Monday, April 26, 2010
Do I need to explain, at this late date, my writing modus operandi? Probably not, but just in case...
I have no internet connection at home, so when I write it is never published immediately. I always have time to ruminate. I write, then I read what I wrote. I say to myself, "Wow! That's excellent!" and then I go to bed. When I wake up, I read it again. I then, more often than not, say, "Hmmmmmm. Maybe this isn't as excellent as I thought it was." Then I either re-write or just totally shitcan what I wrote and write something different.
What follows is a ridiculously overblown reaction to some of your comments. I've read it and re-read it, and I fully realize I should shitcan it, but parts of it still tickles me. In addition, I spent about two hours on it and I don't want to have wasted that time. So, I'm publishing it and letting each of you waste about five minutes on it; much more economical. This first section is sort of an apology in advance. Not a single one of your comments warranted such an extremely snotty reaction. Moreover, you're right and I'm wrong. Still, it's way too much fun being obnoxiously self-righteous, so...
I guess that's enough apology (and way too many ellipses.) If you're one of the people I'm jumping on with both feet, you'll enjoy this more if you pretend you aren't.
I had no idea. Really, I didn’t. Had I known, I would have joined your ranks long ago. After all, it makes perfect sense.
The response to THIS PIECE, done for my other blog, was certainly instructive. I posted some reasonably focused photographs (a major triumph for someone of my well-known non-ability with a camera) and added commentary which, while not especially brilliant, was nevertheless entertaining enough to move things along to the end without giving you reason to curse me. As an aside, and to add bits of personality and flavor, I mentioned that the piece had its genesis because I smoke.
Well, that was a mistake. And it’s the last one I’ll ever make, so you folks who felt a need to tell me that smoking will kill me (despite my having said so, in the second sentence of the fourth paragraph, thus – I had assumed - obviating the need for YOU to do so) should now be happy. As a result of your having lovingly hectored me, I have decided to become as you are – perfect.
I know what you’re thinking. Considering how much baggage I have to toss off of my train of bad habits, in order to facilitate speeding it along to my final destination of relative godliness, this seems like an impossibility. However, I have your sterling examples to guide me, and if that isn’t enough, then there’s no hope.
You know what’s funny? I was so unrepentantly imperfect before this, I had no idea that so many of you were without fault and thus qualified to hand out advice on how I should live. That’s the way it is with faulty people, of course. We (I still use that term, for grammatical ease, even though I’ll soon not be included) can’t see the path to perfection as readily as we should (probably because it’s strewn with cigarette butts, chicken bones, empty beer cans, and discarded religious tracts, but I’ll clean it as I make my way towards Nirvana, making it easier for those who follow.)
(It’s the least I can do in return for your beneficence. No need to thank me, since needing thanks for doing good deeds is quite obviously a trait of lesser beings.)
Of course, now that I’m going to be perfect like you, it will be my responsibility (nay – my sacred duty!) to tell all imperfect people how they might improve themselves and attain the same state of grace. Even though, at present, I’m only ON THE WAY to perfection, I’ll waste no time getting started on this part of it. After all, I’ll be imparting joy to others, and that’s certainly a worthwhile endeavor to undertake immediately, despite the work left to be done on my own reclamation from perdition.
Of course, I’ll be quitting smoking; that’s obvious. So, from now on, whenever I see someone else smoking, I’ll walk right up to that person and tell him or her how much harm they’re doing to themselves. A person less perfect than you or I might think that everybody with an IQ over 70 is aware of the harm that smoking causes (since it is written on the side of every package of cigarettes, has been common knowledge for forty years or so, is mentioned on television and radio a few hundred times every day, is the subject of numerous laws and proposed laws, is banned from many places because of the well-known ill effects, is the subject of exorbitant taxation in order to recoup the costs of health care expenditures, and would thus seemingly be impossible to claim ignorance about) but we perfect people know better. We understand that, unless we add our two cents, the smoker will think he or she is free from the possibility of deleterious effects, and so if we don’t ruin what little enjoyment they ARE getting from the thing that will kill them, by making them feel even more guilty about it, we will feel guilty about that, so by all means we should make ourselves feel as though we’re accomplishing something, since what’s the use of being perfect if it doesn’t include a sense of accomplishment?
On to other things. I’ve noticed that none of you eat anything that could possibly be bad for your health, so I’ll stop doing that, too. No more red meat, milk, donuts, mallomars, butter, white bread, cheese, fried chicken, ice cream, Oreos, coffee, sugar, corn syrup, cream, cookies, cake, pickles, salt, trans fats, refined flour, peanuts, Chinese food, unfiltered water, vegetable oils, pancakes, waffles, muffins, torts, jam, jelly, marmalade, crackers, syrups, chutney, gravy, Worcestershire sauce, canned vegetables, processed soups, mercury-laden tuna (and/or dolphin), Froot Loops, lard, pizza, fried fish, here’s where, i throw, in something, that all of, the skimmers, will not see, so they’ll, wonder why, i tell them, to fuck off, in the comments, when they get, self-righteous, and pork. Since none of you eat these things, you’ll never die, of course, and I think that’s something I might like. We’ll have many years to tell the fat people to lay off of them, and then THEY’LL never die, just like us! And we’ll all have eternity together to enjoy eating mealy worms or whatever is left.
Obviously, if one has devoted such attention to not polluting their lungs or guts, the same care should be taken with the brain. After all, without a fully-functioning brain, how can one be expected to become holier-than-thou? I’ll stop drinking beer, immediately. Whiskey, vodka, gin, wine, tequila, absinthe, rum, and all other alcoholic beverages will also be verboten. They kill brain cells!
(Maybe they kill bad brain cells as well as good ones, and the trade is worth it? No, that’s the sort of thinking characteristic of a disordered mind that spends too much time considering improbables; one befouled by reality-altering substances. How silly.)
No drugs of any kind, of course, prescription or otherwise. Sure, some of them alleviate pain, whether physical or mental, but we perfect beings don’t need such crutches. And we’ll be damned if we’ll let any other one-legged spiritual sons of bitches use them, either! We know what’s good for the bastards, and they’ll learn to live with their pain and be better for it! It builds character!
One thing I found especially amazing was the amount of time you devote to exercise. I guess, what with the not smoking, the not eating, the not drinking, the not doing drugs, and the not having sex – I’m just assuming - you have scads of free time to run nowhere in particular. It’s a good thing, I suppose, since running will more quickly get us to all of those people who desperately need our advice. And when they see such visions of untainted unrepentant unbelievably inhuman unworldliness, such as ourselves, jogging towards their smoky, fat, drunk, clogged artery, vile selves, what choice will they have but to listen? Heck, they certainly won’t be able to outrun us. If they’ve attained less perfection than we have, and are less polite, they might try to shoot us, but I’m sure we have a plan to handle such an eventuality. We wouldn’t be perfect otherwise.
About the only thing I don’t understand is how we can justify such an obviously bad for us activity as sitting on our asses in front of a computer. It’s no good for the eyes, contributes to obesity, has a tendency to cause actual physical harm via such things as carpal tunnel syndrome, and sucks for the environment. I’ll figure it out once I become as fantastic as the rest of you, no doubt, but for the present it baffles me.
My friends – and I call you that because you may still be, despite all of the crap above – I know that smoking is bad for me, and I know that you mean well in telling me so. But – and I say this with all possible love – shut the fuck up about it. The painfully obvious point is that we all do something or other that is unhealthy – physically, morally, spiritually, legally – and, in most instances, we already know we’re doing something ridiculous and ultimately harmful. If a person is doing himself harm and is unaware of that harm, sure, maybe you should offer some advice. But, folks, smoking is damned sure not one of those instances. Everybody who smokes knows full well that a hideous disease and unbearable pain may lie just around the corner from their ashtray. All you’re doing by reminding them of that fact is making their present less enjoyable. You are making yourselves feel good, via the mistaken notion that you’re doing an act of love by offering advice and/or admonition, but it does absolutely nothing for the person you’re advising or admonishing other than to make him or her more miserable. Their future will be nasty enough. Leave them be to enjoy the now, and trust to the fact that they already know.
[I went on in this vein for another seven paragraphs. About the only thing you have to be truly thankful for in all of this is that I've deleted the rest of it.]
As I said at the beginning, though - you're right. I should quit smoking. I'm seriously considering it. And I'll continue to seriously consider it until one of you, in the comments to this piece, tells me again that I should do it. Then, being the contrarian prick that I am, I'll light up another smoke even if I don't especially want one at the moment.
Soon, with more better stuff (if I don't come down with six different kinds of cancer tomorrow, since God seems to take a special delight in making us become what we have readily mocked.)