Show me somebody that has said that (the title of this post) and I’ll show you a liar.
Everyone cares about others think about them. If you don’t, then you’re a legit sociopath.
In fact, concern for what other people think is the cornerstone of civilization. We wear the clothes we wear because of this. Observe and obey laws. We have fucking language because of this!
But people say these things because they want to shield off their empathy, and by wearing the “i dont care what people think” badge, they believe they’re fooling you. Yet clearly they do care, because they tell you all the time. Obviously they want you to think something about them.
Unfortunately the human psyche just can’t shut off its concern for others, and the ego can’t lock out its concern for what others think of it. Our whole sense of self is based upon our relations to others.
Of course I’m not saying that we should be paralyzed by fear over other’s opinions. Perhaps a more accurate statement would be “I am who I am”, and coming to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to please everybody.
Obviously I’m going through a Bart D Ehrman phase. It’s not because I agree with him most of the time or that I find him a master debater (sorry, had to say it). It’s because he’s the only public intellectual that I can think of at the top of my head that has a genuine passion for teaching.
Because Ehrman’s area of expertise is the Bible, specifically the New Testament and early Christianity, people naturally have strong opinions about the subject. Some people, specifically atheists but a few Christians aren’t exempt, like to use this subject as a way to “trigger” their opponents.
This is a fad on YouTube. The “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), or guys that found fame on the internet during the “alt-Right” hay day (people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, etc.) perfected the science of “triggering” (also known as “owning the libs”) and many online personalities have attempted to emulate it, including leftists with varying degrees of success. It’s a way of weaponizing information.
This phenomenon is not exclusive to discussions on the Bible, religion, and politics, but even movies and fucking geography!
Because “owning the line” is currency on YouTube, this has led to many quaks pretending to be experts littering the platform and distracting us away from those trying to present information in good faith.
Just because an opinion triggers someone, that doesn’t give it more credence. But that appears to be sound logic in some circles. Even if the opinion is true, if presented in a way that’s designed to give offense, that doesn’t make the one with the opinion more noble or virtuous…it makes you an asshole.
The YouTube algorithm sucks sometimes. When you search certain people, you can’t rid their videos from your recommendations.
Bart D Ehrman, the distinguished James Gray professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one such person. Not that I hate Ehrman, quite the contrary. The man knows the Bible better than anyone. But I don’t find the subject of “God’s existence” to be particularly interesting.
Nevertheless, I watched him debate this with a professional snake oil salesman named Kyle Butt. The subject they were specifically debating was “God and suffering”. Ehrman’s fans swear up and down that he won the debate, but no one “wins” a debate. Everyone loses (and, sorry to say Christians, but agnostics/atheists have the much easier argument).
But I’m always intrigued by how the “problem of morality” gets tossed around like a hot potato in a debate. Maybe I’ve spent too much time of Twitter and Reddit forums, but it feels that in our political climate that all sides wish to enter into a “post moral” phase where one can gain points by accusing their opponent of “moralizing”. However, I have never once found this to be convincing.
Mostly because it makes no fucking sense. Even if we move past “good and evil”, new social mores become established which sets up a whole other paradigm of morality.
When viewed in this political climate, the Ehrman/Butt debate seems outdated (it took place in 2014). Butt believed that there are objective platonic forms of morality established by God of the Bible, while Ehrman simply took a sublime, “know right/wrong when I see it” approach. Naturally, I agreed with Ehrman (even though I didn’t find it philosophically consistent).
But I think what Ehrman was trying (or should have) focused on was the power of empathy in understanding the conditions of our fellow humans. From my understanding, empathy is a real scientifically falsifiable phenomenon that everyone (except psychopaths) feels. HOWEVER, the power of ideology does everything it can to undermine this.
Ideology can take many forms, from personal, to political, to religious.
In my view, individualist ideology, propagated by consumer culture, is the most prevalent. In fact, it even lays the foundation for current political/religious ideologies. When viewed in this light, it makes sense why online atheists and the Christian Right are suddenly bedfellows: Christians can rest easy knowing that God is invested in their individual lives, and the fate and suffering of everyone else is in His hands. And atheists become unburdened in believing that there’s a moralistic force binding the universe together, and can instead focus on their own truths.
Either way, they don’t have to show concern over the suffering of their fellow humans.
I guess that’s another reason why everyone wants to jump on the “post moral” train.
xXx is a film that came out 10 years too late. Bruce Willis would have fucking CRUSHED the role of Xander Cage.
Think about it: what if it xXx was directed by Renny Harlin or John McTiernan. Now those guys understand what action schlock is all about.
I don’t know why xXx sucks so much. Is it the script? The direction? Is it it’s leading actor?
Vin Diesel is proof that just because you look the part, doesn’t mean that you can play the part. Honestly, he is quietly one of the worst action stars I’ve ever seen. And it’s difficult to pinpoint why that is.
Is it because he’s not traditionally “good looking”? There are plenty of action stars that aren’t considered “good looking.”
Is it because he can’t act? To be a Hollywood leading man, having the ability to “act” is surprisingly low on the must-have list.
Is it because he doesn’t have a sense of humor? I think there’s something to this. I mean, Vin Diesel does have a sense of humor, but the joke is always on someone else and never on the absurdity of his character or the situation he’s in.
Being the butt of a joke is for other characters. Not for him.
Some action stars can get away with this. Steven Seagal for example. But the thing is that Seagal lacks the awareness to understand that he is the joke. Diesel is too smart for that.
So in xXx, Diesel comes across as a fucking asshole that I’m constantly rooting against.
Whoever came up with the laws of the physics needs to pull their head out their ass. Between being a dad and full time alcoholic, I just don’t have time for anything!
But what would really help me is if some genius would invent something that could read my mind and write down what I think. I don’t give a damn about things called “ethics” or “privacy”. I just hate writing.
But anyways, I’m getting sidetracked with other projects that will hopefully see the light of day (probably won’t). So if you think I’ve been phoning it in lately, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
I always thought that collectively we had two choices: evolve to a Star Trek-like utopia where poverty, disease, prejudice, and war are eradicated—or take Ted Kaczynski’s advice and shun industrialized civilization altogether.
This middle ground that we’re hellbent on occupying is some bullshit though.
Heaven forbid if I call any of this out, however. Apparently my disdain for consumerism, narcissism, the eradication of public trust, and concern for unprecedented technological advancement on our psyche and relationships is no longer fashionable within Left/Right political framework.
It probably never was tbh
Where am I going with this?
I’m as directionless as our collective consciousness.
“Ever wanted to do more?” some commercial by a for-profit university asked me.
Actually, I’ve always wanted to do LESS.
I can’t even watch ASMR without some jackass telling me that I’ve got 40lbs of excess shit in my bowels. Is that something I should be worried about? I already spend enough of my life on a toilet.
“Wanna invest in crypto?”
No thanks. Sports betting seems like a lot cooler way to lose money.
“Use my promo code to get one month free at Manscaped.com!”
Since when did men start shaving their balls?
Do people actually find this shit revolutionary or liberating? Any limp dick bastard with enough cash and a camera can convince enough people that some halfassed product manufactured from a sweatshop in Juarez is worth your hard earned money.
So why don’t you try sending some of that money my way?
Some jackass was pounding on my door at 10:30 in the morning. I opened up and a man stuck out his hand.
“I’m Gay,” he said.
“Gayson Peters. I’m your new neighbor across the street.”
He was wearing an orange button up with khaki cargos and socks pulled all the way up to his knees.
“What do you want from me?” I asked. “Some money?”
“No. I’m inviting you to a barbecue that I’m having this afternoon.”
“Eh, I’m hungover,” I said. “Can’t make it”
“That’s okay, I’ll be serving free alcohol. Just come over and get drunk again.”
“I’ll see you this afternoon.”
I threw on a clean pair of pants (no underwear) and flipped my shirt inside out. I grabbed a bag of pretzels so that I didn’t look like a complete asshole for not bringing anything.
When I arrived, my new neighbor handed me a plate. “No thank you, Gayson,” I said, “I’m just here for the booze.”
“Please, call me Gay.”
I got really drunk. As I was hanging out in the backyard trying not to barf, a woman tapped me on the shoulder.
“Got a light sweetheart?” she asked.
I handed her my lighter. She was about 50 something. Blond hair. Definitely had a smoker’s voice.
“Have you known Gay for long?” she asked.
“Since this morning.”
“I’m his mom.”
“Excuse me,” I said.
I walked up to the hot tub and barfed my guts out. When I finished, I walked back to her.
“Sorry about that,” I said. “So you’re Gay’s mom. What’s that like?”
“He’s an asshole,” she replied. “Got any kids?”
“How old are you?”
“I dunno. Somewhere between 28 and 74.”
She took one last drag from her cigarette then flicked it away. “Well this party is pretty lame,” she said. “Why don’t you come on over to my place and have some drinks? My name’s Lucinda.”
“Sure thing, Lucinda.”
Her apartment was a converted storage unit. It was littered with old Penthouse mags, newspapers, and an endless supply of glue. She stepped out of the shower and walked into the kitchen. In fact, the shower was in the kitchen.
“Sorry that my tits are flopping out,” Lucinda said. “I have no clean towels.”
“That’s okay. I haven’t had an erection in years. Too much prescription meds and internet pornography.”
She seemed to blow a sigh of relief. “Thank god,” she said. “I can’t have sex. Vag is all dried up.”
I poured a drink and raised a toast. “To my dead ass dick!” I said.
We sat down on the couch and I began flipping through the channels.
“Sorry,” Lucinda said. “But the only thing this TV picks up is Designing Women.”
I turned my head and looked deep into her eyes. “I love Designing Women,” I said.
There was some energy between us. We shared a moment.
When Major Dad came on, I had to take a shit. “Do you need any toilet paper?” she asked.
“Nope. Never used it.”
As I blew up the toilet behind paper thin walls, I though that I could spend the rest of my life with this woman.
“I clogged the toilet,” I said.
“Don’t worry about it. It ain’t going nowhere.”
I sat back down on the couch. As we laughed at Gerald McRaney’s shenanigans, I reached out to hold her hand. She rested her head on my shoulder. Then she let out the most disgusting fart.
Then she kicked me in the nuts with her pointed toe stilettos.
As I writhing in pain on the floor, Susan stood over me and said “I’m getting that job you limp dick bastard! Not you, not the board, not anyone can stand in my way!”
Susan stormed off and all my coworkers stood around. “I’m fine,” I said. “She barely knicked my ball sack.”
I crawled back to my office and shut the door. I took the bottle of vodka out of the refrigerator and placed it on my crotch. Bob Dickenburg came in laughing.
“Susan’s a firecracker isn’t she!” he said.
“To put it mildly,” I replied.
“Look, don’t worry about her,” Bob continued. “The board loves your work. You’re definitely getting that job.”
“I better. I’m gonna have to pay for scrotal surgery soon,” I said. I then lifted the bottle of vodka to my mouth.
“Well, we’re gonna announce the promotion on Monday. Go home, enjoy your weekend, and don’t worry yourself over it.”
I nodded to Bob as I swallowed the vodka. I didn’t get much work done that Friday afternoon. I got too drunk.
As I roared my Ferrari back home, almost hitting several motorists, I accidentally plowed my vehicle into a hooded figure. I grabbed my beer and exited the car to check on the person.
The figure laid on the ground, body parts were completely mangled. I kicked his side.
“Hey buddy, are you alright?” I asked.
The figure sat up and snapped his limbs back together. It was disgusting. Finally he stood up and removed the hood.
The man appeared to be blind. I figured that’s why he was standing in the middle of the road. He was ancient, like a warlock.
“You shouldn’t drink and drive,” the man said.
“Oh it’s okay, I’m rich.”
He then lifted his hands to my face and began chanting something in Latin, Greek, or some bullshit I didn’t understand. After standing there for a few moments, he lowered his hands and slowly wondered off.
“You don’t want any money out of my wallet?” I asked.
He didn’t reply.
I finished driving home. I stripped off my clothes, climbed in between the sheets, and fell fast asleep.
When I awoke the next morning, I wasn’t hungover. I also didn’t have rock hard morning wood. Something was amiss.
I sat up in bed and didn’t recognize the room. It was a woman’s room.
A nude man with a rubber mask came crawling in on all fours. He stood up, his partially erect penis inches from my face, and he handed over a cock cage.
“I’ve been a bad boy mommy,” he said.
I stood up and looked in the mirror. And there she was: her tall slender frame, small perky breast, and that stern resting bitch face.
I was Susan.
Or, more precisely, I was in Susan’s body. And presumably she was in mine.
“That fucking warlock,” I thought. “I hope Susan doesn’t look at my penis.”
I looked over to the nude man. “Sorry bro, I ain’t gay,” I said. I then threw on some clothes and sped over to my own apartment, expecting to find Susan in my body.
I stormed into my room, and there was me, or rather Susan as me, sitting prim and proper and drinking coffee.
“Look Susan,” I said, “I know that all of this is weird. But we can undo this. There’s a warlock I know that can put us back into our own bodies. Let’s go!”
“Why would I want to do that?” she, as me, asked.
“Well you’re me. I’m you. You know….”
“But I know that you’re the one getting that promotion. Or rather…I’M the one getting that promotion.”
“Susan, we don’t have time for this shit. We need to be looking for this warlock.”
(S)he took a drink of the coffee and slowly put the cup down. “I’ll cut you a deal,” (s)he said. “I’ll help you find this warlock, but first we should take time to appreciate this situation.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve done fellatio before, sure. But I’ve never had MY dick sucked…” (s)he said.
My heart began to sink.
“Will you suck my dick?” (s)he asked. “Or rather…will you suck YOUR dick?