The Five Stages of Injustice

1. Denial: Injustice? What injustice? I don’t see any injustice.

2. Anger: Someone ought to do something. Someone else.

3. Bargaining: I’ll give anything to change this. Metaphorically speaking.

4. Depression: This is just horribly sad, for those other people.

5. Acceptance: I guess that’s just the way it is. Let’s not make waves.

Note: If pressed for time, skip steps 1-4.


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  • Or if pressuring others to go along with injustice, by preference, skip 1-4.

    I’m incapable of feeling anything for Dave Hagstrom besides rage. This is probably unhealthy, but I have no other means of dealing with a man who seems like evil personified.

  • SisterCoyote

    Today, a group of five girls started their presentation on the history of radio with a soundbyte of a prank played on a girl, wherein she was called and told that the caller was a guy who had been stalking her for weeks, because they were soulmates, and he knew where she lived, and then, PSYCH! It is revealed to be a hilarious prank by a local DJ! AHAHAHA! So I decided to ignore them and write a letter, thinking it would be a lot of inane drivel.

    And then, for their example of the popular serials in the “Golden Age of Radio,” they played a clip of Amos ‘n Andy, mentioning in their fact list that the show
    featured “characters who were thought of as stupid,” that it was one of the first major popular serial radio shows, that it was listened to by “half the households in America,” and, oh, that the characters were black.

    I say this because I’ve been debating internally pretty much all day since, whether I should go talk to the prof, go talk to the Diversity Center about what to do about this, aside from walking out (I did; I no longer trusted myself to avoid profanity) or just grit my teeth and… uh, not make waves. But… yeah, I think there’s no conscionable way to avoid taking public issue with this. Thanks for the reminder, Fred.

  • The Cricket

    I’ve honestly started getting on here to be more informed. I’m a single mom with a physically disabled child so I’ve gotten horrible out of touch with the world. All I know about his is he’s anti gay marriage which I don’t get. I don’t see how ppl can be for marriage sanctioned by a government at all whether your religious or not athiest Christian Muslim, marriage is joining of two ppl promising be one. Even ignoring all religion that by itself is holy. The government shouldn’t have any say in the matter. Let alone whether somebody is allowed to, or whether their marriage legal because their paper says so. Before 1868 give or take a few most ppl were handfasted and set their own terms for their future, even Mary an Joseph were handfasted. I don’t remember ever reading it was government sanctioned.

  • The Cricket

    Sorry that was so long that is just something that really gets me upset I tried to look up some stuff but didn’t find much could tell me more about him?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Well, I’ll explain it to you: The government has to sanction marriages because the government provides benefits to married people. Currently, those benefits are only available to one man/one woman couples.

    Also, the only marriages protected by laws, for example things like next of kin and medical decisions, are “traditional” (sarcastic airquotes) marriages. There’s a story exploding right now of a gay couple, where one partner ended up in the hospital, and then his family came in and completely took over his care. And the hospital had the patient’s partner arrested for trying to assert his rights, rights backed by a PoA, to be with his legally married husband and to make decisions for him. That’s discrimination. It should be illegal. Without government backing for *all* marriages, it’s really not.

    Also, you might think two people deciding to enter into a life-long partnership is “holy,” but that’s your personal opinion. Please state it as such. There are people who don’t consider it holy, and there are people who don’t have a concept of “holy” at all. People forcing their opinions as facts, much like this little example, are the entire reason we’re even having the debate about marriage equality.

  • The Cricket

    Sorry I didn’t mean to imply it as fact at all, I’m sorry I’ve offended. Holy was probably the wrong word also I just meant that’s extremely special to me the church and state should be completely separate and so should marriage and state. I meant that that government shouldn’t be allowed to tell anybody gay or straight whether they are married or not that the married couple should be able to inform the government and not have to pay for a piece of paper making it legal. To me it makes it more of a business transaction. I don’t know why I’m even trying to explain myself you’ve ripped me apart fully when I was just trying to say its not the governments business who loves each other

  • The Cricket

    Also so I don’t ripped up again I forgot to say but that’s just my opinion

  • Leum

    The government doesn’t tell married people that they’re married, it recognizes they’re married and provides them with benefits that are important to married people.

  • The Cricket

    Yes but you can’t be married without going to a court house and paying fifty dollars for a sheet of paper and saying without its not real or valid. And their then their being exclusive about it by saying only m/f can marry, your right and there are benefits but they shouldn’t have the right to tell anybody they can’t. There also are no benefits for ppl who don’t believe in their piece of paper. I think I’m too innocent I know I am I know the world in my head isn’t possible but it’s nice to dream right?

  • Jessica_R

    This is an eerily on point post as I’ve just finished Joyce Carol Oates’s messy and great The Accursed, which is all about how the real evil, the evil that will devour us, if when we look the other way, and pretend not to notice suffering.

  • SisterCoyote

    Nobody’s ripping you apart. I think that was a pretty neutral explanation.

    I meant that that government shouldn’t be allowed to tell anybody gay or straight whether they are married or not that the married couple should be able to inform the government

    I think you’re actually not far off the mark, honestly. It should not matter if someone is straight or queer – they should be able to inform the government “My partner(s) and I are married now,” and that should not be debatable. That’s something I think pretty much we can all agree on.

    I do think it’s a good idea to have people sign papers/have things witnessed, because it’s usually a good idea to be able to prove that someone did indeed consent to this massive decision.

  • The Cricket

    Lol I gotta quit for the night lmbo I keep wording everything wrong but doing on a iPhone n watching a sick baby is not the best thinking environment I meant ripping apart my opinion lol no biggie though I agree there should be witnesses and such I guess honestly I’m a puppies and sunshine person and after watching all the pain that has went on in my region lately due to the government I’ve grown to despise all of it n just wish the world was nice enuf to not need it (impossible I know but a girl can dream). It seems like if all out rights are being taken away, and the area I live I we have it really hard and it feels like we’re not cool enuf for anybody to care or even take notice what’s going on with lowly hillbillies. So I’ve become disgruntled beyond hope with the hope government.

  • > That’s something I think pretty much we can all agree on.

    Ah, if only that were so.

  • Third hit on google just using the name. I assume “Dave Hagstrom” because I don’t see any other names referred to other than the posters themselves.

    tl/dr; “I have the greatest respect for my homosexual friends, but what they do is deviate and should remain illegal.” WTFBBQ?

  • Hagstrom earned my ire by writing a letter to the people of Billings, Montana, in which he recommended that we all accept that some of us are just going to be sick and miserable and work 90 hours a week yet still remain in poverty while taking care of our dying parents — because all of that is our own responsibility.

    To quote from the end of his letter,

    – First, you accept that not everyone, including yourself, needs to live as long as they currently do, or as “comfortably” as they currently do.
    – Second, you accept the fact that you and your neighbor are going to have to work harder than ever, maybe take a second or third job and live on less.
    – Third, that you plan to take your own health seriously and assume it is your responsibility to be healthy by getting more exercise, watching less TV, and eating cleaner, cheaper, healthier food than you have been.
    – Forth, that you manage the relationships in your life by removing those friendships that are abusive and destructive.
    – Fifth, that you begin taking into your life those family members who need help even if you could pawn them off on the government.

  • SisterCoyote

    Well, I was speaking of people in-thread or in this community. But I do think the jackwads who disagree with that are slowly – all too slowly – fading into irrelevance.

  • (nods) Agreed on both counts, and delightedly so.
    Well, not delighted at the slowness, but I try to remember that too-rapid changes are frequently subject to equally rapid reversals.

  • And of course, this is coming from a man who probably not only had money to begin with, but is getting around $90K per year, free medical care, all living and travel expenses paid, up to 24 vacation days per year, 11 days off every year for holidays, 12 sick days per year, up to 12 weeks off for medical leave and up to 26 weeks off for medical leave pertaining to a family member in the service, up to 6 weeks for paternity leave…

    But us? No, we should work our three jobs from our deathbed (shared with our parents) and be grateful he’s letting us have that much.

    “I got mine, fuck off and die.”

  • Gods, he sounds like Fink in Bioshock Infinite. He expects his workers to work 16 hour shifts, paid in company scrip, and repeats recordings over megaphones talking about how they should all be grateful for their lot. He sees the world as divided up between “the lions” (people like him) who keep order, “the cows” (people like his workers) who provide labor and material, and “the hyenas” (labor agitators) who lure the cows away from their pastures.

    It is easy to tell people to be grateful for their lot in life when your lot is awesome and their lot sucks.

  • Jereko
  • JustoneK

    A good worker is a live worker, paid to live and work. A bad worker is a dead worker, and vice versa! Don’t be a bad worker.

  • j_bird

    First, you accept that not everyone, including yourself, needs to live
    as long as they currently do, or as “comfortably” as they currently do.

    Ha, right, so in other words, Hagstrom wants us to go ahead and skip to Fred’s fifth step in accepting our own wretched peasanthood.

    This stuff reminds me of a bumper sticker that said, “Annoy a liberal, work hard and be happy.”

    I wanted to paste over it with a sticker that said, “Annoy a conservative, change the world for the better,” or perhaps, “Annoy a conservative, dare to dream that your life may someday be something other than working three dead-end jobs for a guy who makes ten times your pay and hoping you don’t get sick,” though the latter would require a very small font.

  • EllieMurasaki

    My experience is that ‘work hard’ and ‘be happy’ are only simultaneously possible if one either limits one’s work hours (who instituted the forty-hour work week? wasn’t conservatives) or is fortunate enough to enjoy one’s job.

  • j_bird

    Yeah, that’s about as selfish and cruel as it gets.

    The only way that Hagstrom’s #1 would be decent is if he were exhorting the rich people of the world to take a hit in quality of life and use their wealth and resources to *raise* the quality of life of the poor.

    The whole list is just the logical end of the anti-progressivism of today’s conservatives. I mean, Hagstrom doesn’t even want to conserve *today’s* standard of living. He wants us to be just fine with *re*gressing.

  • The idea that marriage is just between the participants is a sentimental argument; it doesn’t really work in a practical sense. A married couple is, in many ways, making a contract with their society, not just with each other. (Explained further here: )

    And of course, if you want your society to give you the benefits due to a married couple — if you want them to treat you as married — then you have to pay into that. Similarly, if you want to participate in your country’s public benefits, you have to pay taxes. It’s part of the price of civilization.

    There are couples who choose not to get married precisely because they feel that their relationship concerns nobody else, and I respect that decision, as I expect them to respect mine.

  • Among all the other douchebaggery, this is what jumped out at me:

    You can have food that’s cleaner and healthier, or you can have food that’s cheaper. Most of the time, you cannot have both.

    And that’s not even factoring in stuff like food deserts and having time and energy to cook and exercise when you work two or three sedentary part-time jobs.

  • I’m with Dan Savage: any time an anti-gay public figure pulls out the “I have gay friends” line, reporters should ask for the contact info of these so-called friends and interview them.

  • What he’s saying is code. It looks like he says it’s our responsibility to keep ourselves healthy. What it really means is “whether you get sick or injured is your own damned problem and I expect you to continue slaving regardless, peasants.”

    This is the man who refers to his constituents as his “tenants” and himself as their “Landlord”…

  • j_bird

    Yep. It amazes me how conservatives get away with calling their
    union-busting “freedom to work” instead of “freedom to significantly decrease the quality, safety, and remuneration of the jobs available by giving up any bargaining power you may have had” (again, won’t fit on a bumper sticker, but many true things don’t).

    They’re doing their darndest to convince us that the “free market” is a real god, through worship of whom lies the only path to real happiness. Having enough money and time to stay healthy and enjoy your life? Nah. That won’t make you happy.

    The more I think about the rhetoric of the “work hard, be happy” bumper sticker, the more I see it as this ghoulish attempt by the rich to trick the poor into accepting the worst conditions possible by making it sort of a macho toughness contest. Like, “haha, if you listen to those liberals that means you’re lazy and weak.”

  • j_bird

    Reluctant to grow your lettuce in soil contaminated by chemicals from the local factory, which of course never depends on government to check on its disposal practices? I’m sure you’ll have time and energy to implement one of these handy tips when you’re done with your third shift!

  • Lori

    Yet another thing to file under “things that should no longer surprise me, and yet do”: how consistently, offensively stupid conservative bumper stickers are. Taking modern conservative thought and distilling it down to something that can fit on a 12 X 4 strip of plastic and be read from a moving car is pretty much a guaranteed FAIL.

  • Lori

    I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s just so awful in every way that I’m tempting to think it’s a joke or a Poe, and yet I know that it’s not.

  • VMink

    Good grief. He’s dead set about shoving everyone in Omelas except himself into the cellar, isn’t he?

    The problem with simply dismissing the Ones Who Walk Away is that some of them are the Ones Who Come Back and burn the place to the ground.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I was discussing the concept on another forum, and one of the people I was discussing it with feels it would be better to stay and bring the revolution. Walking away still leaves one complicit.

  • I always skip Step 3 and am rarely so hopeless as to end up at Step 5.

  • Alethea

    You must have been a judge in a History Day contest. It’s that time of year. Also, I had a couple of similar experiences as a HD judge, only I had to sit through two presentations that were just slideshows of very graphic images set to sappy music. One was on suicide and the other was on child abuse, and neither had an actual thesis or purpose beyond shocking everyone.

    Teachers really need to filter this stuff out and teach students that it’s not appropriate.

  • Yeah, I wish it wasn’t either. The writing looks similar to other correspondence from him, though.

  • stardreamer42

    I was just trying to say its not the governments business who loves each other

    That’s exactly the point. As long as marriage carries any kind of special benefits with it (and it does — several HUNDRED of them), then it’s not the government’s business to tell any couple* that they can’t get married. This is what “equal protection under the law” is ABOUT.

    * Barring the usual protections involving underage participants, incestuous relationships, etc.

  • stardreamer42

    I know that from the POV of a gay person it does seem agonizingly slow. But from the POV of a straight person who’s been in support of the idea for decades, it’s astounding how rapidly the ground has shifted just in the last 5 years or so. I was honestly not sure whether I would see justice about this in my lifetime; now it feels inevitable.

  • Oh, it’s astounding from my POV as well. Had you told me ten/fifteen years ago that I’d be married now I’d have laughed and laughed.

    Of course, as with a lot of recovery, it’s both astonishingly fast and heartbreakingly slow and it doesn’t average. We will see justice in our lifetimes, but we will not live to see the end of injustice.

  • VMink

    That really is the inherent problem with Omelas, isn’t it?

  • The Cricket

    I forgot to say this but so many ppl on here keep talking about the benefits of marriage. Where do u live cuz where I live it’s the ppl who live together unmarried that get all the benefits. I know many many many married ppl who had to separate or divorce to get any kind of benefit other than starvation and homelessness (yes sarcasm lol). But it is bad for married ppl here

  • I live in MA, where (for example) my husband can be included on my health insurance plan, but my boyfriend cannot.

  • The Cricket

    Oh I see here its cheaper it put a bf than a spouse but you can’t put a bf or gf on a plan that you get thru a job but taxes are way cheaper on non married couples also along with more programs for help. I live in ky and for the most part we get the crap end of the stick.

  • stardreamer42

    We’re talking about America. Where do YOU live? (just for starters)

  • The Cricket

    I live in southeastern ky. It might as well be another planet from the rest of the USA. For some odd reason we really are screwed over regularly. Like I said its so bad that so many learn how to screw over the governed from the get go cause we have so little help ppl think we r stupid an nobody pays attention to KY so the government gets away murder here and nobody outside of KY really notices. Btw I dot agree with my peers here who abuse the system. I believe they are just causing more problems and keeping us for getting the same benefits as other states. But it really is quite horrible here.

  • The Cricket

    Btw I hope some day ppl see that you’re love is just as special and important as the love of others, love is love period. I know a lot of ppl think that “hillbillies” are backwards and racist and anti-gay. But honesty here in the Appalachia ppl are taught that common courtesy and to respect everybody and be kind to everybody that everybody is equal. Crap my mom said she didn’t care if somebody worshipped rotted potatoes that I was to give their opinion the utmost respect. We may be a little backwards socially and behind the times. But it seems to me that the rear of the world needs to catch up with our idea of love and respect. I really hope that you have all the happiness in the world. You deserve it so much.

  • Thank you.