I know this is splitting semantics but if you identify as somebody’s ally…what are you actually doing? Because that’s an odd thing to come out of an adult mouth. And it’s usually positioned as “I’m an ally,” not “I’m your ally.” Or there’s even “I want to be a good ally.” Kind of implicit, innit? Phrasing matters. Tweaks work. But even “I’m your ally” burbles my gut because, no matter what, it feels like it brings variations on a theme:
Ally is another way of othering.
Ally is a way to compartmentalize a “them.”
Ally is balming to the user.
Ally is way over-used.
I am no one’s ally. I am their friend, brother, human. They fight no wars when they are with me. This doesn’t mean there are no wars to fight. That’s called waking up every morning for the majority of us. That doesn’t mean folks don’t need help. Folks do. Folks need it and appreciate it. But “ally” feels too much like being in the “missionary” position. Folks have been screwed by that quite enough. It’s not that ally-ship’s intention is not a good one, just that its footing comes from soft ground. For me it’s like saying, “I’m an MRA,” or “Those guys are SJWs.” Idiotic on both counts. Certain things shouldn’t come from a grown person’s mouth. If you’re going to stand with me, YOU stand with ME. No special badge required. I will stand with YOU. That’s how it works. Somehow, though, we landed in a time of infantile regression. All things are triggers. There are PoCs everywhere (not people, just those letters strewn everywhere; weird). And if anyone ever uses “PC” around me to cover their own dismissive idiocy I will slap a nut.
Maybe this is the half-formed rant of a guy who doesn’t “get” the current zeitgeist. I like getting deep in certain things; the zeitgeist isn’t one. Don’t want to fight Twitter wars. Have no interest in internet suffer porn. I don’t want to “other” anyone outside of speaking truth. I don’t even see the Klan as other. I see them stupid as fuck, but not “other.”
“Other” is where troublesome shit comes into play. It’s where all the troublesome shit comes from. We know we have a different mental loop when we think of someone as the other and not simply diverse or unique. We know this. Ally automatically elevates you because only someone weaker needs an ally. All our centuries of war have us thinking like that. I love differences when they’re wonderful and non-toxic. But when I start to think of “me” diametric to “them” I get uneasy. The burbles, man. Spider-sense of the soul.
Mind the burbles.
The naming of things is important. Be helpful. Do helpful things. But for everyone’s sake, don’t strap on the Flightsuit Of Ally and be George W. Bush. We already had George Bush.
Once was damn enough.
Just be you, broheems and sistreens. You are wonderful in what you do. You know that when “We Are the Champions” plays there ain’t a person of good heart within a hundred feet of you won’t stand and march the progressive march. Don’t concern yourself thinking any of my words posit damned if you do, damned if you don’t. They don’t. And fuck me if they do. I am not one you need to feel you need to justify yourself to. I end sentences with prepositions! Fuck me sideways and take me to a fancy dinner. Maybe I’ll finally learn which forks are supposed to be mine, right or left?
However, the more I see this word bandied about, the more I feel I should stock up on Pepto Bismol.
And that shit is foul.