One’s History Lies Skin Deep

2 thoughts on “One’s History Lies Skin Deep”

  1. Hello Garlock-san! It’s been a while since I posted on your blog but I really like these sort of personal posts. Particularly your remark on what you said to your nanny–they remind me of myself (although our experiences may be very different), and I think you are very courageous to keep thinking about the things you aren’t proud of at all.

    I think it is much more in human nature (certainly my nature) to want to forget about things you are ashamed about, let alone talk about it. Even right now, it is hard for me summon from my recollections an instance when I’ve done something similar, though I am almost certain I have said or done something like that in the past (I just can’t recall what). Subconsciously, it seems I’ve locked those sort of memories I’m ashamed about in a drawer deep in my brain somewhere.

    I can remember certain trivial ones–like laughing (with glee) at my opponent’s mistake in a lost boardgame of Go so much that they cried, leading to me getting a lecture in sportsmanship from the instructor. I remember bragging a lot as a kid and just being annoying in general.

    However, I *know* I’ve definitely done worse. I just can’t seem to recall those memories. But that goes exactly to your point for telling lies to ourselves to make us feel better. I was definitely at least somewhat racist and homophobic in the past, and I think this is probably a silent truth of many presently liberal people that doesn’t get talked about very much. Honestly, I just think Garlock-senpai is great for bringing this topic up, and I think it’s totally appropriate that there isn’t a thesis statement or conclusion to add. It’s just some part of ourselves that is probably good to reflect on.

    Diverging from the topic now, this sort of takes me to why I can’t bring myself to dislike *people* who support Trump because they are riding certain strong sentiments. Truth be told, I don’t think they are very different from you and me, even though much of the Internet seems to think they are unfathomable stupid crazy uneducated people. I also don’t think his popularity should be underestimated.

    Ron Jone’s Third Wave social experiment on Naziism sort of demonstrates to me that any one of us easily could have been one of “those people.” It’s easy for us to say something from an elevated pedestal after the thought (never mind whether taking the position of a pedestal is a good idea in the first place), but not so easy when we are in the midst of it. We are one and the same people after all, and intrinsically I think we are all the same.

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  2. When I suffered from depression, something that always kept me down was remembering upsetting things I had said or done, and sometimes those things were too recent for comfort.

    Two years ago, my friend’s father was showing us his library in his basement, and I found some Faulkner. One of my other friends got excited, but I didn’t like what I had read of him, so I expressed my distaste out loud by saying “Fuck Faulkner!”

    Well, that was the last name of the man whose basement we were currently perusing, and he was standing only a few bookshelves away. He didn’t raise or head or indicate he heard me.

    I still feel guilty about it when it comes up, sure, but somewhere along the line I learned to deal with it better by reminding myself:

    I wouldn’t do it again. I know better now.

    Sometimes we learn things by making mistakes, and while it sucks because those of us with guilty consciences have to carry the weight of those mistakes with us for as long as we remember them, they also keep us in line and at least help to prevent us from hurting more people in the future. And hey, we can also share our experiences like this and reassure one another that we’re not alone. That helps too, I think.

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