Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to Avoid Nuance

A lot of people are talking these days about "empathy" and "thinking about the world from someone else's perspective." This is fairly troubling, as those activities are incredibly time-consuming and emotionally draining. You've probably got more important activities on your agenda. Like television.

I am here to help. I am here to offer you a simple, two-step program for avoiding all the ugly complications of nuance.

First, you must create an ironclad world-view with a place for everything, and everything in its place. This will be difficult. There are a lot of things in the world, and your mind will not hold that much information. It's best if you can simplify it down into only two categories: Good Things, and Bad Things.

Second, you must put people (all of them) into one of these two categories. Naturally, you belong in the "Good People" category. Everyone else is fair game. There are a lot of other people in the world, though, so it's best if you can find some way to assign them to a category as a larger group - one by one is just too time-consuming. To do this, you will need to create a complex system by which to justify your categorization choices. So, for example, you will find it helpful to say things like "illegal immigrants are all like this," or "Muslims are all like that." Then all you have to do is say, "people who are like this and that are Bad People, therefore all illegal Muslim immigrants are Bad People." Do you see how easy that was (and how logical, and just)?

Don't worry if you change your mind after you meet an individual who doesn't fit in the category you've assigned him or her as a member of a larger group that qualifies as Bad, though. Unless you have chosen to kill him or her, you can always pick him or her out of his category and put him or her in the other one. You just say, "well, yeah, even though most Blankety-Blanks are Bad, there are some exceptions, who aren't really Blankety-Blanks anyways (because how could they be, when all Blankety-Blanks are Bad?)." Again, flawlessly logical. Chances are pretty good that you won't have to do this very often, though. You're in the Good People category, remember? Good People don't make mistakes.

You are a Good Person, right?

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