Monday, September 25, 2006


Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

I know some people who are very paranoid about anti-Semitism. It's funny: somehow they actually manage to have more anti-Semitic remarks directed at them or near them than some of us who are less paranoid. And it doesn't seem to be a matter of the remarks causing the paranoia (although they may re-enforce the paranoia) nor does it seem to be a matter of "d'you eat" type mis-understandings ... somehow being worried a bit too much about anti-Semitism makes you more likely to hear anti-Semitic remarks or something?

I notice a similar phenomenon with homophobes. I'll flirt with any human between the ages of old enough that it's not sick and old enough to be ... er, my older sibling. Yet I cannot recall ever actually really being hit on by a gay man. OTOH, I know some people who are, ostensibly for religious reasons, uncomfortable with homosexuality, and they get hit on (in ways that even a dense person like me would realize were signs of interest) fairly often. They are, e.g., in a new city looking for friends, but somehow they end up getting hit on, maybe because they are looking too hard for friendship it gets interpreted wrong? Of course, it only feeds their paranoia: "why can't I try to make friends without it getting mis-interpreted?" Maybe 'cause you're trying too hard so it's only natural for that mis-interpretation to happen? Or maybe it's not even a mis-interpretation? Maybe these people really are just so deep in the closet they don't realize it themselves? Maybe similarly those paranoid about non-existant slights have a sub-conscious self-hating streak?

Still, it does sometimes seem as if Alanis Morrisette was onto something, even if she used the wrong word to describe it: oftentimes you do get challanged with your fears and perhaps even your hidden desires. Is it all a test?

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