Intransigence: This is Where the Sidewalk Ends

the 4% intransigence dictates the world

Where does one step beyond the bounds of necessity and justifiable custom into the boundaries of social impropriety? By the word “intransigence”, I am talking about extremists, that do not coincide with the norm. At times, they even take pride in inconveniencing others. By definition, the intransigence is not a “cool” and revered term; they the vocal minority without the capacity for negative capability. They cannot entertain other ideas that do not coincide with their own.

Now, this is really bad if you’re CEO, business owner, or entrepreneur, when pivots and evolution of a company, its mission relies on targeting different marketing segments and listening to the other side of the story. I digress.

This issue not only references the adamant right-wing Trump supporters, to very left-wing vocal vegans that care about animals more than their very animal peers, but the nuances of daily interactions we seldom dwell enough on to fathom the nuances in exchange of power.

I speak of the intransigence displayed at a German conference, where everyone speaks German except for one and the majority accommodates in English. I speak of dictatorships such as Syria where the intransigent minority sect instills fear and chemical warfare on stifling the voices of the powerless majority. So again, where does the sidewalk end?

the stock market, being a reflection of human emotions is the same way

A perfect example of the minority dictating the stock market is typically some financial journalist with a very intransigent viewpoint that does not entertain both sides of the story in media coverage, swaying the markets or rather a rogue trader controlling a few billion in assets. The markets are contingent upon human emotion, not rationality or the behavior of the consensus of the average investor.

An orchestra is not representative of all its instruments. –K.Osone

Most people think that the stock market is like the S & P 500, that somehow the whole is representative of its parts. An orchestra is not representative of all its instruments.

the vocal minority gives the appearance of majority

Allow me to use my veganism and myself as an example. I am a bad vegan that sympathizes and even cooks fish for my very Japanese and Asian fish eating family. I wear second-hand wool, and while I gave away most of my closet I have a few leather momentos. However, did you know, that vegans only make up 0.5% or less of the population? 

Society is supposed to mediate these voices to adjust and set the norm accordingly. Perhaps we must be intolerant to the intolerant minorities.

I am guilty at some point, of inconveniencing others due to my partaking in this sanctimonious movement, and am limiting it to when it does not. As of the past two months, I call myself vegetarian as I’m not recalcitrant enough to be a good vegan. Actually I’m not quite sure if I want to be a “good” vegan when the most recent incident of veganism is of Youtube mass shooting.

I perhaps follow suit with the Balanced Blonde, whom veganism has taught her acceptance, love, and inspiration to help her find her true voice. She has found her zen in the exploitative world of commerce that mitigates not her human counterparts and I am still struggling with finding my balance today.

Logically, when someone offers me a caged free egg from one of their farms I’m not going to say no because I have some form of eating disorder when the precept of being vegan was for animal rights. I will graciously accept the kindness and gift from both the giver and the chicken and treasure it on my palates in as much as it dons my plate. Which leads me to my next point.

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intransigence, no matter its form, is always self-serving

Let me tie in the last point and leave you with the thought of how sidewalks and concrete are caged borders that emphasize that boundaries and upholding them is a sign of not only intransigence but the luxurious self-assertion that one is better than the rest. One of my favorite poems is Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, where Silverstein invocates pastoral reprieve in stepping beyond the boundaries caged in by city life.

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

What he seems to be speaking of as I read it closer though, is the caged in luxury of someone else’s lawn, of cultivated pastoral and not the subliminal force of untamed nature itself. This beautiful lawn represents how the elite intransigent minority given moral superiority dictates the values of the consensus. Arguably this can be a good thing by some economists as luxury dictates the investments in new innovation such as science, say, if the whole population was infested with an incurable flu, the wealthy in society would pave the way in research to get treatment first. Anyhow, is the most intolerant person that commands power, the luxury, ithat imposes virtue on others, for the majority must accommodate for them.


humans speak in binary

Humans are likeness in AI in that the mind likes to decompose things into compartments as black and white. I again will use myself as a vulnerable example– I’ve been guilty of this in becoming vegan and being sucked into the movement, that evolved from my Buddhist-vegetarian approach that argued a beneficial symbiosis of humans and nature. This is partly also due to the way we were wrought up; as children when I went to Catholic school it was as if all the Buddhist side of my family was demonized for not believing in Christ.

The binary mode of decomposing good and bad into two categories and people also lead to the rise of Adolf Hitler and his popularity as humans intrinsically compartmentalize what is good and bad, listening to the intransigent minority.

Society is supposed to mediate these voices to adjust and set the norm accordingly. Perhaps we must be intolerant to the intolerant minorities.

–Kiyoko Osone