Against my better judgment, I still read what you write sometimes. Sometimes you write on my blog comment section, sometimes you write on the VisLupes comment section, sometimes you write on the Sagebrush. You know all this. You have a lot to comment on. A lot to say, really — important stuff, you think, stuff that needs to be said, why else would you say it? I make this tacit assumption each time I read your stuff, in fact I make it anytime I read anything: you feel you have something that the world needs to know. And so I read your stuff, knowing there’s a chase, wondering how I can cut to it.
Just a little bit ago you posted what you hoped would be your “last comment on any of these blogs” in response to one of the VislOops filing some judicial thingy, claiming that though you often agree in principle with what critics of ASUN have to say, you absolutely oppose them in practice. This is a shame because as you have spilled thousands and thousands of words onto the internet at folks like me and have had tens of thousands of words thrown right back at you (also by folks like me), it seems that you managed to not have taken anything away with you.
I guess this’ll have to be my last shot to convince you why much of what you believe is misguided — if not downright incorrect much of the time — and hopefully, hopefully, save you from having to get another one of these furious letters. Let’s not waste anymore time being cordial and get right down to the problem with your worldview.
To best understand the whole situation it is perhaps worthwhile to stress exactly what is going wrong with your thoughts. As I’ve commented on in the past, it is that you manage to always go tangent to the point being made, you have a terrible tendency to not address the subject at hand. I would like to be clear here: the problem — the reason for this letter — is that it is evident that you do not care even a little bit about how people espouse opinions. The problem is that you think it is okay to believe something in the face of evidence to the contrary. You ascribe, whether you think you do or not, to a form of confirmation bias wherein you do not take differing opinions seriously, to the point of being deaf to them entirely. Now, should you feel so inclined to respond to this letter, I urge you to respond to that thesis statement, as all that follows is simply evidence in favor of that proposition.
For instance, here, in beautiful, unadorned language is your obliviousness distilled into a single sentence, the context of which is you commenting upon the actions of people like UNR SFL and the VisLupes: “if you’re ultimate goal was to prove that the advisors are not doing their job and ensuring that ASUN is responsible and accountable for their actions, which I’ve sensed is your goal, then I couldn’t agree more.” If you don’t see anything wrong with this at all then perhaps this will help. Follow the logic.
1.) “If you’re ultimate goal was to prove that”
Improper contraction use aside, why would you assume this is our ultimate goal? Have I not made it abundantly clear that the abolishment of ASUN is my goal, that returning the mandatory fees to students the step after that? What makes you think that even that piddly goal is what could even come close to being an “ultimate” goal? How about abolish the real government? How about instituting free and open markets? Heck, getting Taco Bell ranks higher on my List of Ultimate Goals than does getting rid of your sad, sorry institution. You have to realize, dear Gracie, that the world doesn’t care about the ASUN. In fact, it appears that only about, what, 15% of the students of this university even mildly care. Due to the high proportion of those that don’t care about the ASUN (consider that Kenyans, the French, the Dallas Cowboys, etc, do not give one single damn about it), it is safe to say that NO ONE CARES about the ASUN. Not even me, dear reader.
2.) “the advisors are not doing their job”
No, Gracie. No no no no. You poor girl. We aren’t mad at “advisors.” We aren’t up in arms about bureaucrats when we’re insulting you. We are insulting YOU, Gracie. YOU and the SENATE. The advisors are bureaucratic hacks who follow bureaucratic principles. Yes, this is bad. Yes, they have no incentive to better the institution around them. Yes, they are partly responsible for what goes on in ASUN. BUT NO, NO, NO, Gracie, we are mad at YOU. You, as a person who claims to represent student interests. You, as the leader of the the student senate. You, as a person who received 7,000 unjustified clams of student funds. You, as a person who supports ASUN’s fees and programs and ideas and principles. You, Gracie, are what we are mad at. You who would pretend that it is not YOUR job to ensure ASUN is responsible, who would pretend it is not YOUR job to ensure ASUN is accountable, who would pretend that the ASUN can be anything but an inherently flawed system that only benefits and whose only input is to and from a small minority of students.
3.) “and ensuring that ASUN is responsible and accountable for their actions,”
Your ability to pass The Buck and Spread the Blame is astounding. Having followed what you’ve had to say for these past years, it never ceases to amaze me how you can think of yourself as so very innocent and free of sin. I believe I once remarked that “you play yourself as an unknowing victim.” It boggles my mind — being a believer in personal responsibility as I am — that you can think you are blameless. Utterly and entirely blameless. You may be the only person I know who manages to overwhelm with your declarations of underachievement. But, Gracie, when you convey a point in an open area of discourse, there are those that will disagree with you. This applies to the actions of which you partake as well: by participating in and supporting the functions of the ASUN, you are declaring a position which many, including myself, find wrong. The ASUN is a sorry excuse for an institution, especially one that claims to be the voice of students and to be doing so much good for them. Now, I’ve made the case elsewhere that this is wrong. Since it is wrong, you are wrong to support it. You can’t just take praise for the good stuff and say the bad stuff is due to Not-Me-A, Not-Me-B, and so forth. Hence, when I say something like “Gracie is wrong,” it isn’t a personal attack, it’s a claim about the world, namely that, You support a system which should not be supported.
4. “which I’ve sensed is your goal, then I couldn’t agree more.”
This conclusion falls so short of the truth that it is practically not worth bothering with. If A, B, C, then I couldn’t agree more. But no one posited A, B, or C. If unicorns are hollow, and if hollow things are filled with helium, and if things with helium float, then I agree that unicorns can float. But, sorry to break it to you, unicorns can’t float. Gracie, your internal logic may be consistent, maybe even tip-top, but how it applies to the external world is anyone’s guess. I hope you’ve gotten the point of all of this: what you believe must correspond to the reality of the world around us. Since what you believe currently does not do this, you are wrong on many many important accounts.
And that’s just the first sentence!
Now, I could bog you down with refuting the silly assertion that you believe how something is said makes any difference as to the truth or falsity of a position, but I think that maybe I would be making a straw-woman of you. Your only critique of the UNR Students for Liberty is that when we say something, we tend to yell it, and no one likes yelling, and no one wants to work with someone who is yelling, and aren’t they all just a bunch of meany-heads? Your critique of our position is that we are “assholes” and your biggest complaint about our methods is that they aren’t “diplomatic.” But this is just pathetic nonsense. Who cares about any of that stuff, indeed as I asked of you last time, qui gives a shit?
I don’t think you actually care about how mean we are as much as you feign to. No. I give you more credit than that. What I think you have a problem with is that you sense, however dimly, that we are right. That these assholes, these jerks, these douchebags may have something behind them in the way of reasoning and evidence and that maybe, just maybe, they are right when they criticize your opinion. After all, what exactly is incorrect about believing that people shouldn’t be forced to do things they don’t want to do? What is incorrect about believing that people shouldn’t be governed by those in an institution that is unsupported by the vast majority? What is incorrect in thinking that political opinions to the contrary are wrong?
Gracie, the UNR Students for Liberty are a silly bunch. They couch cogent philosophical points within immature Dear Gracie posts, they make political economy points by renting ponies! You can dismiss us as children, but it’s akin to being the Santa at Macy’s getting mad at the child who pulls off his beard and says “Look, he’s not Santa!” You were the Santa of the ASUN and we childishly ripped off your beard. But in getting mad at us you’re forgetting one important fact [Spoiler warning]: THERE IS NO SANTA.
Your frustration with us stems from the fact that you keep missing the point, Gracie. It’s not that we want to show that you, personally, are not Santa, but rather to show that there is no Santa, that the ASUN is not the North Pole and that it never can be. There is nothing wrong with there being no Santa, no North Pole. What is wrong is to continue to pretend that there is even in the face of evidence to the contrary. What is wrong is thinking that it is okay to believe something on insufficient evidence.