There's this meemaw who always spends her mornings walking around a local park. She'll pick up cigarette butts and fish hooks, trim bushes, just whatever needs doing. Apparently an 11 year tradition for her.

Today she stopped me to chat for the first time as I was picking up some fishing line. We had a nice little conversation about how important it is to protect birds and how poorly the city does so. I was just about to describe how much I also care about the local wildlife and how important stewardship is.

Within two minutes she's pointing at a bike lane and asks me if I support that. I say "Yeah, I commute on it and it's a lot safer than it used to be". She launches into a rant about how one bike can cause a 4 mile traffic jam and she wishes they'd tear out all of the bike lanes. We have a visible air pollution layer from car exhaust being trapped by the local topography, making the air so dangerous that her demographic is specifically warned against going outside for most of the summer. Okay.

Next came climate change. When she was a kid in the 40s they taught civics. Now kids are just told what to think. The climate changes cyclically and we've found fish fossils in Wyoming. People are so afraid of a perfectly natural cycle. She doesn't care if they're liberal, conservative, whatever. They're taught social studies instead of civics and it makes them believe in stuff like this.

Then vaccines. She was a nurse and couldn't work in medicine these days with that COVID vaccine shit they're forcing on young people like me. It doesn't even work and they fire nurses if they don't get it. She wishes she could get all the nurses together and collectively bargain because they can't fire everyone for refusing to get the vaccine. She's 84.

Sometimes I see a nice old person doing something good for their community and for a brief second I think "that's probably not a rabid reactionary who wants to spend their last years salting the earth". Then they speak and I remember that this is the Burger Reich. Death to America.

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[-] 420blazeit69@hexbear.net 97 points 1 month ago

That lady is a casualty of the right-wing media sphere. She didn't come up with shit like bikes causing four-mile traffic jams; she was propagandized. She bears some responsibility for being gullible, but what kind of tools did her civics class give her to see through this?

Under a better government, she'd have started with better education and there wouldn't be a firehose of reactionary media pointed at her 24/7.

[-] Assian_Candor@hexbear.net 56 points 1 month ago

Yep they all have fox news brainworms

They grew up when there was still a fairness doctrine so they were wholly unprepared for purely biased media

[-] ToxicDivinity@hexbear.net 24 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

they all have fox news brainworms

and brainworms from right wing radio psychos, there are a lot of them

[-] SorosFootSoldier@hexbear.net 81 points 1 month ago

I get these little glimpses with my dad. Sometimes he's chill and has the right take about something, then he follows it right up with the most reactionary shit you've ever heard. It's almost like boomers can feel their empathy showing so they have to stuff it back down by channeling Hitler hitler-detector

[-] CommunistBear@hexbear.net 54 points 1 month ago

Oh man this just reminded me of an interaction I had. I was walking my dog and seemed to startle an older guy. He remarked about how cute my dog is and how he loves dogs. Normal, pleasant interaction. He then said "not cats though, I shoot those fuckers if they're on my lawn" and mimicked shooting a rifle while smiling. What in the fuck is wrong with boomers?

[-] Dolores@hexbear.net 38 points 1 month ago

not cats though, I shoot those fuckers if they're on my lawn

you encountered a hexbear in the wild holy shit

[-] SorosFootSoldier@hexbear.net 33 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Wow what a REAL MAN (trademark) fucking boomers.

[-] happybadger@hexbear.net 47 points 1 month ago

I've had two boomers walk up and gleefully describe how they want to kill two different wild animals with two different methods. Just like randomly telling a horticulturist that thinking I'd agree with the most sociopathic thing they could think to say.

[-] SorosFootSoldier@hexbear.net 33 points 1 month ago

Saying to a vegan I want to drink pigs blood, just normal stuff.

[-] culpritus@hexbear.net 78 points 1 month ago

Just remember that the fascism of the USA has always been in competition with other fascism in other countries. "Only the strongest survive" is at the core of their shared worldview. So "the cruelty is the point" is really at the core of many older Americans (and many others too) ideology about American Exceptionalism. USA is special in their minds because of how willingly cruel we can be/have been. This is the core that animates so much "I got mine, fuck you" attitude. Individualism is the basis of all their "enlightened moralism".

Never forget that the USA is a fascist state. There will be many reminders.

[-] asg101@hexbear.net 49 points 1 month ago

Never forget that the USA was born out of genocide and grew on slavery and oligarchy. It is woven into the very fabric of their existence. Now a lot of the slavery and genocide has been off-shored, but it is still what makes the USA tick.

[-] 420blazeit69@hexbear.net 34 points 1 month ago

USA is special in their minds because of how willingly cruel we can be/have been.

It's very much the opposite. The propaganda narrative of American Exceptionalism is that the U.S. is morally superior. We aren't peasants ruled by some far off king, we rule ourselves with a democracy! Society isn't dominated by aristocratic failsons, your success or failure is based on merit! There's so much opportunity here, anyone can make it if they work hard! Capitalism raises all boats! We never had anything so gauche as an empire, we managed a bunch of territory for a while but either granted them independence or made them states! We're the only country to win a bunch of land after a major war and give most of it up!

Of course the reality is far different, but that's the American Exceptionalism narrative. The whole idea is that we aren't just another great power, we're the good guys. A shining city on a hill.

[-] ToxicDivinity@hexbear.net 28 points 1 month ago

That is the narrative, but I think there's often double think involved with people like this. They will use the exceptionalism narrative when they want to make America sound like the good guy, when they're talking to strangers or children, and they'll really believe it in that moment. But then when they're among close friends they'll openly say that america is great because "we" dominate the globe through force and that is what makes our lives great and it needs to stay that way

[-] 420blazeit69@hexbear.net 18 points 1 month ago

they'll openly say that america is great because "we" dominate the globe through force and that is what makes our lives great and it needs to stay that way

I don't think it's quite this, certainly not in lib circles, and I don't think it's even common among Republicans. The justification for empire comes more in the form of "every non-ally is an evil authoritarian nightmare country that's impoverished and backward and has a rogue government that will kill untold numbers of people because they're evil." And would you rather have us running the show, or them?? Throw in a sprinkling of "they will greet us as liberators" where appropriate.

There's a real resistance to thinking of America as an empire. A ton of propaganda effort is poured into the idea that America is fundamentally good, and the bad parts were either isolated lapses or regrettably necessary to keep the barbarian foreigners from winning.

[-] culpritus@hexbear.net 16 points 1 month ago

I think the old American Exceptionalism idea has mostly died at this point. Sure, older folks might still believe it, but it doesn't seem to hold sway in the mainstream like it did in the past. This turn is reflected by the grim dark realism trends in media. Idealism is shown to be childish these days, and only the adults making tough choices are going to save the world. 'The cruelty is necessary' is the new message of exceptionalism these days. You can see a turn starting with GW Bush's 'compassionate conservatism' to Obama's 'hope and change' to Biden's 'nothing will fundamentally change'. The 'neoliberal turn' is another example of what I'm talking about.

[-] FlakesBongler@hexbear.net 71 points 1 month ago

Reminds me of the guy who I trained with at the Post Office

Wanted to open a wild animal shelter and rehab when he retired

Also thought we should have "finished the job" when it came to the Native Americans

[-] Abracadaniel@hexbear.net 47 points 1 month ago

What the fuck. I would go apeshit.

[-] FlakesBongler@hexbear.net 72 points 1 month ago

I spoofed a bunch of phone numbers and kept reporting him for hitting mailboxes and damaging property

Got him fired before I quit

[-] the_itsb@hexbear.net 31 points 1 month ago

oh hey sorry, you dropped these

👑 💐🍻

[-] IzyaKatzmann@hexbear.net 17 points 1 month ago

ive heard the last point you made unfortunately several times in person... breaks my heart and boils my blood!

[-] SacredExcrement@hexbear.net 66 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

This exact sort of thing is why I'm worried about learning more of my coworkers' beliefs

I just know the ones I actually like will turn out to be fucking nutbars

I already know one of the chuds in my group enjoys Steven Crowder's shit lmao

[-] Tom742@hexbear.net 40 points 1 month ago

I have only one coworker I talk to and he’s well read on Black American history, especially labor and civil rights struggles so we have great conversations about race and labor in the unites states. Then a few weeks ago conversation shifts to Palestine and he has the most insane shit takes, and I’m called antisemitic for giving historical context to Palestines actions. I guess he sensed that one went too far because he tried to pull it back by claiming that “the Jews run Hollywood” and then got upset when I told him that was actually antisemitic as fuck.

A few days ago he brings up the whole Terrence Howard, 1x1=2 thing. Not that harmful in the grand scheme, but this man does not know the difference fundamentally between addition and multiplication.

Lately I try to stick to strictly work or Union related things, I peeked behind one curtain and I think that’s enough to settle fully into work hermit.

[-] came_apart_at_Kmart@hexbear.net 17 points 1 month ago

the whole Terrence Howard, 1x1=2 thing

i believe you mean the new, powerful math that is sweeping the nation, Terryology. lmao, i have never heard that topic come up IRL, let alone brought up by a proponent (because its hard to believe any real person believes that shit except Terrence Howard). i could not imagine how i would react to that guy.

[-] WorkingClassCorpse@hexbear.net 35 points 1 month ago

"Hey, have you heard of this youtuber called Dave Ruben?" is the phrase that made me decide I will never work in-person again.

If that option is ever taken away from me I guess i'll fuckin starve

[-] Lerios@hexbear.net 30 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

theres a guy at my work who's been incredibly helpful to me and has taken up all of the training that this bullshit company neglected to give me. he is lowkey the reason i still have a job. he has a bit of shaky grasp of the english language and i try to be patient with that and give him a hand, i don't think the rest of the team really talks to him because of his hit-or-miss english. sometimes we'll stay on a call even after work hours have ended to chat about football.

and then, a few days ago, he tells me whats going on in fr*nch politics. this then rapidly progessed into open racism. he complained about immigrants not integrating, and the whole "there are parts of paris that the police are afraid to go to. because of the woke.", and how some socialist freaks don't like isreal and are clashing with police (BASED), and how all arabs are violent; its just innate, its their culture. he, not speaking good english in an english language company, had the gall to bitch about immigrants not knowing french

he even tried to bond with me by being like "don't you guys have the whole knife crime thing? because of the violent immegrants?" FUCK OFF CLAUDE, KNIFECRIME IS OUR NATIONAL FUCKING SPORT ALL ON OUR OWN ukkk france-cool

the whiplash from the only person in this company who has ever been decent to me (and is also my boss' boss) turning out to be a rabid reactionary is incredibly unsettling. i don't know what to do, or if i could even keep my job if i mention this to anyone. it was unrecorded, outside of work hours, and hes my only source of support in this bullshit fucking job. so yeah, don't ask, but they might tell you anyway doomjak

[-] sub_ubi@lemmy.ml 66 points 1 month ago

there's a nice 60-something hippy lady that walks dogs for a living so she's always around and everyone knows her. And if you stop and chat she'll say the most insane racist shit imaginable.

[-] Rojo27@hexbear.net 56 points 1 month ago

Working retail helping a mostly older clientle made me realize how most of the time it's like this.

[-] D61@hexbear.net 26 points 1 month ago

Every interaction is played in my memory like some Wile E Coyote bit where he's holding onto a bomb with a lit fuse, wondering if its a dud or not.

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[-] ButtBidet@hexbear.net 48 points 1 month ago

I know enough nice old ladies with terrible politics. It's tragic. Sometimes I just try to change the subject, it's too damn hard to tell them that they're Nazis.

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[-] 7bicycles@hexbear.net 45 points 1 month ago

She wishes she could get all the nurses together and collectively bargain because they can't fire everyone for refusing to get the vaccine.


[-] happybadger@hexbear.net 15 points 1 month ago

She started off by saying she was a nurse and couldn't work in medicine anymore. I was excited to get off the topic of bikers should die and almost said that I also worked in medicine and couldn't do it anymore because the commodification of healthcare made me feel like a vampire. Nope, just the vaccine. meemaw gun-hubris

[-] came_apart_at_Kmart@hexbear.net 40 points 1 month ago

when i was a little kid, i watched a bunch of TV. all the Adults in the Room told me that watching too much TV would rot my brain.

when i moved out of my parents house in my 20s, i became far more circumspect about my media consumption. cut the cord and shifted to a more deliberate, a la carte consumption strategy. no more "watching whatever is on/channel surfing" and more about finding recommendations, watching discrete amounts of media, and avoiding advertisements and "audience-driven" content.

now that i'm in my 40s, all the adults in the room are like 60s/70s+ and they all watch whatever is on/channel surf all the goddamn time. and their brains are fucking fried with these lead-lined, nuclear crazy takes.

[-] Meh@hexbear.net 25 points 1 month ago

It's the same thing with the internet. 'Be careful of what you post online', 'Don't believe everything you read' were told to me repeatedly by my father and I took it seriously. Now I know that it was only because of a vague distrust of the internet that eased with time, rather than an actual understanding and respect for infosec, as now he puts his whole life on Facebook and guzzles from the insane right wing propaganda hoze he and all his boomer buddies hooked themselves up to.

[-] GeorgeZBush@hexbear.net 14 points 1 month ago

My mom spends all day watching Newsmax and right wing freaks on YouTube.


[-] came_apart_at_Kmart@hexbear.net 16 points 1 month ago

i am surprised that there isn't an extension (maybe there is?) that young people can install on their parents' browsers to block right wing / crank content. that's the type of thing that, if stealth enough, could have a massive demand and lead to some kind of Uno Reversed Parental Control software solution.

parents totally reach a certain age where they don't understand jack shit about their computer, and its pretty clear the YT algo is driving people to right wing content. not to mention all the scam shit and one click ordering that is tantamount to fraud/elder abuse.

[-] AndJusticeForAll@hexbear.net 10 points 1 month ago

My fucking grandpa had me try to check on the license status of his friend, a Lebanese hair shop owner with two houses, through a government website (later by phone) and was shocked that they needed some kind of ID of hers and ideally herself calling or an official representative of hers. He was making me do this to save her the cost of calling herself from her second home in Lebanon and then got mad at the government agent for following basic privacy protocol.

Fucking hate old conservatives. He was like "just pretend you're her" to my aunt who was cringing the entire time. Over-entitled, technophobic dipshit. Anything electronic-related and they expect everyone else to do it for them.

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[-] PoisonIvy@lemmygrad.ml 33 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

They are all like this. All of them. I've given up. I can't keep trying to organize my workplaces and every single time having my coworkers say shit like "I hope we start WW3 and kill all the Russians! mimicking machine gun fire"- a real quote from a guy I worked with years ago. Minimum wage.

Took a walk with someone I worked with on our lunch break in 2018, a homeless guy barely starts walking toward us in the parking lot and dude literally loses his mind, starts screaming and acting like we're being attacked by a bear or some shit. "GO AWAY. NO. NO!" until the homeless guy, rightfully shocked, bolted. Just unbelievable stuff.

I have more. It doesn't matter what we do. They won't listen when I talk to them. America and Americans are the devil and its little imps, and I can't handle trying for them anymore.

[-] GeorgeZBush@hexbear.net 23 points 1 month ago

"Dude you just gotta get out there and touch grass and talk to people"

[-] happybadger@hexbear.net 17 points 1 month ago

Touching grass, great. Absolutely do not talk to people though. The olds are not okay.

[-] PoisonIvy@lemmygrad.ml 13 points 1 month ago

The middles aren't really either. I can't speak to the youngs, but they're probably fucked up too.

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[-] Procapra@hexbear.net 15 points 1 month ago

These encounters can definitely knock the wind out of ya, but you can't exactly build a socialist movement from your bedroom.

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[-] PurrLure@hexbear.net 15 points 1 month ago

Had this happen to me a couple of weeks ago with a coworker. Knew they were Christian for years, didn't know the church, didn't want to know.

They shared a video with the whole group and my autistic curiousity got the better of me when I saw the church name in the description. Wish it didn't. Now I'm stuck wondering if my coworker did even less homework than I did picking out a place they probably give at least 10% of their income to, or if they genuinely will never see the women around them as equals. Either way I'm back to keeping to myself at work after years of wearing down my shell.

"Leftism will never take off if you never talk to open minded people!" Ok yeah, but I think my odds are way better talking to people under 40, and I'd rather not risk my job thanks. Not trying to do the "OMG I'M SOOOO QUIRKY!1!" line here but I'm such a fucking weirdo even outside of ideaology that I have no idea what part of myself will set my coworkers off and end with at least one of us getting fired.

[-] Philosophosphorous@hexbear.net 15 points 1 month ago

cruelty squad NPCs possessed by an evil god

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this post was submitted on 18 Jun 2024
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