Graters & Grovers: Are The Attacks on Thunberg REALLY Warranted?

in point •  2 months ago  (edited)

Adobe_Post_20191218_1703340.295620088911001.pngThis is the post I did not want to write. I'm actually a little bit scared that some of the vitriol aimed at Greta might also be aimed at me. We live in such a polarised world that we fail to be civil to each other when faced with something we intensely disagree with. But bear with me, please. Don't just jump into the comments without thinking a little about what I have to say too. In return, I'll definitely listen respectfully to you.

However, I had to write this because the attack on Greta is just getting a little bit ridiculous and I'm trying to work out how I feel about that. Take the response to this photo of her looking pensively out of a window from a through Germany. I fondly remember being on the train from Munich to Berlin once, my son sleeping on the baggage racks and me perched on a bag reading a book, looking at the world go by.


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“Traveling (sic) on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home.”

There's two responses to this kind of post from Greta. Whether you're a Grater or a Grover (can we coin these? Greta-lover, Greta-hater, get it?) we can both agree that it's a public image post. Of course it is - don't get het up about it, Graters. As anyone who has posted on Instagram ever knows, it's all about the audience. You are creating a particular view of yourself to gain upvotes likes and followers. It's not rocket science.

I would have double tapped this if I was on instagram. Why? Because she's a tired girl coming back from a mission - promoting a cause that she really, really believes in with all her passionate young heart. She looks pensive and thoughtful, and I relate to that tired travel feeling and that longing for home. She's probably looking forward to it even more, given that she can take a rest from the criticism thrown at her daily. Whether you believe me or not, I would have liked it whatever she was banging on about. Okay I feel a little bit uncomfortable about double tapping a neo nazi, but you get what I'm saying. I admire anyone with passion.

But here's where it gets crazy. One single word throws everyone into a tizz. 'Overcrowded' , they cry, implies a criticism of German trains, as if they didn't do their damndest to get her a seat. And goodness me - what an ungrateful little twat, complaining about it being overcrowded when everyone knows the state of public transport in every town in every country in the world. How very dare she. If someone has a whip, do flog her when you see her! And all this as if no-one has every complained about overcrowding on a train, ever. Glass houses come to mind.

Quick as you like, Greta tweeted back that overcrowding is a good thing - high demand for trains means they are being used. She also had to add a heap of other adjustments so that people would understand that all she meant was 'overcrowded' quite literally - it was crowded. Yep. Literally crowded. No ulterior motive to attack the German train system - I mean, surely that's the least of her concerns, given she's pro alternate travel?

Look, even if you are a Grater, you have to admire the girl for her quick replies to criticism. They're sharp, often witty, and don't avoid anything:

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As if she's first to butcher the English language or to be misunderstood by a choice of phrase and as if that matters at all. I also admire her flip of Trump's critique of her. Trump's suggestion she stay at home and watch movies and stop being so angry quickly became a great opportunity for a peppy Twitter bio: A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.. Touche, Grets, touche!

Because what else can you do against a powerful man and a bully? Best take it with a grain of salt and keep going. Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum. Yes, I realise the irony of that phrase. But kudos to the banter, Greta. Because when do millions of woman get a chance to diss the leader of the Free World? Forget about her politics or whether you believe they are effective for a minute. Look at how she handles herself. Take a step back, and give her at least a little nod for it.

Graters - often men in power - hate Greta because she has a power over people that they desire themselves. They hate her because she's not afraid to stand up against what she believes in. They hate her because all their lives they have believed in something else, and the power of the Greta bomb is calling on people to believe in something different than rampant capitalism and neo-liberalism that serves only the few. They hate her because she represents the future - because she is smart, savvy and young and will not be a good girl and go to school and swallow the uber narrative that keeps us in our little boxes. They hate her because she won't shut up. They hate her because she is rallying the troops. And all this hate becomes attack - she's disturbed, controlled by her parents, mentally disabled (she's Autistic), and just a little girl who should go to school. And they hate her because she reminds them, over and over, that they are accountable.

I don't want to get into a debate about climate change or whether she's a puppet of anyone else's agenda. Remember, that's okay for you if you like the agenda - you'd like the puppet too. I believe any denial of conspiracy about her has to be taken for what it is, otherwise, there seriously is some left wing genius in charge who's seriously thinking they're super clever now for creating such an uber Gruppet Greta puppet when no one was looking. We have to remember we live in a world where EVERYTHING is manipulated for someone's agenda - everything. Even yours - and particularly if you're on any kind of social media pushing your view. Just as you shouldn't be attacked for yours, but understood and listened to, so should Greta, or anyone you dislike.

As for the dismissal that she's been 'brainwashed' by her parents, I'm not sure that's even an argument. How do you raise your kids? With the same values you have - what you want to see in the world. Some parents might even teach their kids to be open minded and celebrate their individual viewpoints even if they don't align with theirs, but really, we're a product of our nurture as well as our nature. You'd be proud if your kids championed values you'd instilled in them, right?

We must also remember it's quite difficult to 'brainwash' an autistic child. Their brains don't quite work the same way as ours. Not necessarily not as 'well', but certainly in a different way. They're often obsessive and focussed on one subject - for Greta, climate science. It makes it hard for her to be sidetracked. Less able to be manipulated. That's refreshing. Fame's not her objective, nor worry whether she'll be liked or not. Keep it on the science, folks, and do something about it, is her constant refrain. Autism is often a controversial diagnosis - people either feel uncomfortable with autistic people who they see as socially rude, blunt, forthright, idealistic and overly passionate or socially strange (cue the criticisms of Greta's death stare) or are seen as genius - many artists and creative types are autistic. How difficult it must be to operate under such a critical eye. It's our role to understand and find room for autistic people in our society, rather than find fault with character traits that actually do have a place in our society. Tim Burton, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Nikolas Tesla, Emily Dickinson and many, many others have been thought to have autistic tendencies. And if you're saying, well, what's she actually done? Give her a chance. She's only 16.

So yes, one of the strongest criticisms about Thunberg is that she does nothing but talk. Action, they say, is what is really needed - and why should she be nominated for awards when people are getting their hands dirty doing real, concrete things to create solutions? Of course it seems unfair. What is Greta doing, people cry, with a great deal of indignation, forgetting that the media jumped on a particular narrative that people would love - she's young, different, charismatic, polarising. Boring people don't sell news.

We also need challenging dialogue as much as we need action. Some people are good at action, some people are good at talking. It takes both to make the world go round - and it takes both to change society. Think of it this way. In a business, you need people that are good at bookwork. People who are good at rolling their sleeves up and doing the design work and creating the product. People who are good at marketing. People who are good at networking. Introverts. Extroverts. It takes many different kinds of people to make something really great. Thunberg is good at keeping people focussed on the science. It's not her job to create solutions. She's called people with the power to make change to DO SOMETHING. What is actually wrong with that? We do it all the time. We rant online and scream and carry on about the ineffectiveness of governments and how the world's wealth is owned by only a few and we hope that they'll change whilst doing our best to be good people ourselves and do what we can. We hope someone hears us when we shout into the void. Greta shouted into the void, and the world shouted back, and then some. How lucky it was that a particular set of circumstances allowed her the fame it did to get her message across.

There are also those who seriously believe that she's depressing the kiddies. Take it from my authority as a teacher of teenagers is that they were fucking depressed already. Whilst in the golden olden times they could be shielded from the world, in an internet society they cannot. It is there, in technicolour. The floods and the fires and the overcrowding, the homelessness and the poor job prospects, the drug abuse, the polluted rivers, the nuclear power plants shedding waste into the sea, the poverty. It's all there. I can absolutely attest that kids were anxious about their future well before Greta came along.

Teenagers are smarter than you give them credit for. Working with them in the education sector has caused me to meet many that could out-speech, out-essay and out-poet me. They are creative, brilliant bright sparks that should be having a say about how the world works, and where it's going. We have every right to challenge them of course, with intelligent questions and debate. But ask yourself whether you'd be happy if your daughter or your sister was bullied, even if you didn't particularly agree with their agenda. You'd want them to be challenged - they can't get a free pass. But you'd also hope that people would be human enough to do it respectfully and thoughtfully.

This is not to say that she's not meme worthy - memes are important social commentary. But there's a difference between a vicious meme, a lighthearted one, and one that might make you think. I think my favourite one by far is the one where she appears as a time traveller. Genius. There's a big difference between bullying and being thought provoking. What if she is a time traveller sent to warn us? I do hope so. That would be really interesting!

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The bottom line? If you're feeling uncomfortable about Greta, ask yourself why. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable when we're challenged, and that's okay. Just notice that and breath, rather than troll. Be a decent human being. Think about how it takes many, many people of diverse views to make the world a better place. Essentially, that's what we all want, isn't it - a better place? Greta could be wrong about many things, but her heart is in the right place. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Your voice also matters. Hell, you might just have a better plan than hers. But be an intelligent voice, and a kind one. The world needs you, too. It really does.

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Have 4 daughters, they were all teens once.

I don't take advice from teen girls. I agree some people have gone over the top, but they made her a spokes person and now they are hiding behind a child.

Oh, you can't say mean things to a special needs kid.

Okay, but I also don't listen to or care about he causes of special needs kids, so stop using her as a poster child.

There is consensus on changes in climate and some of it can be attributed to humans. However, there is NO consensus on how much impact we are having and what might work to fix it.

In fact we all know the planet has been through many cycles, and Yes I think we should treat it better.

However to use this girl's fear for POLITICAL gain makes no sense.

Yeah the poster childing is a bit dubious, I will concede.

I've never seen her speak, never read a word she has said, except in this post, and will probably never do so. For this reason I can't comment with much validity.

She'll disappear though, like others before her, and those that will surface and disappear in the future. It's a good distraction though...A bit like the smoke and mirrors magicians make use of.

How Dear You! 😍

Eek. Xx

Wonderful post @riverflows this topic is what i have to do with everyday on too of people that should care but do sometimes the least. I am glad you addressed this. At times I even deal with people everyday who try to tell me that climate change isn't real and its all a lie. Stuff like Americans are trying to tax your ..... etc. i mean come on! Green house gases are smelly and im sure they aren't good for us and our environment?! Although i do fail at bringing my point across to such very stubborn people, we have to give it up to greta! Hoods off!! She is amazing!

I think what bothers me the most is the resistance we have to science. It's so stubborn. And how we can be so vitriolic to people who share different viewpoints. We nedd to sit down at the table and find ways to talk to one another.

Hah, good luck with that!

I know right... :p ... I can be so idealistic sometimes haha. X

Hey my friend, I hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas .. thought I'd stop by and share some thoughts :)

However, I had to write this because the attack on Greta is just getting a little bit ridiculous and I'm trying to work out how I feel about that.

Yes, I agree entirely .. in fact even in the post where I pointed out the behemothic control structure that is using her .. I rightly applauded her passion and dedication, the world needs more people like her! Alas, I also fear she is being wilfully misdirected and woefully misunderstands the nature of those she is (ultimately) lobbying for. They even have Thunberg's green contemporaries (like Jamie Margolin) being used to greenwash corporations like Johnson & Johnson .. you know the guys who knew for decades that their baby powder contained asbestos.

Unfortunately, what we are witnessing is corporate takeover of environmentalism .. that is a documentable fact. They are leading the charge for the corporatisation and privatisation of nature and natural resources, and they have scared the children of the world into being their lobbyists. Whilst they're on the cusp of legislating against all that oppose their corporate takeover, if we look back into history we can observe how they always seek to take out any competition, in the early day's of the industrial revolution hemp was considered a genuine competitor/threat to oil dominance (Henry Ford even made a hemp car in the 1930s) .. so the oil barons (many of whom's bloodlines are now interconnected with corporate environmentalism) demonised it and then used their political clout to legislate against it .. if they hadn't done that ..we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Despite the fact that modern hemp cars are shown to be 25% more carbon-efficient than their electric ounterparts and you could power them using just 4% of US landmass, all cars will be electric, all business, home energy, the impending digital cash system etc will require their infrastructure to run it.

In hindsight, oil was simply a stepping stone towards the total energy dominance that is now within their grasp .. all they require is that you pay for it, hence the lobbying children. Over the next ten years, they are going to lobby against your right to use any other form of energy to heat and power our homes .. they want a centralised greenwashed electrical system to power the world .. a system that (through a maze-like myriad of names and funding mechanisms) can (if you're prepared to do your homework) all be traced back to the same control structure. I'll paraphrase Carlin .. It's a big green business club, and whilst you aren't in it .. you are required to pay the elites membership fees.

Who cares if the Bele Monte dam is going to destroy vast areas of the Amazon basin, it's green energy. Who cares if they're chopping down vast swathes of pristine forest to feed into their biorefineries .. it's green energy! Who cares if they're damming the last of Europe's mighty free-flowing rivers, it's green energy. Who cares if they're destroying Chimpanzee habitats in the Congo basin to use children to mine the rare earth minerals for the electric car, it's for our green future! I could go on, but ultimately, if they were serious about saving the planet then they would know that our salvation will not be found within huge destructive greenwashed centralised energy policies (that are ultimately about increasing profit, leveraging control of the sector, controlling the populace and making people pay for the privilege).. but within the balance of giving the power (literally) back to the people .. a true green and balanced future. Alas, it is the people who will pay to prop up the shareholder's profits and watch their friends, family and neighbours become drawn into fuel poverty.

In terms of balance, a contributory factor behind the world's state of disarray is imbalance .. giving the same individuals/institutions (whom are interwoven with the united nations) and have drawn us into (and profited from) this state of environmental degradation, the moral authority to hoard even more resources .. is not going to end well. Do people think they're fighting against these mega-corporations and banking institutions? They're successful for a reason and I can assure you they are all very well poised to reap massive rewards (at the taxpayers expense) from the impending (greenwashed) 4th industrial revolution .. they just want you to pay for it, and with green taxes akin a new form of carbon confession .. the masses will be lining up to unburden themselves of their collective environmental sins.

If it sits outside of people's perception, they don't even need to think of it in conspiratorial terms .. for the world is now a business that is (including human resources) being run as a resource management system, and of course, such an acquisition makes perfect business sense. What self-respecting (pun intended) corporate behemoth isn't going to want to be on the frontlines of the green goldrush? Did I say greenrush? Well, that's exactly what is occurring here, the largest transfer of wealth, land, sea and natural resources in the history of humanity, if people (from both sides of the argument) fail to dig deeper than the headlines, and the individuals we are handed to praise and demonise in equal measure .. fifty years from now, they will own it all and the vast majority of people will not only have cheered them on, they will have funded it .. again if you're cold and calculating that makes perfect business sense. If you follow the momentum of the world (in every sphere of society,farming, business, media, medicine etc etc) over the last 100 years it's also both easy and entirely logical to see the direction it's moving in .. they want it all, and I think they stand a really good chance of getting it. Contemplate the genius, the people the modern environmentalists and anti-globalists fight against on one hand, they lobby for on the other .. it's like someone taking the watch off your wrist with their left hand, whilst they distract you with the right.

I very much agree that teenagers are far smarter than the older generations give them credit for, unfortunately in terms of manipulation/propaganda and social engineeering .. intelligence really doesn't come into it, in fact in an age where intelligence is measured against academia .. I would surmise that the most intelligent/academic have become the most indoctrinated. You could have the most powerful engine/sports car in the world .. but if it's running on flat tyres or if a few elements are out of place .. you're not going very far from the starting block.

In terms of science, many of Greta's (and movements like extinction rebellion) proclamations are born of emotion and have no basis in scientific fact .. even the IPCC have distanced themselves from the in "in twelve years billions are going to die" fear porn .. despite this we have idiots like XR spokesman Rupert Reid telling children they may not grow up, that they have no future .. this isn't science, its an unscientific blatant lie and flagrant propaganda heaped upon the shoulders of children. Here you can find IPCC climate scientist and report author Dr Tamsin Edwards response to Reid's non-factual assumptions.

So whilst I do very much agree with the overall narrative of your eloquent and passionate post .. I just wanted to add my own perspective. Sorry if I went a little off topic or if this sounded like a rant, it really wasn't meant to and I very much respect/value your opinion and the fact that you genuinely care. Much love and a Happy New Year to you .. over and out. X

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I said hello to my partner's uncle, whom I have not seen in years. Within 1 minute of small talk, he simply HAD to show me the most HILARIOUS meme about Greta, which, of course, was absolutely mean and inappropriate to be sharing about a 16 year old girl. I smiled politely, and told him that I admire her passion, and hope my seedlings will have even half as much gumption and grit as she does. Any challenge to the status quo these days seems to be met with irrational violence in thought, word and/or deed. Your post and my encounter remind me of these words by Motherwell - Fighting the Patriarchy One Grandpa at a Time 🌱

@ligayagardener was saying a while ago that there are 3 main types of people. Something like (I don't know if I've got this exactly right, but hopefully you get the gist), activists, builders and followers. We need them all to get something done. The activists bring awareness of the problem, the builders find a way to combat the problem, but without the followers to jump on board and help build that solution, it's going nowhere.

I'd like to think I'm a builder, but the truth is I'm a follower. Greta doesn't interest me that much, because I'm sick of the activism and I don't like either the worship or the bullying of her. I don't think it does anyone any good. I want to move beyond activism and start doing something, but it's hard to know what. So I look to the builders.

I had to laugh at the claims of her being brainwashed by her parents. In my experience, most children of that age are more likely to be following their peers. Whatever they're learning from the internet, school friends and university is going to be way more up to date than what their fuddy duddy, old fashioned, un-hip parents are spouting. They won't appreciate their wisdom until a few more years down the line.

"Graters - often men in power - hate Greta because she has a power over people that they desire themselves. They hate her because she's not afraid to stand up against what she believes in. They hate her because all their lives they have believed in something else, and the power of the Greta bomb is calling on people to believe in something different than rampant capitalism and neo-liberalism that serves only the few."

Lol! You're showing your feminism. 😉
Is it capitalism or corporatism that's the problem? We're quick to take concepts which have come under abuse and tout them as bad, when it's not so much the concept as the way we use it that perverts it. Communism was the quickest to succumb to the abuse of power. Capitalism took longer as companies had to form monopolies to get big enough to control the market and the government. I don't think we will ever find a system which can't be abused for the few to benefit over the many. Socialism seems to be the latest buzzword, but let's not forget, Hitler's was a socialist party. Economy is becoming a dirty word, yet it's merely a description of how a trading system is working. An economy doesn't have to be destructive.

Yeah, but why have labels at all, right? Most theories are great in 'theory', as you say - the concept is good, the use isn't.When they're enacted - Hitler's socialism - things get messy. I don't think we'll find a system that can't be abused either, but then I do get hopeful when people propose new paradigms. Most of the time they're laced with rainbows though, so mass adoption is really unlikely.

I do think parents have an influence - maybe it's the type of parent. Fuddy duddy? Speak for yourself, lol. Peer influence is huge, of course - as is all the other conditioning factors that compel us.

Was listening to an intereting podcast this morning that articulated quite nicely how we only ever read critique of theories, facts, science - and then only from people whose values align with ours. And people are so hell bent on being RIGHT because they feel unsafe and unloved, due to a world that doesn't make them feel safe and valued. So they (we) can be really unwilling to explore the 'other side' with objective curiousity and willingness to be perhaps proved wrong, and admit it, because being 'right' validates them (us). So we're never going to agree with each other, and the world will get increasingly polarised, because we're increasingly insecure and afraid, because the world has made us that way - and we find our little niche identities to validate us further and make us feel loved. I'm not sure I'm explaining it well, but it does make me more personally cautious to swallow what my bubble tells me, and to be curious about what people are saying just in case they're onto something. I think I've gone off topic - I just add three mince pies, it's probably the sugar rush.

Love what you say about looking to the builders. I don't follow Greta either, just admire her in passing, and wanted to know what the fuss was about. I'd rather follow a builder's lead, but totally think the activists have a place as they can push the builders into the right direction - the builders with money and power. So Greta (and followers) being activists, if they can change people's minds, push them to the science, her work is useful. Sadly, as per what I said above (ah, here's my thread!!) fear based tactics aren't going to work. As corny as it sounds, it's gotta come from a place of love. I think we're all fighting for the same thing. When I think of Australian's LOVE of the bush and our natural landscape, it strikes me as crazy we're even arguing about this shit. Keep mismanaging the environmnet and we're gonna have a big dustbowl on our hands and the beautiful country we live in isn't going to be good for anyone, left or right.

Damn, I need to work off these mince pies, keep talking in circles...

Those mince pies sound good. I think I need me some!

Your sugar rush paragraph got me re-reading what I wrote, because I feel like I was recently replying on something similar and trying to define it. It made total sense, even if it did seem to veer of topic top you. Perhaps it was a sixth sense of yours.

You're right, parents do have influence, but sometimes not as much as we'd like to think. Can you tell I'm dealing with a contrary teen at the moment? 😆