Friday, August 31, 2007

Conservative Cognitive Dissonance -- Guns = Masculinity

Ok. At first (I usually write the title of a post before the actual text) I was not sure if my use of the term "Cognitive Dissonance" was the best or even accurate to the circumstances, choice. Well I googled it, and having reality-tested my understanding of the term, I feel not only properly calibrated, but spot-on with it's use.

So here goes. No wait. Before I get into it I will say that as I was typing the previous line, it occurred to me that "Reality-Tested" is a related concept to the discussion. Let's see if I can weave that in before I am done (as usual, I am just sorta banging this out, as I think it up.)

The inspiration for today's essay was some insanely stupid comment I read somewhere. Ya it was on that stinkin' message board full of wanna-be trigger-happy conservatives. Hell's bells -- today I read some vitriol about how these at-least borderline sociopaths believe that some members of congress deserve capital punishment! These enfeebled psychotics did not even possess the sense of shame to even couch the horrid idea is so many words; they were blatant about it. But I digress. Anyway the comment was following some remark about some obviously and silly joke Hillary Clinton made on The David Letterman Show, last night.

Now the specific and obvious joke was obvious as it was a line in the "Top Ten List" sketch, as delivered by Ms. Clinton. The joke was, she would not pick a VP who would shoot anyone in the face. And the insanely stupid comment? The Psycho-Con-Commentator said something to the effect that his interpretation of the joke was that Ms. Clinton would not pick someone MASCULINE enough to pick up a gun.

Now here is where Cognitive Dissonance comes in (oh, and lack of reality-testing, prior to letting the world know the stupid thoughts one may have.) Now I have definitely shot guns in my life so I know what they can do. And I have been in physical fights, and I know that guns are an equalizer for the physical shortcomings of a person. Ain't really nothing inherently masculine about using a gun. Take a 115 lbs 20 yr old female, and a 195 lbs 20 yr old male, train them in how to skillfully use a low-recoil rife, like a M-16. Now put them at opposite ends of a football field. Now as long as both are adequately and relatively equally trained, the tiny fem and the large man are equally matched for a fight, as long as it is a gunfight.

Never mind the fact that (too) many a child has managed to blow away a sibling or play friend with a badly secured pistol.

So why do these cons deceive themselves into thinking gun=macho? Again, I provide Cognitive Dissonance as the answer. Correction; it is their ability to work through their Cognitive Dissonance that allows for them to carry off the deciet.

Here are the two irreconcilable conflicting thoughts:

(A) I see my self as a Super He-Man (cause if I am not a Super He-Man, I am a limp-wristed tinkerbelle.)

(b) I like guns, but a 7 year old can blow someone away with a cheap 9 mm with a low-set trigger pull.

Now how can I be a Super He-Man and a Gun Lover, if a gun makes a 7 year old as dangerous and deadly as myself? How can I maintain my inflated sense of machismo if the little 66 year old lady up the block has a Glock, knows how to use it, and can take me down as easily as some CEO doing canned hunting at some boar that has already been tied to a tree?

Here is how they resolve the disconnect; with great powers of self-deception. They disconnect the reality-testing function on this issue (meaning here, forget about how guns are basically unmasculine) and just persist in the belief that guns are masculine (despite all the reasons and evidence that points in the exact opposite direction.) But isn't it true that under the rules of Cognitive Dissonance, the subject is supposed to experience negative feelings from having to deal with the conflicting thoughts?

Well, sublimating that actual facts of the conflicting thoughts is one part, and either consciously or subconsciously accepting reliance on self-deciet and outwardly-directed deceit is the next part. But the negative feelings are still there. So channeling that negative energy is the last part of it. The subject will likely "Act Out" their negative feelings at any suitable target. They could take their guns out to play, and shred some targets, and persist in their self image as macho man. Or, they can hang around some lame message board, and call people who do not play with guns, "Wussies."

Ya. Now that is how to prove to the world one is a Super Macho Man; call others "Wussies" on the Internet.


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