Monday, March 28, 2011

This is not a terrorist manifesto

There is nothing new about the appalling state of quote-unquote "modern" society. We're too everything. Too materialistic, too self-involved. Too willing to distract ourselves from our actual problems by pretending to care about the problems of others. Too depressed, and subsequently, naturally, necessarily, depressing. We're depressing the shit out of each other on a daily basis. Too predatory, too wiling to play the victim. Too analytical. Too neurotic. Too utterly and completely obsessed with narrowing down just exactly what we "are". Too nervously searching for and frantically promoting our "selves" while attempting to appear casual about the entire thing.

But as you are aware, none of this is new. We now live in a decades- or even centuries-, millenia-long era in which more or less every idea has been thunk. The radical periphery are edging them/ourselves into mainstream ways of thinking. Also not new. Without this exact social phenomenon there would be no social progress, which you may or may not deem a good thing. The main problem now is that we are running out of battles to fight. Everyone worth knowing is aware that most of the -isms are bad. Even historically divided subjects have found socially acceptable moderate paths. Having an abortion is largely considered an unfortunate solution to a grey-area problem that some people choose to make but one which none of us are allowed to judge. Which you'd realize is fine, if you'd be willing to accept that you have no idea what the answer to the universe is. The whole deal of whether or not the shapeless cluster of cells is a Person the second it begins to multiply upon itself appears to be the most divisive issue.

Most of us worth knowing have agreed to agree that one ought not to intentionally discriminate against, harrass, molest, judge, restrict, disallow, legally invalidate, ostracize, or prematurely abort any sentient being, even if is an animal, even if one is not a vegetarian and happily, hypocritically, eats the hairy/hooved/scaly/feathered/beaked bastards on a regular basis. But the question about the fucking zygote, when will mankind ever know?

(However, one might compare a zygote to a malignant tumor, the main similarity being that both multiply upon themselves without end until they have successfully colonized the host; the main difference being that one may eventually grow into a President and cost your society billions of dollars and get you killed abroad whereas the worst the other will do is cost you a few thousand before killing you in the comfort of your own home/hospice.)

Those of us really worth knowing--and notice that I have now significantly reduced the number of people to whom I was previously referring--are aware that without action, most of the being-on-the-same-page-at-all-costsness that is running rampant in modern society is largely a bunch of blah-blah yakkity-yak. We are aware that it is all one big circle jerk invented expressly for the purspose of heightening the effects of drugs and alcohol. ("Oh my god, you're so right, no, let me add to that, no, you're so right. Oh my god, look at the time, it's already tomorrow. Time flies when you're a fucking genius.") You are going to disagree with me. You are going to say, but every person who is dissuaded from gaycism by being forcefully made aware of the fact that Those of Us Who Are Worth Knowing think gays are fine and should not be discriminated against, harrassed, molested, judged, restricted, disallowed, legally invalidated, ostracized or prematurely aborted has now lost his voice in mixed society and can no longer spread the seeds of hate. But I would tell you, Bollocks.

Haters gone hate, I cannot believe no one has ever made that clear to you. Haters gone hate.

So love and take care of yourself and the people you find tolerable. Be as nice as to everyone as they are to you. In no circumstances ought you to bother yourself about what others think of you unless they are paying you. In which case you should suck up as much as possible because I mean that is your daily champagne we are talking about. Let the Scientologists do their thing, and offer to pick up your friend after her abortion and spoon feed her ice cream until the bleeding and unbearable cramping, doubt, guilt, regret, nightmares and suicidal tendencies subside, even if you think she is a murderess, because it's none of your goddamn business why she decided to kill the President.

Live well, and be happy.

Friday, March 4, 2011

There's a time and place for almost everything

So here in Germany, there is an elaborate system of standing in line at the grocery store. Once you've got it down and have abandoned all concern for your own personal space, it's a breeze. It goes like this:

  • Put your groceries on the conveyor belt, with the heaviest/sturdiest items toward the front, and the lightest/most delicate items toward the back. Leave as little room between items as possible, stacking like products when necessary. This facilitates the next customer's being able to place his items down after you.
  • Place the divider, if one is available, as close to your goods as possible. Take two steps away from the conveyor belt and two steps nearer the person in front of you. Stand as close to their actual anus as you can without making physical contact. You will stand like this until it is your turn to pay, breathing down their neck as they pull out their method of payment. The person behind you in line will do the same to you. This takes some getting used to, but you will manage it eventually.
  • As the checker scans your items, take each one and place it in a cloth or plastic bag or back into the shopping cart. Here is where your original method of heaviest-first comes in handy, because the checker will scan so quickly that your stuff will literally fall off the counter if you are not fast enough. Pay as close to the penny as possible without making the other customers wait so long their teeth fall out. Walk away.
Now, I was in the very beginning of step one when a disgracefully drunken man in his early 40s pushes past the person standing behind me in line and asks to place his beer bottles down on the ledge in front of the conveyor belt. Normally, this is perfectly acceptable, if:

1. The person in front of you has finished placing their items on the belt, and

2. You are actually the next person in line.

Neither of these conditions had been satisfied, so I told him simply, "no." Carefully but quickly I continued placing my items heaviest to lightest on the belt. Ordnung muss sein.

Well, he didn't like that too much, and said dass es ihm egal war--that he didn't care. And began shoving his bottles down on the belt, standing on top of me to do so and completely obstructing my attempts to finish placing down my groceries.

Now, dear Reader, you know me fairly well by now, so it won't come as too much of a shock to you when I tell you that at 9am after a late night out and with some drunken fool blowing his foul, hot, nasty breath in my face and violating even the reduced European standard of personal space that I reacted with my reptile brain and simply placed my right arm from the hand to the elbow along his chest, stepped in with my right foot and shoved him about five feet back to wherever the fuck it is he came from. His girlfriend--a 6'1" (184 cm) tall black lady--goes, "whoa, whoa, whoa!" I give her a look that says,

You want some too?

She looks away.

Now, reader, you're going to wonder why I was so easily provoked this morning, but, as I say, I'd had a late night, was barely awake, was bleeding from my vagina like a halal cow and had had neither food nor water nor coffee nor cigarette since awakening. And here is some pathetic fool burning the hairs out of my nostrils with his disgusting vodka breath at 9 in the morning, not following the super-important rules. Fuck him, and fuck her too.

As we're standing in line, with one customer between us, he complains loudly to his girlfriend about how "unfriendly" I am and how a bit of common courtesy is in order. My heart starts racing, my hands shake. I tell him, "Look, it's not my fault you're drunk as a skunk at 9 in the morning. You can wait the two seconds until it's your turn."

The woman keeps opening her big yap to broadcast her personal philosophies, maintaining that it doesn't matter when one consumes alcohol, whether it's even 6 or 7 in the morning, the point is to live and let live. The two of them continue drunkenly babbling at each other about what a useless cunt I am, how unfriendly and unbelievable my behavior is. Neither of them will address me directly. And so I'm left with only two options--continue arguing with them, or do my best to ignore them. I chose the latter, inching forward in line and using all the restraint I can muster in order to keep my cool.

I pack my shit and step out of line, set down my bag, sit on the window ledge, cross my legs, and wait for the couple to complete their transaction. Mind you, for the entire duration of the several minutes we'd stood in line, they were unrelenting in their commentary on my behavior. I have now been listening to them for as long as I can remember; I cannot recall a time ever in my life when I could not hear their voices. And I am beyond livid at this point.

Finally they wander out of line and I stand back up, stepping forward until I am two inches from the drunk man's nose. I square myself, and ask him:

Do you have anything else you want to say to me?

He replies, at the top of his lungs and so patronizing you could spit:

No! I hope you have a wonderful day!

I turn on my heel and walk out of the store. As I pass through the front doors I can hear the two of them laughing with one another, but now I cannot make out any words. Face burning, I make my way home, wondering what had really just happened back there.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

May you live in interesting times

Things are interesting at the moment.

More so at this particular moment, because I'm drunk. Something I don't do too often these days.

Alert readers will recall my diatribes about my reasons for not drinking. Why I've opted to go in for the dum-dum juice as of late is as much of a mystery to you as it is to me.

Of course, I've drunk since that one time I told you I'd sworn off it forever and was joining AA. But I've always gone back off of it. So that's where I'm at now. Drinking every couple of months for a few weeks, then swearing off of it again.

No, that's wrong. Actually, where I'm at right now--at this exact moment in time--is downloading old hip-hop albums from the 90s. Tonight was R. Kelly and Notorious B.I.G.

Am I supposed to care that R. Kelly is a child molester? Damn Gina, where are my scruples? Nowhere to be found. I also didn't give entirely too much of a shit when Michael Jackson was supposed to be raping little kids. I mean hello? Rock With You? I'm supposed to just forget about that or what? Come on. Get real. People drive Range Rovers without caring about polar bears, I shouldn't have to be villainized for listening to a bit of Jackson Five without guilt. Fuggedaboudit.


Life is exciting.

Going to Seattle in a few weeks.

Moving house in a few weeks.

Listening to the Sex Me remix by the R.

Drankin a bit of ole Jim Beam.

Life could not be better than it is at this particular moment in time.

I should really write to you more often. The 'Stoph's guidance counselor advised him to drink three glasses of red wine, then sit down to write his Bachelorarbeit, then go back the next day and correct all the follies of alcohol consumption. The point is to prime the pump. Although the 'Stoph does not drink red wine. Forget it. He'll get there one way or the other.

I could be a famous drunk asshole. At least we'd be sure I'd get something written. Even if it was a bit crap and I was too proud to correct it the next day. (I did that with a book I wrote once. Two hundred and forty pages in, I'd get drunk, write twenty pages, go back the next day and have to delete them all. Drunken writing is fun but not quality.)

Hi, Mel.