Thanks to Covid-19, shaking hands as a greeting has had to take the back burner in what little social circumstances we’ve found ourselves in. It’s been an amazing feeling to no longer worry about matching the strength and intensity of someone else’s handshake. The masculine and patriarchal undertones of such a greeting should not go unnoticed. As it is often a subtle conduit for signaling dominance, alpha male virility, and the general boy-ish asinine games that come with power-obsessed patriarchal masculinity.
For those of us who have no interest in such problematic and downright silly games, this has been a welcomed change. Shaking hands is a chore. A “thing” we’re supposed to do. But it’s also a sign of class and bourgeoisie culture. How we shake hands, the intensity, and gracefulness of the act play into marking differences between the elite and the poor and working class. There’s an obvious – yet unspoken – right and wrong way to shake someone’s hand. This unspoken standard (as most unspoken standards are) is far from innocent. With all unspoken standards, there’s also an unspoken judgment when not followed. Refusing to shake hands is akin to telling someone their baby is ugly. People get confused, look skeptically on the person they once considered “normal” just five seconds ago.
One fucker’s custom, is another person’s social cage.
We refuse the expectations that come from the bourgeoisie caste system. Make them uncomfortable! Let it eat them alive! We decide to choose our own greeting; refusing to let others dictate what should be comfortable for us (as many of us do not enjoy physical contact with strangers, much less ones based on patriarchal psyches). Keep your hands to yourself!
Wave, nod your head, smile, make a peace sign, and so on. Do what works for you, not what society shallowly expects from us all (a malicious collectivism).
Society, as it exists, is largely a mode for instilling subservience and control through expectations and peer pressure. Pushing back against that, if only in small areas, trains us to push back on larger issues. We express our autonomy! We must learn to express it!
If this seems petty, shallow, or silly then good! “Normal life” and its sycophant adherents should be mocked; their seriousness flippantly derided. The serious should never be taken seriously, and every opportunity should be afforded to making their block-ish conceptions of the world look saggy, hollow, laughable, and delusional.
“The serious man gets rid of his freedom by claiming to subordinate it to values which would be unconditioned. He“The Ethics of Ambiguity” by Simone de Beauvoir.
imagines that the accession to these values likewise permanently confers value upon himself. Shielded with ‘rights,’ he fulfills himself as a being who is escaping from the stress of existence.”
“Although fascism rallies to the defense of the main icons of a bourgeois ideology that has become conservative (family, private property, moral order, patriotism), while mobilizing the petty bourgeoisie and the unemployed workers who are panic-stricken by economic crises or disillusioned by the socialist movement’s failure to bring about a revolution, it is not itself fundamentally ideological. It presents itself as what it is-a violent resurrection of myth calling for participation in a community defined by archaic pseudo? participation in a community defined by archaic pseudo? values: race, blood, leader. Fascism is a technologically equipped primitivism.”“The Society of the Spectacle,” by Guy Debord
“But one thing they will not be able to get rid of is their seriousness. The greatest danger they“Armed Joy,” by Alfredo Bonanno
face will be a laugh. In the spectacle of capital, joy is deadly. Everything is gloomy and funereal, everything is serious and orderly, everything is rational and programmed, precisely because it is all false and illusory.”
“Our society frowns on such displays of strong feeling, con-tending that they are bad manners or childish outbursts… It is we sternly self~controlled adults who have no successful way of handling our violent feelings… When we behave in such gentle-manly fashion, we overlook the fact that the human being carries forward from his prehistoric past a long career of predation and risk taking during which speed, strength, and aggressive cunning were as much a part of normal behavior as the tenderer emotions. Where is the juice and passion of this heritage supposed to have gone since the recent advent of civilized social ethics? Increasingly the disciplined urban environments of the technocracy restrict this side of our nature, forcing us into becoming mere spectators of competitive physical prowess on playing fields or television screens. When civilized men watch the abandoned rituals of some primitive societies, they tend not to see the outlet as healthy, but as savagely backward. But they may fail to register with any sense of horror the far more dangerous savagery that fills our highways, one of the few remaining arenas of predatory competition.”“The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition” by Theodore Roszak.
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