30 April 2013

Done with the Bullshit

For a long time I wondered whether I'd outlived my usefulness. Was I taking up space and resources that could go to others who would better used them?

No more.

So many other people are doing so much worse than I in the world that I no longer worry about my relative place in it. I'm no saint, but I'm no sinner either. I'm chaotic neutral, to borrow a D&D phrase, and that's just fine by me.

So fuck everyone. I'll continue to take up my few inches of space, and eat my bit of food and wear my few yards of clothing for as long as I can, and I'll drop dead whenever. Maybe I don't deserve that stuff, but I deserve it a hell of a lot more than the bulk of this population, for certain. I'm not good, but I'm for damn sure okay.

18 April 2013

Human Beings

Nothing I can write can come close to the aptness and perspicacity of Patton Oswalt's response to the Boston Marathon Bombing. If you haven't read it, please read it. If you have, maybe you'll want to re-read it as the investigation drags on, and our patience gets tested again.

I try not to think in terms of "good people" and "bad people" - there's a simple reason for this. Too often we decide who we do not like, and then label them "bad people" after the fact. That way we don't have to wrestle with the humanity of the "bad people" or consider even for a second that as human beings ourselves, we just might be "bad people", too. How many times has someone done something truly heinous – raped a schoolmate, gone on a shooting rampage, etc. – and the friends and neighbors all say, "But he was a good person!" Clearly, in this specific instance, he was not.

I try to think in terms of "good acts" and "bad acts" – and acts for me include choices and attitudes. This way I don't reduce people to simple good and bad categories, but rather assess what they do. A guy who loves his mom and buys her roses every Sunday can still be someone who rapes and murders. We call those latter actions bad.

12 April 2013

Against Being a BOQ

I see the bitter queens, and I can feel in myself that tendency, and I want to do all in my power to resist that. I have a hard fight ahead, because my own mother is a bitter woman, and I inherited some of her bitterness. I also see it often in gay men "of a certain age." Life has handed them some disappointments, and they're irascible. Even the ones who think they manifest a positive contribution in the world come across as bitter, or at least hectoring.

How do I prevent being bitter?

1. Realize I'm entirely optional to society. People may or may not want to have anything to do with me, to listen to me, to have me listen to them, etc. There's not much I can do about that except be present.

2. Realize that life is full of both triumphs and disappointments. And that's okay. Complaining is really a waste of time.

3. Know what I can control, and what I cannot. Take responsibility for what I can control, and learn to accept what I cannot control.

4. Some of the things I cannot control:
  • who finds me attractive;
  • who I find attractive;
  • what all of society does;
  • weather;
  • what's available for me to purchase at the stores;
  • how people react to me;
  • my genes;
  • anyone else's genes;
  • the behavior of others.

5. Take active steps to promote a calm, active, accepting, self-aware and mildly positive state of mind.