Social Coercion

We’re all acting, really. A bunch of fucking posers. Humans are always actors on the social stage. Society demands that we appear to be a certain way. There are latitudes of accepted behavior, but anything outside those boundaries will be punished with disapproval. Anyone who shows their true self will be hounded, made laughable, ostracized. Social coercion: there is no escape, unless you want to become a hermit.
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Only when we are alone, can we truly be ourselves. Then, the thin veneer of polite consideration can be cast aside. Like old, rotting tapestry it peels down and falls to the floor under its own weight. Then, social mores and customs lose their power over us, and we can start to actually think.
If we are extremely lucky we may find someone on this world, a single person, who loves us so much that we can be ourselves in their presence. But when we do, we usually find ourselves being considerate after all. It’s ingrained in us… we are afraid to hurt that which we love. We can’t think clearly, because we are thinking of what our loved ones might think.
On the other side of the coin: I am happy I don’t have to be exposed to the ugly souls of some of my fellow porcupines. Thank God for social coercion. That bastard I see now and again at the corner bar, the sleek, normal-looking one… he does not show his true nature, because it is not allowed. I am very thankful for that. The only thing preventing him from doing… whatever the fuck it is he really wants to do, is social coercion.

Do Not Offend

One should not offend, except in the service of freedom. Where is the border there? Oh, I forgot, you may also offend in the service of satire. Whoa, baby, in the service of satire? What you say? Can one serve satire? Oh, yes, my little porcupines, one can. Satire is such a flexible little beast… almost anything is allowed in the name of satire. Even the most tasteless things.
But I try not to be tasteless. Mostly. I might make fun of God, whichever God you prefer… but probably not to your face, out of common civility (or out of fear of being punched). Faced with you and your beliefs, I will not ridicule them. I might spar with you a little, if I am bored, but otherwise I will leave you in peace with your beliefs.. Actually I find gods quite nice, in their quaint little way.
The funny thing is, I still say „Jesus!“ when something surprises me or „oh my God!“ when I am shocked, and so on. I’ve grown up an atheist, but nevertheless I am woven in to the Christian net.
My Son is an atheist as well, but his religion teacher says he knows more about the Bible than any of his classmates. Yeah, so why is that, you fucking Christians? Because the atheists tend to think about it all, for Christ’s sake. Because they know a little bit about what stands in the fucking Bible, because they actually (well, some of them at least) read the fucking Bible, because they have actually thought about God, and what the existence of God, true or not, actually could mean. My son’s classmates say: I believe in God. But they probably haven’t spent a single thought on the subject. My son knows about God. He knows about many gods, Christian, Greek, Roman, Norse… he hasn’t learned much about the Eastern gods yet, but he will. If he wants to believe in whatever, so be it. He is free to choose.
If I seem offensive to some people, that’s fine. All I am doing is exercising my freedom of thought and expression. There are times when one has to be offensive, in order to rattle people out of their preconceptions, and that is what satire is about. When your freedom to be offensively satirical is curtailed by threat of reprisal or death, that is bad news for you and your society as a whole. It’s all part of intolerance, of trying to dictate what people must believe. In the end, we have a simple equation: satire = freedom.
Listening to Helter Skelter from the Beatles.

Power

One of the basic inconsistencies of democracy is that only people who want power (or money, as a means to power) will become candidates. There are exceptions. There are people in politics who are truly altruistic. But they are so few and far between that one can practically discount them in the statistical sense. Many people who’s goals seem altruistic, or at least „good“, are still power-people. They want to rule you, and God help you if their goals aren’t congruent with yours.
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If you must be ruled, it is better not to be ruled by people who want power. A person who wants power is simply interested in exercising and furthering that power, not in serving the people, which is what elected political officials should supposedly be doing in a democracy.
Like all big political systems run by human society, democracies tend to become corrupt over time. Because humans are the crazy little aggressive curious apes that they are, they will exploit any system for their own individual benefit. And how do you expect a system they created themselves to resist that? I don’t see any way out of this contradiction. It’s a basic and inherent flaw in all human political endeavors.
It makes me think we really shouldn’t be living together in such large numbers, since there seems to be no really effective way we can govern the human need for acing the other fellow out, to control the human penchant for outwitting the immediate environment. Since we no longer live in a natural environment, since we have made/become our own separate environment to some extent, in which often the only opponents are other humans, this survival skill is exercised on other humans. Not exactly conducive to systems that truly have the interests of society as a whole in mind, or to protecting the rights of the individuals and minorities against the majorities in said society, is it now? It’s almost as if humans simply weren’t built for that.
I don’t think you can actually find a truly honest candidates for high office. There is nobody who hasn’t made deals on the way up, it’s a given, they wouldn’t be where they were if they weren’t hand in glove with corruption. They are where the money is, and have been there for some time, before ever being seriously considered as candidates. If they were at some time honest, you can be sure they have long since been brought to fall by then.

End of the Rope

Or tether. Ever come to the end of your tether? Life is hell, really, no shit, and you just don’t know how you are going to get through one more minute of it. And you gasp and waver… because it hurts inside. It’s a physical feeling, I know. You feel like a prize-fighter who’s playing the ropes, and you’ve been hit once too often, and you’re not quite sure if you’ll survive the fight. That moment of doubt… and at that moment you get one full in the face. You’d like to lie down and die, but you force yourself to stand. You’ll win yet, you say to yourself.
Thomas Jefferson said, if you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on, but I say: there is always more rope, so cut yourself some slack. Let some more rope out, for Christ’s sake… give yourself some room. Give the poor horse some reign. Go get drunk. Scream. Sob. Go out in the middle of the night, lie down on the sidewalk, and observe the fucking stars. Most likely, no one will even notice it, and if they do, what the hell.
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A while back I got so drunk at a party of distant neighbors that I subsequently, on the way home, threw down one of the big caution signs surrounding the road work on the corner of my street. Four big signs, anchored with huge weights… I had a great old time rocking them back and forth until one cracked to the ground. I cut myself some big time slack there. Do you think anyone noticed or cared?
If anyone did notice they probably said: crazy American, he’s up to no good, as we said he would be when he moved here twenty years ago; and now, just when we though he might fit in after all… never did like the bastard, aye. Ah, well, never mind. Gertrud, bring me another bier, would you? Or something to that effect.
It wasn’t my fault, really… factor one: too many shots of tequila (with salt and slices of lemon, urged on me by the neighbors nice little wife), factor two: my girlfriend at the time (she wasn’t there, but her influence was –the perceptive neighbors wife noticed it, she saw my need– see this entry, factor three: … me. I guess it was my fault after all. But hey, I was just cutting me some slack bro, ya gotta unnerstan’ that.
A society that can’t tolerate you cutting yourself some big time slack when you need it is not a society that is worth living in.
So, you see, the rope has no end. It just keeps on getting worse, haha!

Save the Silent Cynic

Oxymoronic, that is, me writing about being a silent cynic. I really should just shut up, and keep my cynical views for myself. But obviously, in this day and age of fucking blogs, someone has to speak up for the silent. So I will be the poor fucking victim, I will make the bloody sacrifice, and speak.
So, the willing reader might ask, why should we save the silent cynic, what function does he serve, what the fuck does he do? The unwilling reader has already stopped reading, so we won’t trouble ourselves any further with him or her as the case may be. Oh, but there is then the reader who isn’t quite sure yet… well, read on, you’ll see soon enough if you’ve got the gumption to keep going.
So, where was I? Ah, the function of the silent cynic in our society, yes. First and foremost his function is (isn’t there a nicer, more intelligent word than “is” I could use here?) to be silent. But, through his silence he is not tacitly consenting to a damned thing, no, he is very patently making plain his disgust with mankind and all things in general. Through his refusal to say a damned word about what he thinks he is blatantly crying out his absolute negation of the sovereignty of the non-thinking assholes of this world.
By the way, I am listening to the song I Put a Spell On You, as rendered by Nina Simone. I dislike Nina pretty consistently, but this song, well, she does it right.
So… God, how I hate it when I continually start paragraphs with the same word. It’s something all the English teachers I ever had have tried to exorcise: to no avail. Oh well, fuck it.
So… what do silent cynics gain by their behavior? Not a damned thing, which confirms them in their estimation that humankind does not understand them or, for that matter, anything else. One more reason to be silently cynical. Vicious circle. Recyclable behavior patterns. Very efficient. Practically the greens of the philosophical world, or something.
By the by, I am now listening to Kaukapol, from 17 Hippies, a great band from Berlin. When I hear this song I have to drum on my tummy so hard my landlord hears it on the floor above, and if you think that’s just because the walls are so thin, well, the walls and floors are so fucking thick that my WLAN often can’t reach his repeater through them.
So… haha. So, you little fuckers, you little… twits. This little silent cynic is signing off for today, for the moment, to go and get even more drunk and think his little silent cynic thoughts all alone in cynical silence.