Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crazy? Who's crazy?

Lets pause for a moment, and take a brief trip to imagination land...

Imagine me. A 31 year old man, sitting on his couch. Everyday I eat meals, and go to work, and read things, and talk with other people. I have a girlfriend who I'm about to marry. I own a cat. Every single day, I spend some time by myself, reflecting on my memories, processing new information, and trying to objectively look at the world around me. Every once in a while I try to write some of my thoughts down. It looks like I'm going to be offered a very significant promotion at work soon, but ultimately, I dream of opening a business someday.

Can you imagine it? Pretty easy to see? Nothing shocking or unusual right? Let's keep going...

The same 31 year old man. I smoke a lot of Pall Mall cigarettes. A few nights a week, I consume alcohol. I used to drink more, but I'm tiring of it as I age. Plus I work six days a week, so there just isn't time. Now I snack on a lot of pickles. I'm hypoglycemic, so sometimes when my sugar gets low, I smash a slice of wheat bread into a ball and eat it in one bite. I bite my fingernails and wiggle my big toes constantly. I also have a sleep disorder. I walk around and say crazy things while I'm asleep. Sometimes I light cigarettes or piss in the kitchen trash can while totally unconscious. I once kept a craw fish alive in a small tank on my kitchen counter for six months. Often it would escape and fight with the aforementioned cat in the middle of the night. I like to feed the squirrels in the park behind my condo. The sight of squirrels eating sunflower seeds relaxes me. My neighbor hates the squirrels, and I slightly resent her for it.

Are you still following along? Can you envision me still? I seem a bit more unusual now, right? But would you say that I'm crazy? Probably not I imagine. Perhaps you now see me as odd, but I doubt you'd call me insane....

Let's push it one step further...

Now, suppose that I told you that a unicorn lives in my extra bedroom. If you want to see it, too bad, because this unicorn is invisible. In fact, I can provide no physical evidence that it exists. Yet I assure you, it is very real.

Furthermore, I can actually communicate with this invisible unicorn. I talk with it every day of my life. While I can't actually hear it speak words, the unicorn speaks to my heart. I bring most every decision or trouble in my life to the unicorn, and somehow, in a way that is indescribable, the mythical beast tells me what to do. The unicorn helps me decide what jobs to take, or how to best deal with financial hardship, and even who to vote for. It really is pretty incredible. I've been living this way for so long, that I now realize that I would be nothing without it's presence.

Are you still trying to picture it? By now you think I'm a full blown lunatic, right? You probably would like to know if I've ever been diagnosed as schizophrenic, correct? I can imagine your faces now, looking at me as if you're worried about my well being....

How dare you! You assert that I'm insane? You ask if I have any other invisible associates? Of course not. That would be absurd!

Hold on for a second now, hold on. Give me a minute to explain myself. In fact, you may be interested to hear what I have to say...

I have to share something with you. The unicorn demands that I do so.

The unicorn wants you to know that it loves you. It loves all of us. Actually, the unicorn created you. It created me also. It created EVERYTHING, merely 6,000 years ago. All you have to do is truly believe in it's existence, and you too can have a relationship with this magical horse. I know this probably seems pretty confusing to you, but don't worry. I have a book that will help you. The unicorn's magic book. The unicorn didn't actually write it, of course, rather myself and a few dozen others did. It goes without saying, however, that the unicorn closely supervised the books construction.

What? You're going to stop reading this now? Wait a second! Hold on! Just one more thing. You see, you could be in danger!

Look, the unicorn loves you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. But here's the thing... If you don't turn your entire life, will, and existence over to the white-horned horse at this very moment, the unicorn, in it's infinite wisdom, will wait until you die, and then it will subject you to an eternity of suffering that exceeds human comprehension! It's true. It's right here in the book.

I know what your thinking. You want to know how a horse that loves us all so much could ever send most of us into eternal agony, right? I don't have an answer. You just have to believe that the unicorn is far more intelligent than we are. Just accept it. The unicorn doesn't like to be questioned, OK?

All the unicorn asks for in return is your undying allegiance, a solemn vow to share the it's message with every human you meet, and ten percent of your income. That's gross, not net income. Oh, and if perhaps you could just show up once or twice a week down at the local....

Oh, really? You just aren't going to read anymore? Fine then. I've done what the unicorn asked of me. Out of the goodness of my heart, I'll still beseech the unicorn to forgive you, but I can't make any promises. After all, what more do you need? The unicorn has provided you with plenty of chances friend...

Somehow I suspect that if the unicorn was a man, and he lived in the sky rather than in my spare bedroom, you people could see me as the sane and rational human that I am.....

Things I've been accused of: Today...

People keep telling me that I'm offensive. They tell me I'm rude and that I get angry too easily. What follows is a list of my behaviors that some deem to be inappropriate, accompanied by my my personal justifications for my actions.

1) So called "road rage". There really is a laundry list of things I'm criticised for in this department. Constantly honking at people. Screaming at people. Obscene gestures. Intimidating the elderly. Swerving my car at other drivers. Extreme aggression. Frequent violations of state and municipal traffic laws.

Many of these stem from my frustration with perceived stupidity of other drivers. I fully understand that the average housewife or high school boy might not possess the driving skills or sense of urgency that I do. Some people are just more timid than I am. Some are too young to know the unwritten rules, and some are too old to keep up anymore. That's fine.

Yet some things are just too much for me to tolerate. Driving 10mph below the speed limit is 20mph too slow. Failing to notice the left-hand turn arrow for three seconds earns a scolding. I need to see a blinker before I see break lights. Don't even dare pull in front of me if you aren't traveling as quickly. At bare minimum, other peoples driving mistakes are an inconvenience to me, in the worst case scenarios, they endanger my life. That makes your driving habits my business. I have two rules: Pay attention, and Move your Ass! Failure to obey either will result in aggression on my part.

Traffic laws? Those are for idiots and cowards. Speed limits are a good suggestion for bad drivers. Traffic lights are an insult to my intelligence. I'm a grown man. I can determine for myself when an intersection is safe to pass through. No right on red? What am I? A child?

2) I'm not tolerant of children in public. I don't want to hear crying in a restaurant. I don't like children sprinting around in the grocery store. I wasn't allowed to do any of that shit when I was a child, so no one else should be either.

The world is full of idiots and shitty parents. It isn't my job or social responsibility to tolerate other peoples unruly children. These kids aren't nearly as special as their parents would like to convince us they are. Half the time they are moronic, loud, and ugly. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree most of the time...

3) I park in the space reserved for "New and expectant mothers".

There are four reasons for this. First, pregnancy isn't a handicap. Secondly, it's perfectly legal. Third, most Americans could use the exercise anyway. And finally, I'm not the one who got you pregnant. It just isn't my problem.

4) I scoff at flags and all forms of nationalism.

Look people, flags aren't magic. They're merely cloth rectangles with random patterns on them. They symbolically represent the concept of a nation, which is also idiotic. What is a border exactly? Isn't it just an imaginary line? The entire idea of a country is nothing more than a man-made device used to keep more resources for one group while depriving another.

And why would anyone be proud of their national origin? It's the equivalent of being proud of your hair color, race, or shoe size. If you did absolutely nothing to earn your status, why would you be so filled with pride? It's sheer nonsense.

Accordingly, I also refuse to engage in the mindless worship of the military that everyone else seems so fond of. This always seems to touch a real sore spot with the flag-loving dolts that surround me. People loose their minds if I even mention the topic.

The truth is this though. The military is composed of volunteers who are financially compensated for what they do. Don't try to convince me that I need to pay homage to a group of employees who do the bidding of plutocrats who in no way represent me. If you want to believe in the bullshit your fed, that's fine. But I'm not buying it. It should be mentioned however, that the level of worship the public heaps on soldiers is dangerously out of control. A public that doesn't question the motives and behavior of those who put military force into action is a public that would still throw roses at soldiers returning from duty in a concentration camp. Historically, mindless allegiance most always ends in atrocity, and if you look around, you'll notice an alarming quantity of mindless people.

5) My general lack of social grace.

By no means do I go out of my way to be rude to people. I don't generally bite my tongue though either.

If I think someone is being a dick to the cashier at the pharmacy, I call them out. If I find someone to be a bigot or simply a bad person, I have no other choice but to speak. If someone treats me in a manner that I find to be unjustifiably disrespectful, I'm most likely going to attempt to verbally humiliate them.

Sometimes I just don't like people. So I just avoid them entirely. I have family members that I haven't seen in years. There have been co-workers that I don't even acknowledge. I refuse to waist precious time on people who I find to be detestable, and I have no urge to hide my feelings.
I don't feel that any of this makes me a dick, I think it just indicates that I'm honest.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I am offensive and rude.
Either way though, I don't foresee any behavioral changes on the horizon. I'm comfortable in my own skin.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Not-So-Prodigal Son's Return...

I've been gone for quite a while now. Frankly, I haven't had the motivation to write. I'm not working in a kitchen anymore, and I'm entirely sick of arguing about real world issues, so just like that, the blog dried up and turned to dust.

I've considered abandoning the blog all together, and returning to the simple life of scribbling short poems and essays on sandwich wrappers and old envelopes before throwing them out of the car window on the interstate; all the while fantasizing that somehow, someday, some fringe person would collect some of them and track me down using the addresses on the envelopes. In my fantasy, I would be discovered once I was an old and crippled man, maniacal and bitter, yet I would quickly become an icon in the subculture's literary world. Just when public interest was about to peak, I would die, leaving my legacy forever shrouded in mystery and confusion. 100 years later, Freshmen Lit students would sit around a classroom somewhere in the Midwest, and one would passionately argue the benefits of post-modern leftist isolationism (or some other nonsense) based on my classic essay "The queen of hearts, a one-eyed jack, and the ace up my sleeve", which I originally wrote with a black crayon on several Taco Bell napkins while under the influence of hallucinogens in 1998.

Take that Kilgore Trout!

So anyhow.... I'm going to try to write again. I can make no promises, however, about what the content of future writings will contain. I'm just going to cut loose, stop trying to not offend people, and call it as I see it. If any of my friends, family, or regular readers are offended, then so be it. I'm no longer concerned with potential social consequences.

Anything less is a waste of my time...