Sometimes we perceive ourselves on the sidelines — when we witness intolerance, or hate, or discrimination. When we don’t personally know a Muslim, a black person, a woman, or a gay.
I mean, those people are rare, right?
But I get it — it’s hard to get enraged when you don’t have a personal connection to the subject of abuse. They’re just concepts. Not people, not our friends, not anything worth breaking the social contract for — calling out some casual or professional racism, sexism, trans-hate, etc. etc. — or just general shitty, rude behavior.
So, here’s what I do when I find myself waffling on whether or not I should speak up or show support for an individual or group. An individual or group that is getting worked over by systemic violence, workplace discrimination, or any of the thousand-thousand petty assaults humanity heaps on the Tribe of Other.
Just mentally replace whatever person or group is being attacked with something universally good. Something that every single one of us can agree is wonderful — and would provoke all of us to righteous rage if we witnessed them being maligned or assaulted in any way.
I pretend that they’re talking about Alan Tudyk and Pikachu.
Do you have any idea how fucking pissed I would get if someone was rude to Alan Tudyk in front of me? Especially if he and Pikachu were having some sort of picnic? You know, snuggling and eating cucumber sandwiches and reading fairy tales out of a big leather book. LIKE THEY DO.
“Shut your face, man. Alan Tudyk is a national fucking treasure and I won’t have you slander his good name. Of course we all his enjoy his work in Firefly — but have you even considered his less known roles? Like in Knight’s Tale or Dodgeball? Have you even considered his voice work? His voice work? I,Robot AND Wreck-It Ralph – phenomenal work. And Pikachu is a cuddly lightning mouse. A. LIGHTNING. MOUSE. THAT IS CUDDLY.”
That’s the trick. Make it personal. Use whoever you need to inspire the Godly Wrath. [Restrained and classy wrath please — anyone who would diss Pikachu is beneath soiling your own hands with physical violence.]
Because they are people. They are real. They are [nearly] just as important as Alan Tudyk and Pikachu. If Alan and Pikachu want to get married, that is a blessed event. If some of my money will keep Alan and Pikachu from getting killed in a country I’ll never visit, then please take some — I would just waste it anyway. If Pikachu wants to evolve into a girl Pikachu or a boy Pikachu, I know Mr. Tudyk is still going to be right by their side, and I should too. If Mr. Tudyk and Pikachu want to worship in a mosque, or a synagogue, or a church, or an empty field, or on the rim of an active volcano that is their right and I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with it.
Because even though I’ve never met them, I know that they are awesome. They are worthy of my love, worthy of my respect. And wouldn’t it be great if we extended the same certainty to the rest of the human beings, animals and Pokemans that share this dimension with us?
Just a thought.
Can I add that it is a sad state of affairs where Google Image Search doesn’t yield a single picture of Alan and Pikachu together? If anyone more photo manipulative than I could make that happen, you would get 750 points for the Hufflepuff.