April 2006

Do you hate anyone? Does anyone hate you?

I don’t think anyone hates me. I have a co-worker I don’t get along with, but I really don’t think he hates me. I certainly don’t hate him. I can imagine some customers hate me while I’m talking to them, but I can’t imagine they hold onto it for very long afterward. Afterall, as the person getting yelled at, I usually have more of a reason to hate them, but it’s really not worth the investment.
I’m pretty sure some people hated me in High School, but I that was years ago, and if they remember me at all, it’s probably cooled a great deal. I know I don’t hate anyone.

My sixth grade teacher hated me, and I hated him. Then he punched one of the women he worked with and was moved to an administrative position. He later turned out to be a pedophile. I feel like the hate there was pretty well validated. Even so, at this point I’m more disgusted than hateful.

I hate my Upstairs Neighbor, but I don’t hate the person that lives upstairs. The Upstairs Neighbor is really just the bad dance music turned up so loud I can’t hear my music, the stomping, the hammering, the dropping of heavy objects and the fighting. Honestly though, I only hate the collection of observable behaviors. Afterall, there could be scientists swapping out the person upstairs once a week, but doing the same thing. Because of that, I can’t really say I hate the person. But I sure do hate the idea of Upstairs Neighbor.

That’s similar to how I feel about politicians. Like, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney really do seem to be assholes, not just in terms of their politics, but their personal behavior. But again, I don’t really know them. I hate their actions, and I hate most everything I know about them as people, but do I really hate them? How well do you have to know someone before you can hate them?

Here’s an extra paragraph or so.

I have never been a fan of abject poverty. This might seem obvious to the point of being redundant, but the portrayal of squalor seems a bit romanticized by our culture. Often, in books, films or plays, it is depicted as somehow rarified and ennobling. These great men and women, willing to suffer for art/love/principles. Or the traveling youth, gaining a new world view by living with cheap food and lodging. In my experience abject poverty is not so much a noble choice as is it is where you end up when you’ve made several other decisions that weren’t so much noble as really really bad. The changes to your world view are generally relegated to your ideas about when and where peeing is ok. In general, I feel that this new viewpoint is wrong.

It’s not the people I’m bothered by, it’s not even the poverty. I myself have been quite poor at several times in my life. For example: now. It’s the abject. Do you know what the word means? It’s kind of like “extreme” or “absolute” or “TO THA MAXX!”, except it can only be used to describe horrible things. Being in abject poverty is not something that happens to a person. It is something they do to themselves.

Honestly, it’s easy for a homeless person to find alternatives. There are dozens of places with warm, comfortable chairs and books to read. Most libraries turn a blind eye when the homeless decide to spend a day inside, so long as they’re not disrupting the other patrons. There are food stamps, and drop in centers, and day labor facilities. The really abject poor are in that situation because they are unwilling to do even the minimum of things necessary to keep themselves clean and fed. Anyone familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is aware that at the most basic and essential needs, the very bottom of the pyramid, are things like the ability to dispose of waste, the ability to regulate body temperature and to be somewhat hygenic. When a person gives up on those, they’ve given up on everything.

I think the problem with how cruel children are is that they are also too stupid for it to be funny.

Han Solo Vs. Indiana Jones

There is a good chance you will find this post boring. It is about artistic and cultural movements. If this sounds like something you don’t care about, please skip to the end for an amusing list.

First, this is a topic that really deserves time and effort far beyond what I’m about to give, and for that I apologize. I am basically collecting some of my thoughts here, and I’m presumptuous enough to publish it. With that:

For me, the most compelling concept relating to postmodernity is the idea that we have reached a point in history in which change is so constant, that it’s impossible to accurately determine when a change has begun or ended. With that in mind, there is still a feeling in the air right now that we are moving away from postmodernism, or at the very least, the definition is changing. What happens when a way of thinking brought on by constant change begins to change itself?

In general, this is identified as a move away from the cynicism and detachment that has been so prevalent. An attempt to bring back sincerity. Some have called this a return to modernism, which seems overly simplistic to me. The lessons and tools found in postmodernism aren’t lost, they’re simply being put to different use.

In many ways it’s a question of faith. When faced with the unknowable, and aware that certainty can never be acheived, there is a growing desire to choose hope over despair. That’s a very important distinction to me. Not hoping blindly, but having an honest understanding of the nature of things, and making an informed choice.
OK, now for the list.

Things that I appreciate both ironically and sincerely, simultaneously.

  • Cardigan Sweaters
  • Panda-Z
  • Shit-Kickin-Liberal-Rednecks
  • Jason X
  • Calling my wife “Wife”
  • Super Heroes
  • Dinosaurs
  • Disney’s Aladdin
  • Sci-Fi Paperbacks
  • Metal songs about Dragons
  • Actually, just Dragons in general
  • Doctor Who
  • The Back to the Future Trilogy
  • Any hip hop about food
  • Death Race 2000
  • Brandon Sheffield
  • Arguments about Star Trek
  • Bill Nye
  • Yiddish

One thing you don’t see often enough in Seattle is Shit-Kickin’-Red-Neck-Liberals. The idea might sound insane, but if you’ve ever met one of these people, you know it’s real, and it’s glorious. They say things like

Fuck yeah I support gay marriage. Faggots oughta have just as much a right to marry as anyone else. Them faggots is the same as me and you, although sometimes like any marriage they have problems as well, and sometimes need help as well, and that’s why getting crisis counceling for troubled marriages is helpful in these cases.

It’s amazing how they’re able to say something that most any progressive will agree with completely in terms that horrify almost everyone. I get all warm inside.

Man, cocksuckers in Washington is wastin’ my money killin’ a bunch o’fucking A-Rabs, and back home we ain’t got no health care.

Can you imagine if these guys ran the Democratic party? The beautiful campaign slogans?

Bitch, that pigfuckin’ senator ah yours spent the last 6 years Cornholin’ you every time Dubya gave a nod. You wanna keep gettin’ rode raw fer the next 6 years you go right on ahead and vote him back in.