Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Walked Today Cedarburg. It's where I live now. I enjoyed it.

The most noteworthy element of my walk was what can only be described as a hippie store. The place to go if one were interested in becoming a hippie, and one didn't have all the hippie gear. One of the prominent elements of the hippie store's window display was a closely-typed screed about the importance of buying organic stuff.

I probably would agree with the majority of what it said. But I didn't read it. Why not? I had all the time in the world. It was readily available to me...

Maybe I was turned off by its connotations.

Human perception of communication is influenced by perception of communicator. I saw that the screed was in a hippie store. I dislike hippies. So the message in the hippie store had negative associations for me, so I didn't read it.


The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The minority is often more vocal than the majority, and the minority gives the majority a bad name. Why does America have a negative reputation with other countries? Because we all fit the uglyfatrudeAmerican stereotype? No. Because the noticeable elements get noticed.

I'm pro-life. Saying that gets me negatively branded as [intolerant.woman-hating.wack-job.angry.religion-imposing.chauvinist.right-wing.illogical.anti-intellectualETC!].

I don't think I am those things. Furthermore, I don't think that believing that life begins at conception means I am automatically intolerant, woman-hating, or any of the rest.

The reason that "pro-life" equals "redneck" in the minds of so many is that the extreme fringes of the pro-life movement furnish and illustrate that stereotype. The most noticeable elements, the ones wanting to kill doctors and bomb clinics, get noticed.

Then the human penchant for laziness steps in and assumes that if 1% of the pro-life movement acts and believes a certain way, the other 99% does too. Or maybe it's 10/90. Or even 40/60. I don't believe that last is true, though.

Disagree with me if you will--but don't tar me with the same brush as Westboro Baptist Church members.

And maybe I'll give the hippie store a second chance. Head back the screed about being organic...maybe even be convinced, or agree with the majority of it.

Long live lugubrity!

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