Monday, July 03, 2006
...Plus Ce La Même Chose
Some people will try to tell you that life is all about how we treat other people. The people who tend to say things like this I usually kick in the face until they go away. It's not that I crave violence or seek to disrupt the regular marketplace of civilized discourse by randomly or self-importantly imposing my will on social intercourse through the application of the bottom of my shoe to someone's facial area. No, it's not that at all. It's just that some people's faces need kicking.
Plus it sort of underscores my point: someone can SAY to you "Treat others as you would have them treat you," but if they walk up to me and all they have is that weak ass love-your-brother hippie horse-shit, what possible reason could they have for me kicking them in the face? They were treating ME to some fawning peace-love social bonding and here I am, kicking them in the face, which--according to their model--should be a completely impossible response to their gentle treatment of me. Face-kicking, in this instance, is a logically unassailable rejoinder to which there can be no response. Unless we count the spitting out of teeth as a response.
AND, just to underscore the strength of the face-kicking argument, I don't believe that anyone would blame me--socially or legally--if that were my response to "treat others as you would have them treat you."
Of course we'd then have to see if I in turn got kicked in the face, thus showing that ultimately I got treated just as I treated others, but that's why I believe in a firm policy of pre-emptive face-kicking followed by a vigorous and sustained application of running away. I'll be goddamned if I let the hippies win. Or let myself get kicked in the face.
The point is that I disagree with the premise that life is all about how we treat other people. For me that would mean that life was all about sending people my credit card number in exchange for me watching them strip naked while wearing clown make-up in front of a webcam. And that would just be asburd.
No, instead, I believe life is all about how we handle transitions. We're surrounded by transitions. They happen so often that really, in a strange way, transition is practically the status quo.
Sometimes transitions are shared internationally (say for instance your heavily favored country gets their asses handed to them by France in a much-watched soccer match thus winning a few dollars for some savvy soccer-alert bloggers who shall remain nameless) or with your fellow citizens within a nation, as is happening now in Mexico's presidential election.
Mexico 2006 is looking for all the world just like USA 2000. With that in mind, to our Mexican neighbors I'd like to say: come on over. I take it back, everything I said about Mexicans invading our country. It's OK. If US history is any judge, when this whole contested election thing shakes itself out, you're going to end up with the wrong motherfucker in charge and shit is going to go south real quick-like. So you can come up here if you want to before things start blowing up and you find yourselves in a long, protracted, bloody struggle when President Wrong Dude decides it's vital to Mexico's national interest to invade Azerbaijan or some fucking thing. Welcome, hermanos. America awaits. There's room in my attic. My anti-immigrant feelings are strong, but goddamn, nobody else should have to live through that.
Sometimes the transitions are personal. Intensely, unbearably personal. You know they're out there, waiting to deprive you eventually of those you hold closest to your heart. You know that no matter how real, how present the right now feels, there will be a time when all around you--everything, including yourself--will be no more. Those are the instances, those little points of change, that reveal who we really are, that show us how we exist shaken out of the illusion of constancy. A move, a break-up, a death, a loss...
I am now in such a place.
Goodbye, old friend.
The march of time proved too much for your old cathode ray tube in the end. The icy grip of catastrophic malfunction comes for us all in the end. I will remember all the time we spent together, me filled up with gratitude and comfort as you showed me the world outside without me having to actually go outside. And you, sitting there, performing your designed function by modulating a bunch of electrical impulses in patterns I could decode with my eyes. Good times, TV. Good times.
And today as I sit watching my new TV while my old, non-functioning one sits idly in my living room in its new function as a place to stack shit I can't find room for on my coffee table, I can say--possibly for the first time ever--I know what it feels like to be Mexican.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.0