1. GMO/Monsanto/etc. Let’s be honest, most people who post on Facebook about Monsanto (you know who you are) have no flipping clue what they are talking about; they’ve never set foot on a farm and have no concept of how the food industry works. They have probably never seen a live domesticated chicken (hint: was it white?), or have no idea what the fertilization process of corn is. Unless you eat exclusively wild game, all the food you eat is genetically modified. ALL OF IT. Cows didn’t just evolve into oversized meat-bags producing an excess of milk. Those phenotypes were carefully selected by humans over countless generations. Likewise corn is a man-made food. It literally cannot reproduce without human intervention. Somehow the approach of waiting for genetic mutations seem different and less frightening than just finding the code for the protein you want and inserting it into a genome, as if God is some celestial Microsoft, angry at you for transposing his source code. Unfortunately for a reasoned position like mine, the collusion of government with entities like Monsanto (which was a fervent Disney sponsor for a long time- fun fact) pollutes the facts of science by inciting a host of conspiracy theories. Let me also mention that giving an animal drugs does not make it genetically modified any more than Bob Marley and Ronnie Coleman became genetically modified. At the heart of the objection lies a distrust of science, which is (for the most part) founded on the greatest enemy of the typical American: OBJECTIVE REALITY. If you are one of these anti-GMO types let me help you steer clear of a few more evil man-made biological entities: insulin, vaccines, aspirin, antibiotics, cochlear implants… the list goes on.
2. Organic Related to the above, organic farming is a rather nonsensical term; the product is still organic insomuch as it is alive. The label was created by the USDA to certify particular things, most notable the exclusion of “synthetic” substances from production. This has the “benefit” of raising costs, lowering yields, lowering crop quality, and increasing risk of food-borne illness (due to heavier use of organic fertilizers such as manure). As a choice of trade-offs, organic is a fine label, but most often when I see it heavily promoted it is to a regulatory end; that is, banning all non-organic (oxymoron) produce. As an end, this would crush those with low incomes or small food budgets, raising the price much higher than that of current organic produce by creating a crippling food shortage. If you want to buy organic that’s just fine; I’ll be over here enjoying an apple that is twice as big, twice as shiny, twice as crispy, cost half as much, and won’t give me lower bowel disturbance.
3. Faith in Humanity Humanity can accomplish nothing; only people can accomplish things. The airplane wasn’t invented by humanity, it was invented by the Wright brothers. If you take away all the accomplishments, acts of kindness, or goodwill of individuals and assign them to “humanity” you are doing a disservice to those people and also setting yourself up for disappointment, because lumped in with those great things will be the atrocities committed by humans: The atomic bombs (250,000 killed), world war 1 and 2 (90 million more killed), not including the The Holocaust (6 million murdered), Russian communism (20-50 million murdered), and Chinese communism (over 100 million murdered). Just in the last century humanity has murdered the equivalent of the entire population of the United states. Why on earth would you have faith in a race with that kind of track record?
4. Patriot/American Pride/National Pride/Proud to be an American
Patriotic American Heterbro: Aren’t you rooting for America in the Olympics?
Stew the Great: In the ideal contest the best individual wins. They may not be American, and I’m okay with that.
Patriotic American Heterbro: Don’t you have any AMERICAN PRIDE?!
This age-old appeal to tribal loyalty is even more hollow in the ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse United States, and yet its use persists, convincing people to sacrifice to the collective for some sense of belonging. I am only proud of the things I have done, I cannot, and will not, feel pride for the accident of my birth or the great works of my forbearers. I may feel thankful, but that feeling is quite distant from pride. Likewise I may appreciate the athletic display put on by a team, but I will feel no personal pride from watching them win.
5. Cis. This is a Latin prefix, not actually a word, meaning “same as,” and while it is often used on its own, it is usually used in a host of nonsensical ways, such as “cisgender” (which literally means “classification the same as”) “cisprivilege” (the privilege of being the same as), and the very strange “cissexual” (which is used as a homonym for “heterosexual,” but is technically a homonym for “homosexual). My first experience with “cis” was in the word “cisgendered,” used as an antonym for “transgendered,” and in that context it somewhat makes sense, though as it has become co-opted it has started to be less and less rational, degenerating into almost a degradation of all members of hetero-normative society. I most encounter the word as a homonym for “normal” or “typical” in situations where calling typical as what it is might offend somebody by forcing them to acknowledge themselves as atypical, and as we all know, truth should always take a back seat to people’s feelings. Other than that, it gets used derogatorily to cast me into the role of privileged masochistic oppressor, as in “chauvinist cis white male,” which brings me to my next word:
6. Privilege. Why not another feminist term? After all, I have the privilege of speaking my mind. This word is most often used to denounce the accomplishments of men as consequence of their genital arrangements, and that equal rights do not go far enough. According to this point of view, I was only able to write my book or all my music because I have a penis, and the 3 nights a week I spent performing were all facilitated by my testicles. Likewise great businessmen don’t experience success due to productivity or added value, but because people respect their penises and categorically push all vagina-having humans the to the side. Women like Ayn Rand (the most influential writer and philosopher of the last 100 years, and arguably the most influential woman who ever lived) and Margaret Thatcher (the first woman to lead major country) only experienced success because they bought into and supported the male hegemony. Not included in the list of male privileges are: the draft, paying for dates, shorter life expectancy, child support and alimony, and prison rape.