Dear Dr. Progressive

web posted November 27, 2000

Dear Dr. Progressive is a new column designed to give advice to confused and aspirant radicals in the post-communist era. If you have any questions for Dr. Progressive, write Jamie Glazov at jglazov@home.com.

Dear Dr. Progressive,

I'm a conservative sort of fellow trying to meet a nice girl. Unfortunately, I live in California, where every girl seems to be a socialist and deep into things like "peace and justice." Personally, I'd rather eat glass than work for "peace and justice," whatever that is. The problem is that the girls I ask out pick up on this fact, which means that I end up dateless on Friday nights. Do you have any tips for me to get more in tune with what they are thinking? I'd hate to have to move back to the Midwest before I can get into a stable relationship.

Sincerely,

Ben Kepple
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Ben,

This is easily solved. Next time you are out on a date with a tree-hugger just repeat certain politically correct themes over and over again. I used to get lucky all the time in college just by uttering a few sentences, and to tell you the truth, I didn't have a clue what I was talking about, nor did I care. But the lefty/artsy girls just loved it! Look, the next time you take one of these "peace and justice" girls, just say a few things about how you are "deeply involved" in raising funds for AIDS awareness. Stay silent for a few seconds after you say this, then heave a deep sigh and affirm, with great disgust, how the homophobic elites are "inflicting casualties" everyday. Say how the Reagan administration waged a homophobic war on homosexuals by withholding funding for AIDS during a crucial time. Then, in the same breath, emphasize that AIDS is not a gay disease. Don't worry about the contradiction in this belief system. The most important thing about the progressive faith is not for it to make sense, but for it to exist. So just repeat these statements over and over again. They are very very politically correct. It will definitely be enough to get you in the sack with most lefty females in California.

If you notice the slightest hesitation in your date after making these comments, then I have just the right solution to get you across the finish line: agonize aloud about how the world is too "human-centred" and that it is simply outrageous that humans are valued over other living organisms -- such as weeds and ants. Roll your eyes and shake your head in a scoffing manner while saying this, posturing as if you are completely exhausted with being the last voice of wisdom and sensitivity in a calcified and indifferent universe. For the knock-out punch, add that you strongly believe that the series "Planet of the Apes" was extremely offensive, not only in how it depicted the apes, but also in how it subliminally promoted established patriarchal and capitalist institutions (i.e. by making us fear the apes, the program implied that our protectors -- the police, the army etc. -- were our only hope to stay "free"). The program, therefore, was actually a tool that elites exploited to indoctrinate viewers and to marginalize unwanted groups. After making this comment, you are almost guaranteed another date. Get to it tiger! You can do it!


Dear Dr. Progressive,

What is the meaning of life?

Tony Callaghan
Pittsburgh

Dear Tony,

The struggle.


Dear Dr. Progressive,

What do you think of the Clinton Administration having sold atomic secrets to China? Perhaps it is a good thing, because it brings balance to the world. It is not good when one country is more powerful than another, right?

Cynthia Stagretter
Massachusetts

Dear Cynthia,

Well, yes and no. It is not good when the Americans are stronger than progressive nations. But it is good if imperialist and colonialist capitalist powers like the United States are weaker than nations who aspire toward social justice. Clinton and Gore should have given the secrets to the Chinese for free. Moreover, the ideal is that America elects leaders who will completely disarm their own country of all military power. That way a voice can be given to the voiceless and we can finally have a true democracy. The key is to kick the United States off of the continent and to give the land back to the people.


Dear Dr. Progressive,

I am taking an undergrad sociology course at university and my professor has told me that I am suffering from what she calls "an advanced case of false consciousness." I have been quite happy for a long time and I have always thought I was genuinely happy, but the Prof. says that I show clear symptoms of, what she calls, "psychic disorders." These include, in her opinion, illnesses such as "consumerism," "misogyny," "racism," and "ageism." I don't know anything about these things and have become quite worried. I asked her if I should see a shrink but she said the shrink would only make things worse. Instead, she told me to read all of her books. I am confused here, what is going on? How can an illness and mental disorder be cured by political scholarship rather than with medication and psychological help?

Frank Berry
Iowa

Dear Frank,

Look, don't waste my time with stupid questions. Just buy her books, memorize everything she says and regurgitate all of her interpretations back to her in your essays and exams. If you are in her presence, and she is within ear-shot of your conversations, make sure she overhears you saying things like, "Capitalism commodifies life" and "This so-called democracy is actually exclusionary rather than inclusionary." Say this with great vigilance, and always make sure to have a book marker in one of her books -- which you must have in your hands at all times. Quote from her books in every answer you give in class. Always, and I repeat, always, refer to the "establishment" in the context of the necessity of it being overthrown. Your illness and "disorder" will go away very quickly in her eyes.


Dear Dr. Progressive,

Deep down I am a conservative, but at the same time I support a lot of left-wing social policies. This is a problem because I really want to play polo. I have been trying to get into this exclusive club that I can well afford, but my political leanings have proved to be a barrier - at least in the minds of some of the more dogmatic privileged members at the club. How can I reconcile my need for fairness and support for the poor, public education and health care and at the same time, throw money around with the fat cats at the polo club, most of whom would not toss a penny to their dying grandmother, never mind pay an extra $100 a year in taxes. How can I convince these curmudgeons that taxes are not the work of the devil?

Signed
Politically Perplexed
Toronto

Dear Politically Perplexed,

You have asked a loaded question and I am not completely sure what it is you want to know. Do you want to know whether or not you should go to the polo club? What do you mean you are "deep down a conservative?" The way you describe your political views you do not sound like one. I have a hunch that you are talking about all of these issues to camouflage a deep-rooted desire for the workers to gain control over the means of production. I sense that you failed to bond with an authoritarian Marxist figure in your formative years, and that you are now searching to fill a very painful void of class consciousness by going to the polo club. You have taken the shame and guilt that capitalists should feel (but do not) and internalized it, beating up on yourself for the crimes that corporate elites have carried out against Third World developing populations. I recommend seven straight days of listening to "Rage Against the Machine" and violently shaking your head up and down while doing so. Let the music work you up into a violent rage. After this, run into the street and chant violent slogans against the fat cats that play polo. Make sure you foam at the mouth. The struggle continues.

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