarding them with attention for bad behavior or asking them “how high” every time they say “jump?” It’s all right to laugh at people for trying to lecture others about a concept as ridiculous as cultural appropriation. It’s okay to say, “You were born a man, so no, you can’t compete in women’s sports.” It’s perfectly fine for an employer to tell an employee who is offended by something innocuous at work that he is free to find employment elsewhere if he doesn’t like it. It’s okay to roll your eyes when someone talks to you about a micro-aggression and ultimately if they keep pushing it, it’s healthy for them to experience some gentle mockery for their sensitivity.
In America, we used to understand on a very intrinsic level that people that are failing or strange need to learn from healthier, more successful people. Like Tony Robbins says:
This is a big part of why people become apprentices and interns. It’s why we send people to school instead of just assuming that they know everything. It’s a big part of why we have standards, practices, and traditions. Many people treat these things like they’re arbitrary and it is true that sometimes those traditions get it wrong or that times change. However, we ignore the accumulated wisdom of past generations at our peril because these are things that have been shown to work while so many of the things that seem “new” are just variations on themes that have been proven failures at other points in history.
Ultimately, when you ask the healthier, saner, more successful parts of society to adapt themselves to the less functional, weirder, less successful parts of society, not only are you reinforcing bad behavior, you’re dragging everyone else down to their mediocre level.