In the last two days I’ve been tone policed for being unkind, uncool, and tribal. Mind you, the single person doing the tone policing had nothing to say about what I signified. Typical of tone policing, it’s all about style over substance, the signifier, not the signified.
So I confess. Surprising nobody, I’m both unkind and uncool. Looked at across the great spectrum of human behavior where, oh, let’s say Hitler occupies one extreme, lacking in both kindness and coolness (well, there’s that whole fashion sense/propaganda style thing, but I digress), and on the other end there’s some saint or other noted for both kindness and coolness. Bono, maybe? I’m sure the tone police will pardon me for falling somewhere closer to the middle than not.
But am I tribal? Damned skippy. Let me tell you a little about my tribe.
We abhor political violence.
On that point, if only that point, we’re non-partisan. We’re ecumenical. We have no one traditional dress code or manner of speech. You’re as likely to find us sporting business suits as mohawks, and as likely to see Hank Williams, Jr. on our playlists as Skinny Puppy. We’re as likely to drop f-bombs as not. Get used to it, fucko.
And we’re non-exclusive. One can belong to as many tribes as one wants and still belong to ours, just so long as there is nothing mutually exclusive between ours and the others. One cannot both abhor political violence and endorse it. Or encourage it. Or condone it.
Our most vocal members also believe that silence is complicity.
So here I am, beating my drum, signalling to the rest of my tribe. Where are you? Will you pick up the drum and beat a rhythm for an end to political violence?