I've got most of the stereotypical traits: white, male, hairy, paunchy, between 30 and 70. The accent's neutral, but I can put on a southern flavor if needs be.
But the one trait I lack, I've consciously avoided. I find it in 9 out of 10 instructors in real life, and I'm not sure how many of them notice.
It's a scent. Somewhere between the Old Spice and Hoppe's No.9, is the faint but notable odor of contempt.
I've only barely understood it. And I never agreed with it. But I understand it more now.
I also never agreed with Sheepdog Theory. The idea that humans are separated by their capacity for violence. 98% can't fight, 2% can. Half of which has empathy, half doesn't. Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves, they call them.
Asinine, simplistic horseshit, I think. I've taken to calling them Peasants, Heroes, and Villains. Sounds more honest that way.
But it's some seductive horseshit sometimes.
Especially times like now. When the world explodes like a mob of angry peasants. Screaming, shrieking, flames. Everyone screaming their fear, putting a name to their hate.
"Why won't it stop!"
"Burn the witch!"
Knowing no race, no income level, no education. PhD's scream their outrage right next to GED's.
And even the ones who aren't screaming are just wallowing in their own smug like a Jacuzzi full of warm bullshit, convinced if they turn up their noses high enough, all they can smell are the roses.
By this point, I'm usually out of sight of the mob.
Which as a plus, means I'm not directly in the line of fire for their vitriol.
As a minus, vitriol is an area affect weapon. And I get caught in those a lot.
What's worse are the "free passes."
"It's ok, I trust you."
"You're responsible. It's other people I don't want doing this."
"You know what you're doing."
"I'm not talking about you. I'm worried about anyone else with a gun."
Right up there along with "Good house negro" as far as backhanded, blissfully ignorant, patronizing compliments go.
And not a Godsdamn one of them realizes that.
And the small, small percentage that knows the screaming isn't doing any good keeps quiet. Some have just finished washing the blood off their hands, but are too busy getting shit done to wonder when they'll next get a shower.
Some try and talk civil, but nobody wants that when their blood is up. Besides, calming someone down is "tone policing," as if how angry you are about something makes anything more right.
And then there's that small percentage that just growls what they've been growling the whole time.
I don't agree with it.
I don't like it.
But I wonder how long I'm going to last without it.
How many colleagues I'm going to flat-out lose all respect for before I walk away.
How many more shots to the heart I'm going to take.
Before I leave the field entirely.
Or put on that dark, cold armor of contempt.