Do Not Speak In Clichés to Me

You’d think it would be more beautiful.

You’d think it would be more beautiful considering it’s full of trades people. But it’s not. It is not art. It’s a love letter to 70s bureaucracy. Most of the buildings look like outdated banks or government buildings. Others look like Amazon packing stations about to be abandoned due to inefficiency. It’s all brick and concrete and sad vinyl seating.

But in this forgotten space between two buildings just short enough to have a little sun in the morning, the trees have matured beautifully. Their placement seems sporadic and varied in species and I enjoy it. I sit at a little picnic table, and eat breakfast, drink a coffee, and get things done. It feels settled here. Sitting at my picnic table, among the sporadic trees. Watching the birds, and typing away, chipping into my thoughts. I’m trying to think new things, ask questions while I have the time.

This little escapee course is a time of great thought. There is little else to do, because this course wasn’t designed for me. I was at high school less than two months ago, and the course is designed for people rekindling their education twenty, thirty years down the track. And time, suddenly, is not of the essence.

….

We’re standing at the kitchen bench, and I am telling someone who loves me that I don’t think that I’m going to be finishing school. She tells me what she thinks. And I start off well in the explanation that I believe the situation requires, but I descend into half remembered sayings and convoluted metaphors. Somewhere I begin a phrase, and she narrows her eyes at me, and suddenly I can hardly see above the counter for how young I am.

“Do not speak in clichés to me.”

And I recede like the tide going out, because I am easily hurt. I have started to hear her in my ears when I write. Do not speak in clichés to me. Do not speak in clichés to me. It’s a small bit of the map.

….

Cringila Train Station is like a non-place, and I read magazine articles aloud to myself. There are the reeds and the traffic and after a while a deafening silence. There is nothing kind here. There is no vending machine, none of the electronic timetables, not even a station guard. There is just the highway and the steelworks and a train station for workers that are no longer there. I want to be somewhere that is somewhere. There’s bus stop is less than ten feet away but none of the buses are going anywhere. So I sit with the mandarin I had stuffed in my pocket, and wait for any train going north.

The wind bites through my jacket, I read about stoicism and octopuses, and I try to untether the past from the future. I’m stuck in this bubble of cause and effect, mismatching catalysts to results, and trying to realize that the past is all tucked away. I’ve started to view my life as a series of cardboard boxes. The ones in front of me are empty, the ones behind are full of the debris that I have loved and discarded from my person.

But I still haven’t found a place for my schoolbooks. I don’t know what to do with them, because I spent so much of my own money on them and now they are useless in their red folder that I bought to inspire me. And I love that person that started out this school year full of determination about a borrowed dream. Not because she was delusional, but because she was determined, and willing. So my schoolbooks sit on my table and I look at them every night.

And I’m horrified by their presence in my bedroom, but too loyal to throw them out.

….

The safest image I can imagine is a Saturday morning and my dad making a list. We used to do our shopping for the week on Saturdays and he would make a list with his coffee. I remember how he would wear his sunglasses in bed because the sun was coming for him.tumblr_oejr0bE9gm1sq7vr5o1_540.jpeg I remember the smell of coffee even though I didn’t know it was the coffee then, and I can see him making his list. I can envision the lists within the list for the vegetables and dairy, the yellow paper and his work pen; the white sheets, the morning sun, coming in during the ad breaks in the cartoons.

They’ve since changed the position of the bed, so he doesn’t have to wear his sunglasses. And we don’t do our shopping on Saturdays and he doesn’t make a list and I don’t watch cartoons. And suddenly I feel like an old woman, horrified by society in the checkout line. It’s not that there’s no safety now and coffee and Saturday mornings still exist and they charm me. But it’s hard to hold two thoughts in your head and even harder to feel safe in two places at once.

….

There were activists in Newtown today and they spoke to us like a military operation. They split us up, and asked us huge questions we couldn’t possibly have answers to. What are your thoughts on the Russian Revolution? Are you a liberal? Have you ever read anything on Marx? We are scruffy teenagers on a day out. It’s nearly raining. We’re trying to find somewhere to eat that won’t cost us three hours of work at our dingy minimum wage jobs. And the activists are asking for our thoughts are on modern day capitalism in the current political climate.

12898399_1732264537045776_1693495949249366845_o-700x530They’ve got their shoulders squared like they’re ready for a fight, and they’re ready and willing to pry our email addresses from our cold dead fingers. The man who talks to me talks to me like he’s trying to sell me something. There is nothing that I can give him. There is no moral response I can give him that would make him feel satisfied parting from this conversation. He can’t sell me something I’ve already got. But we converse anyway, and each not knowing anything more than what we did already. There can be no debate.

We part ways like debris briefly getting caught in a branch along the river before getting pulled away by the current. We leave like children. We eat cheap Mexican food and drift in and out of op shops and factory outlets and I think about that young man. I wonder where he’s from, I wonder if he’s getting paid, I wonder who taught him this, I wonder who it was that gave him those talking points. And I think I will chase him up on his offer to talk more about it at their conferences and events. Because I don’t know enough to debate, and maybe I would like to.

Other People

I envy people with awards. With trophy cabinets and framed bits of paper.

I imagine them being acclaimed scientists or sports people. I imagine them opening up their trophy cabinets or standing in front of their mantels when even a morsel of self-doubt enters their minds, and reaffirming that they are brilliant. So brilliant that people gave them bits of paper and statues of people stuck on miniature platforms to congratulate them on it.

But I know that this is not how it works. Self-doubt negotiates with anyone. There is no one who is immune.

The awards turn against the people who have won them, convincing someone that they were never brilliant or that they have fallen from the brilliance they once had. Or that they could have done so much more if only they had worked harder, or sacrificed more, or been a more adequate human being.

Awards can be a representation of our limits just as much as our achievements.

And I get that. It’s just that maybe it would be easier to doubt my achievements than the fundamentals of my personhood.

But then again, I don’t have a mantel.

….

I imagine myself without a mantel in my adult years. I see myself at thirty-five waking up and regretting all of my tattoos, and my decisions, and not spending money while I had it, or not saving money while I had it. I imagine her staring at her empty walls, and cabinets full of things that aren’t trophies. This future version of myself has forgotten what it felt like to be me now, has forgotten why she did all these things.

She no longer likes the bus, and is stuck in a job she can’t leave because she’s forgotten how to move. She failed to travel like she said she would. She lives inland in a place she doesn’t like, and she’s stopped cooking. She’s forgotten how to speak, how to change, or think. She lives with her shoulders hooped from spending twenty years carrying around her regret and frustration.

She is stagnant water, but she doesn’t miss the ocean like she used to do.

….

Do you think that a lion likes to run? That a bird enjoys flying? You’d think that they would.

….

In England, it’s hard to look out of windows when you’re in the back seat of a car. In Australia you can see in all directions. In the English countryside there are hedges. I rode in the back seat in England, and was vexed by this.

We stayed in Braishfield, and I missed home. Homesickness wrapped itself around my heart, and nearly equaled my fascination with the world. I missed the cliffs and my little town, and the headlands, and the coast. I’d spent so much time before we left wearing long sleeves in the summer, and talking about how I loved the cold. And the moment inland hit me, I wanted expanse. When we came back it was like reuniting with an old friend. We came down the coastal road, over the bridge and back to the Pacific Ocean, blue and white and endless and it felt like home.

It was just getting to be late spring when we got back and I watched the summer roll in like a sandstorm and embraced it when it came.

….

We read this poem in English class at one of those critical moments, and I read it over and over again because I thought it was beautiful and I listened to my peers read it over and over again because it said something I needed to hear. “Go for it,” this poem whispered like it was speaking directly to me, “Go and see what’s out there, go for it.” I sat there in English class listening to this voice, and imagined myself going for it.

Later I started to imagine the woman who regrets, but in the beginning all I had to dream of was a person that I loved, the person I had cultivated and cared for over the previous months. The part of me that had missed the ocean, that had loved the summer when it came; the part of me that had noticed when the buds began to bloom and missed California and was fueled by hope and determination. Sitting in English class I imagined her flourishing.

And she was happy; she was the person brewing in me.

All I am looking for is a space where she can grow; where she can learn how to be a real person, and I can learn how to let her. The woman who regrets and the woman who hopes are nothing alike, and I’ve got to start making investments in the woman who hopes.

 

 

Under a Bridge Pt. 2

I am going to end up under a bridge. I am going to end up under a bridge.

And there’s a part of me that hasn’t accepted that yet, that wants to argue; that wants to explain. And that part of me that is so hurt that it feels it has to. That part of me is in such pain that that could be thought of me. But it’s not worth it. It’s not worth it to avoid this pain, to stop this being thought of me because there really is only one way. This pain is okay, and I will come to embrace it and the rage that it generates in time.

And I don’t need to argue with anyone about this, I don’t need to explain, because I know I cannot win. Because to any logical person it is always better to be safe than sorry.

“But you get an ATAR so that you can go to university.”

“But I don’t want to go to university.”

“But you might.”

“And if I do, there are other means.”

“Don’t you want to make it easier?”

“For who? That person doesn’t even exist.”

There is no point that I can come up with that cannot be rebuffed; that cannot be counteracted. No argument is ever going to be good enough. And I’m still learning how to be okay with that, learning how to see the pros and cons list and knowing that it’s still not what I want. And I just have to keep thinking that.

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

I don’t want to go to university, I don’t want an ATAR, and I don’t want to spend a year getting one. I don’t want this.

….

I let it slip that I didn’t want an ATAR this morning in front of my sister. She told me immediately not to make this decision at sixteen. But there is literally no other time that I can make it. Twenty-two year old me is not going to give a fuck. And so whether I like it or not, this is a decision that I have to make at sixteen, and a decision not to change is still a decision.

….

I have an image of myself swan diving off the figurative, invisible cliff I’ve been told about, a choir of angels singing “fuck it”, the school population watching me go.

But that’s not what’s happening here, and I’m trying really hard not to state my intentions like it is. Because “fuck it” is so much easier to explain than a complex, researched decision prompted by realization that this is not what I want and there is something I think I’ve always wanted instead.

And that’s already the assumption. I don’t need to back it up. I hate school, and I’ve been very open about that. I don’t need to describe the swan dive because whoever I am telling is already picturing it.

But I’m still not swan diving; I’m just taking the stairs.

And I think that my sister is right, a little bit. I am sixteen and given time, I won’t be anymore. I will change. But I’ll still be changing at thirty-six, and fifty-six and eighty-six. And we’re all just taking bets on the things that won’t change. And I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know where I’m going, I know who I want to be and I know what I want.

And I’ll take bets on that.

Giving the Finger to the Feeling

When I was in year five, I moved schools. To a school on a cliff to the north with sixty three kids. There were three classes, three classrooms, a library, a toilet block, a playing field, trees, and a playground. And it was good, because there were so few. And I loved it, because most of the time, I was in charge. I felt new there, surrounded by these strangers, like I could recreate myself, and I recreated myself to be assertive.

And I was allowed that. I didn’t know that then, but I realize that now. I was allowed leadership, I was allowed time to refine those skills I had never used before, my recreation was nurtured and cultivated. Opportunities of leadership were offered in that school of sixty-three and it instilled in me a sense of equality. Nobody has power over me, these grown ups and I are equals.

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But it was such a small school.

If one person didn’t want to do something, suddenly there weren’t enough people for anybody to do it. So you had to do it. And I played a lot of sport that I didn’t want to because of that. And it didn’t make me any better at it, and it didn’t make me like it. But I had an understanding that it was my responsibility, because I couldn’t just go making other people’s lives worse because I didn’t like to run. That was a lesson I had to learn.

They gave me an award the year I left, a principal’s award. It hangs in the corner of my mirror and it says “For Outstanding Contribution In All Aspects Of School Life” and I’m still proud of it, because it’s the only award I’ve ever gotten that I think I deserved.

In the later half of the last term of last year’s school year, I took to skipping. Exams were over; the reports were in, there was nothing for me there but the company, and the company wasn’t always worth going all the way to school and the six hours there and all the way back. It was a three-day a week sort of not-structure structure. Sometimes I would go, sit in for one or two subjects doing meaningless things, and then I would leave. Easy as walking out the gate. There was no trick to it. The threat of prosecution was a gun with no bullets.

And I liked that, I liked the walking out, the freedom of it. Somehow it was better than just not showing up at all, though I did that plenty too.

Once, when I was in year eight, a girl in my year was busted for going to MacDonald’s during a PE period, allegedly. It was a rumor about a rumor about a rumor and I didn’t know her that well, so I didn’t ask. But it was enough. It scared me enough to do only minor things wrong, and it scared the people around me into not doing anything at all.

It was a theoretical threat of discipline. There was nothing that could actually be done that would have any lasting effect.

But somewhere there is that feeling, the feeling that you’re doing something wrong. It’s a feeling of fear, of retribution mimg_4775aybe? Maybe shame, or disappointment. But it is a feeling of power, that someone has power over you and that someone is telling you what to do and you have to do it. But you don’t. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Just because you are responsible for the consequences, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. A teacher is just a grown up, and authority is a given thing.

And you don’t have to give it to anyone if you don’t want to.

And part of the fun of skipping, I think, is giving the finger to that feeling that tells you that you can’t because a teacher told you not to.

I think I am going to miss that the most next year, when I resume the five day week regime. The walking out. The deciding where to go next. I didn’t have to go home, but I couldn’t stay there.

I am a supporter of mandatory schooling, because I understand that sometimes that is the only incentive there is. But I am not in support of mandatory things, and I have a great hope for a people that has a yearning for knowledge and an economy that can support that.

I have spent my whole high school career not wearing the right uniform and whether that is in protest or just because I don’t want to, it doesn’t matter, it is just that uniform is not that fucking important.

Nobody should care what sort of clothes I wear, and I should hardly have my time taken away for it. That doesn’t mean that I think a uniform is a bad thing, I simply support my right not to wear one if I don’t want to. But I don’t think that the uniform is a part of my education, I think that it is a part of how I and my peers are convinced that other people have power over us, that we are not in charge, and we are not leaders, we are the led and we must remember that.

But I still believe that the most important part of schooling is the schooling, and how I choose to go about that ought to only be my business.

 

(Inspired by The Return of School Discipline – why children should be free, shown to me by Liz Morrish)

The Train

“Think about this,” the question is prompted, “two pairs of tracks run parallel, on the left are two workers, and on the right are four. You are standing beside the lever that can change the course of a train incoming from the right to the left. A train is coming on the right, too fast to stop, if it continues it will kill the four men working on the track. Do you choose to change the train from the right to the left or leave it be?”

There is silence. And for a moment I thinkL'Arrivée_d'un_train_en_gare_de_La_Ciotat.jpeg about the outcomes, which I would prefer. My stomach aches, anxiety. But that’s what the question was designed to do.

In a rush, other options are suggested. The question curves around them to stop them from flying out of the court.

“I would yell.”

“They’re too far away.”

“I would warn them from the loud speaker.”

“The loud speaker is broken.”

The question has none of the variables of real life, because the scenario is a scenario. The point of it is to make you choose, or at least expose the fact that you can’t.

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

Only with trains.

And, to be honest, I don’t know. I’ve never known and I don’t know anyone who does. And I couldn’t answer that question about the men and the train, but I’m very suddenly aware of it, and that is the only development. All it teaches you is to stay away from train stations.

But the point is if you’re questioning if the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, then you’re already fucked. The train is already speeding towards you and you have reached the point of no return. Nobody talks about the train, because the train is posed like a force of nature. But it’s not, it’s a train, and something has had to go very wrong for us to have come to this point.

….

I wanted Hillary to win.

But that doesn’t mean I liked her pantsuits.

I liked the way that she was a woman, I liked that she was unyielding in the face of her opponent; I liked that skit she did with SNL. I liked her daughter, and her dignity. I even liked the way she holds her chin a little bit higher when she listens to something she doesn’t agree with even though I hate it when people do that to me. I liked the way that she stood. But I didn’t like her when she spoke, when she made her speeches. I thought she smirked too often and her smile was too thin. There were issues. When she made speeches she had arrogance, she spoke like she had it in the bag.

The only speech I liked was the one after she lost, she didn’t smirk in that speech, and her smiles seemed a little lighter. She spoke with dignity, with grace. She could have ignored the fact that she had lost, or named it unjust or corrupt. But she didn’t, she accepted her loss and she said that she was sorry, and that she was glad that she had had a chance. She looked like she was finished with that; done with that person who she was when she made speeches before that.

And I knew that Hillary would win.

We watched the election, mum and I, in an attic in Brooklyn, and I knew she would win. We ate Lebanese pizza from down the road, and chips and artisanal donuts, and drank beer. We watched the election like you watch a fixed game. It was nice. And I knew she would win. I went to sleep when Hillary was winning like I knew she would, and when I woke up again she hadn’t won and suddenly I didn’t know that she would win anymore because she hadn’t.

And it took a little while for that to sink in.

And the next morning we mourned that, that thing that we had known.

And there were fewer people on the subway that day, and weeping gay men in Union Square holding up signs and I spent the day wondering why I didn’t know anymore.

….

This afternoon, I exercised self-restraint and didn’t buy a coffee when I really wanted to, so that I would have the money to buy sweetened condensed milk, so that tomorrow I can make caramel. After doing that, I’m going to go to Harper’s speech, and after that I’m going to go to the doctor. And I’m not going to save or damn anyone.

At most I’m going to walk a lot.

Because it’s not my call.

I don’t know if we’re better together, or even what the specifics of “we” are, but I know that one person yelling at the sky is pointless, but a thousand make a protest. And nothing is united entirely, but trying has had some results.

Because it was not just one weeping gay man in union square.

And it wasn’t just one that protested outside Trump tower.

And it wasn’t just one person that voted against this outcome.

But here we are, Donald Trump is the president elect and respecting democracy means accepting that, because we’re here now.

And he’s driving the train now.

And in the metaphor, there is option A or B, the lives of the many, the lives of the few. But this is the real world, and in the real world we cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into the victim role, because there will always be loud speakers, and there will always be other factors and sometimes, we are going to have to yell.

Over the Bridge

1.

In my town, the town with “no war” written on the sidewalk, the town with the school that Harper still attends, the railway bisects the main street. It cuts right through the hill that separates the town into two bits. The road climbs, is briefly a bridge, and then descends back into shops and day-trippers and toddlers in prams.

But there is a street that doubles back on the hill, sliding around from where the road just levels out to reach the football field and the railway station. On one side it has a barren building that used to have trees, but doesn’t anymore, and the Catholic primary school. On the other side, there is a great wall that is the distance from wsydney_gong044here the road slopes down to the level ground.

When I was a kid there was graffiti, and I never did learn whether it was a designated area for graffiti or not, but it always felt organic. Not revolutionary, or political or even comprehensible, but it still felt like it was an individual doing it. That it was a human communicating to me through this wall. I loved it. I thought it was great. That our little coastal town was doing this thing, this thing that I had always interpreted as revolutionary.

And then they painted over it.screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-35-46-amIt’s worse than what you think. It would have been better if they had just painted it some beige color. But they didn’t. They painted it with commissioned graffiti artists. Made this huge, intertwining design that had been designed in committee I suppose.

And I hated it.

Because this wasn’t revolutionary, this was compliancy in masquerade. This was everything I now loathe, trying to act like it was a rebellious force.


2.

I argued against cultural appropriation for a long time before I understood what it was, and why it hurt people. I asked my sister about it at one point, because she is political, and she has curly hair and darker skin and she knows what’s what. So I asked her. And she probably gave a good explanation, but I didn’t understand it. She showed me that video of that girl from the hunger games, and she probably gave a better explanation still. But all I could latch onto was that I was being restricted, that there were things that people didn’t want me to do. And all I understood was that bit, because that was the bit of the explanation that had me in it.

Everything else, the conservation of culture, the protectiveness over something nearly stolen, I couldn’t understand what that was about. The sun blinks at me, and I burn. My hair is straight. Never in the whole of history have people who have looked like me been culturally oppressed; not once. I will never fully comprehend what it is to be stripped of a culture; I will never understand what it is to have my whole race tyrannized. I will never know what it is to not be allowed to speak my native language because I was born speaking a borrowed one.

So I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t understand why people could be offended by a fad among young, white people. I just didn’t get why it was so bad that a white girl was going to get braids in her hair. All I could understand was that I wasn’t allowed to do some things because they were not mine to do.

And I hated that, but I had to respect it.

3.

We’re walking down the street, chatting, its been a good day, we’re heading home. I’m taking the train; she’s getting picked up. Somehow the conversation comes up, I don’t remember how it was introduced, whether it was by her or me, but the picture of the white girl with braids in her hair in the window of a shop inspired it. I try to explain it to her; she doesn’t think it’s a thing.

But Dora explained this to me, people I trust have faith in it, people I trust know this is a thing.

But I flounder. Because I’m not sure. I’m sure that it’s a thing, I’m sure that it harms people, but I’m not sure why. I didn’t understand the explanation that Dora gave me, and I didn’t pay enough attention to the video she showed me. But I know that it harms people, so I have to fight for it. I have to explain it. I think that it’s my job.

Because the people I trust took the time to try and explain it to me. But I think that they knew what they were talking about. And I don’t. And she can see that, and she takes my lack of comprehension as an assertion of her point. She asserts dominance over my struggle to explain it.

I wish I was able to go back to that moment, I wish that I could go back and tell her that it wasn’t my job to explain it to her, and it wasn’t her job to understand. I wish that I were able to tell her that it’s not my job to pick apart this complex, delicate, political and personal issue on her behalf. I wish in that moment that I was able to swallow my pride and tell her that I didn’t know enough or comprehend it the way I ought to have done to explain it to her, and she should look it up.

Because maybe then, she might have left the conversation with a little more curiosity.

Generation?

imChill out.

Seriously.

Chill out.

What safety are you giving? Is this advice going to help? Are you wounded by the thought that maybe there are people who would like to think that there are good aspects of bad things? Does it hurt you? Do you realize that what you just said is “tough it out”? “Suck it up”? This isn’t constructive. Chill out.

And what generation?

You are attacking people, be specific. Do you mean the one you are in? The current one? And if so, which one is current? What is the application process for this generation, what are its parameters?

I don’t think that your annoyance can be so powerful that it hurts you to view some softhearted sentiment. Chill out. Remember that you are speaking to the world, whoever you are. You are addressing the universe; and there are people who will see this and have a sick feeling in their stomach because they know it’s them you’re complaining about. Yes, complaining. You are complaining. Be your own hero about it.

And what evidence do you have to back up your claims? Have you conducted research on this matter? Taken surveys? Interviews? Anything? Do you use the scenario of being found in a bookstore reading Bukowski as an anecdote or a literal event? Are you saying that if I were reading Hemingway that I would be more likely to be found? Explain yourself.

Is it easier for you to make generalizations about people in “this generation” than to weaken your argument by mentioning that obviously this does not account for everybody? Does that suggest to you, perhaps, that your argument is not quite strong enough if it cannot seem to take that blow?

Chill out.

….

“Now what did we say about generations?”

At first there is the sting of being reprimanded, and then the shame of having to be. But that’s the point. She makes me aware. I rephrase my statement, whatever it is. The bite of my point blunted by her interjection, but it reinforces the ones that will come when it’s not needed. It’s a process. She and I have been though it before.

I don’t remember what she said when she first said what we say about generations. Something smart. She explained it to me because I didn’t know; I didn’t know I had to know. I’m still young; my not knowing to know is not fatal. And she told me what we say about generations, about the ways that they don’t exist, about the ways that a “generation” is just a term used to separate people. The young people, the old people. The people who aren’t the same, and we suspect its because of how old they are.

I wonder if the person who wrote this open complaint is young, I wonder if they feel annoyed when generalizations are made about them and their generation. I wonder if they have made the connection.

….

“People from this generation are so impersonal. Look at you, all on your phones,” my history teacher laughs. We glance at each other. He doesn’t seem to need a response and continues his lesson, laughing to himself. It’s kubrick-subway-newspapershard to tell if he’s being ironic or sincere. I text mum:

The mall at 3:30?

I wait for a response, impersonal as I am. Before too long there comes a reply; a plethora of thumbs up emojis appears with a soft wvop. The girl who sits across the room and wrote “free the nipple” on the wall of one of the bathroom stalls sends me a photo she found on the internet and winks at me from across the room. I wink back.

Impersonal?

….

You’re so fucking sick of this generation’s mentality?

Back up.

You don’t get make declarations about me and you don’t speak on my behalf. Whether you have assumed yourself part of a generation of people and attempted to observe from the inside or otherwise. You don’t get to say these things. You don’t get to pronounce a mentality, or a trait.

The variables to a person’s life are infinite, and when you declare these things you undermine all of them. You strip a person of their characteristics and individuality.

And you don’t get to do that.

(Also, don’t complain about other people on the Internet without being specific. And if it bugs you that much, avoid it, its not hurting you.)