Monday, November 30, 2009

#11 Liking Stuff

I get a lot of flack for being a hater. Or a hay-tah, or whatever the insufferable pronunciation is these days. I prefer to think of myself as a hateur, but who cares?

See, there's a lot of stuff I just don't like but it seems like, in toto, if you don't like more stuff than you do like, people start to notice and tell you that you just don't like anything, which isn't true at all, you tell them, there's plenty of stuff you like, you tell them and mean it, it just doesn't happen to be the same stuff they like, you say, or that most everyone else seems to like -- or pretends to like because that's what everyone else likes -- and so yeah, if you're sitting at some restaurant and the price correlates more to decor than food or you're in a movie theater being lectured to by sycophants or you're even at home staring at the TV hoping against hope simply to be entertained rather than subjected to so much human offal and bile, you're pretty much going to react in the only way you know how: by acknowledging that you don't really like the restaurant or the movie or the show or whatever for all the specific reasons that they're terrible.

And but see the thing is that the world really is really filled with a lot of really crappy stuff, really, that you're just pretty much constantly bombarded by and yes, of course, you know you'd be happier if you liked all of it but you just can't bring yourself to like stuff you don't like and what's worse is that then, the people who are able to manage it and enjoy the things that you don't and are actually able to achieve a level of happiness that is closed to you, these people insist on rubbing salt into the experience by deriding you as a hater.

And you hate that.

Because you like several things. Good things just not bad things...really you just differ on the distribution is all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

# 10 Bacon

Ok, so I'm torn about this one, because I, like most of you, really love bacon. It's just delicious. What's more, there's sacrilege written all over it; sacrilege against the health-crazed vege-nazis, tacit acknowledgement that halal and kosrhut laws are just anachronistic nonsense perpetuated by the stasis upon which the power-structures of those religions depend. Bacon's as much a symbol of defiance as a foodstuff. Think of the hordes of chubby faithful straining to outdo one another in proto-baptist fashion as Emeril bams pork-fat into his roux. I get it, I do, and I feel the same way, but there is something a bit unnervingly cultish about it. I mean we all ask our vegan and vegetarian friends, "yeah, but I mean, what about bacon? don't you miss bacon? How can you live without bacon?" and almost invariably, even they will tell you, "Oh, well yeah, I mean, listen, bacon's great..." etc. etc. etc.

Which is just to say that I think bacon's become one of those things you're technically not supposed to not like. When you see some super-skinny lettuce-nosher waxing rhapsodic about bacon, doesn't it make you kind of what to slap her in the mouth and say, "right, you love bacon, sure you do, you love it so much, clearly, given that you weigh ninety-eight friggin' pounds. Give it a rest."

There's just something so, I don't know, extroverted, about people's insistence of their love of bacon that fills me with distrust and skepticism. And I'm as guilty anyone. I told my wife when we got engaged not to make me choose between her and bacon, because, of course, I would choose her, but I would resent her for it and never forgive her really because I mean this is bacon we're talking about and man alive do I ever love that delicious bacon.

That's freaking retarded.

I guess what I'm saying is, yes, bacon is great, but just calm down about it already and don't protest too much because it's kind of poseurish and over-the-top. Eat your bacon. Eat the crap out of, I don't care, but calm the frak down and stop congratulating yourselves about it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

#9 Hiking and/or Camping

You're not supposed to not like hiking or camping; it's getting right up in there with nature and being natural and exploring and sleeping in the wondrous beauty that is the natural world.

But, I don't know, nature makes me uncomfortable and I kind of think that's the natural response. Look at most every creature in the wild, they're all basically terrified of anything that moves. As well they should be, because they're probably either close to starving or close to being some starving creature's dinner. The flora's nice, but you don't really have to sleep in it or trudge 10 miles uphill to get that, do you? My people have a word for hiking: it's called "shlepping" and believe you me we don't mean it all happy-like.

Hasn't the whole project since the beginning and we started to get smart and figure this stuff out been a pretty continuous effort to shut out the random perniciousness and flat out filth of Mother Nature? Haven't we been continuously applied to the task of figuring out ways to withstand and cordon ourselves off from the earth because our experience has taught us that we're a lot better off that way? Don't get me wrong, I love going to parks and setting up a nice picnic in a grassy lea and gasping in rapturous delight as lo! a sweet antelope comes bounding along to the music of the trees sighing in pleasure from the wind's dear caress as much as the next guy, but do I really need the shlepping and the sleeping with the bugs in the dirt on the rocks without the plumbing and the cooking on the fire and the freezing or the sweating and the overall dearth of chairs or couches or air
conditioning to enjoy that stuff? I can drive to some nature or go to a nearby park and set up a picnic blanket for a nice couple of hours and then pack up and go home to my shower and bed and fridge and air conditioner and electricity and bookshelf and sofa. We have brought millennia of ingenuity to bear on the problem and, outliers notwithstanding, the structurally sound, safe, climate-controlled, cushioned, be-toileted, insect-and-dirt-free (at least as far as we are capable) have won the day.

Which makes the whole camping and hiking thing seem, I don't know, kind of forced right? I mean don't you get the sense whenever you're camping or hiking that everyone's always trying to outdo one another in their insistence of how awesome the camping or hiking is and so you feel obligated to stifle that part of you that wants to bitch about what a frigging shlep this mountain is, or how much you'd give to sit in a nice armchair with a cup of hot chocolate and a book like Watership Down (because there's nothing wrong with enjoying nature from a distance, in comfort, like Bilbo) or how you can't sleep because you're absolutely sure that as soon as you doze off some lithe and enterprising spider is going to have its way with your ear-hole? Doesn't their insistence feel like they're trying to convince themselves of something and make you feel like you're not supposed to contradict them? It's environmental fascism and it needs to end here, buster. Hakuna Matata.