Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Be Civil When You Really Just Want to Say... "Go F*ck Yourself."

Let's get away from messy politics for a while, shall we? Things are starting to look up... I hope. (Funny how the idea of hope scares some people... so sad.) This next part will be difficult, but I am removing all things "fake" or "annoying" from my life, including some people... Everyone has a "mean girl" side. Time for mine to come out to play... [would consider adding a wink here, but thanks to Sarah Palin... ugh. It's come to the point where just seeing or hearing her fake folksy screeching makes me physically sick. Will someone please explain to me why a person who advocates drilling in a protected nature reserve, and killing as many wolves as possible and offering a reward for each severed limb you bring in, gets a nature show on the most popular educational science channel on American TV? Why does money rule the world here? We are well aware that she has no interest whatsoever in protecting nature and wildlife. She thinks animals were created to go with mashed potatoes. She has said this herself. We also know that she will be paid handsomely for each of the 8 expected episodes, not to mention the publicity from the air time... We get why she's interested in the show, but why are they interested in her? The group that previewed the pilot thought it was hilariously pathetic, and thousands have been boycotting not only the network but all of their sponsors... Few people have said they would even bother to watch the show, or that they're looking forward to it. So very strange, this world...]

Most of my closest friends know how hard it is for me to say the things I really want to say, especially when it's something... not so nice. As you can probably tell if you read the rest of this blog, I tend to be very passive aggressive. I do it sometimes, but I really don't like to say things in anger, or hurt anyone's feelings. It's easier for me to write things from a distance than to see someone's face when I have to deliver bad news... I absolutely hate it... Part of the problem, as I've learned, is that I just feel too much empathy. (Seriously... I want an off switch. I actually miss apathy. If I see anyone hurt or crying, it's all over. I'll be there bawling for hours, even if they just skinned a knee... True story-- I was fighting back tears after finishing Jak 3... Such a sweet, sad ending!!! [hold on, I need a tissue... not kidding] Also, I went to my first wake 2 weeks ago. Regardless of how creepy it was to be in a tiny room with the dead body of a family friend, it was kind of nice... No one was crying, thank FSM, but my mother packed tons of tissues just in case... I don't think it would've been enough though...)

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." -- Abraham Lincoln. It's a nice way of saying "if you have no idea what you're talking about, shut the fuck up before we really think you're stupid." Unfortunately, many people don't consider this when they speak. (Lucky for me, I have pre-publish feedback!) Now, most of us don't go around telling our "friends" and family members how stupid we think they are sometimes, but I wonder if maybe sometimes we should, instead of the obligatory awkward chuckle and eye roll. Maybe that would finally get the message through ... But instead, just chuckle and smile. They'll think you're laughing with them, although you're really laughing at them inside. Everyone's happy.

This sounds quite a bit harsher than intended. The truth of the matter is, it's exhausting to be nice and civil when you don't want to be, especially when it's just not working. Trying to be civil to someone who thinks it's constructive to call someone names instead of trying to explain logically why they support or oppose something is just... It gets tiring. (Name-calling only gets you so far. Eventually, you have to come up with some sort of fact...) And no matter how much you support non-violence, eventually you feel like you want to just shake them (or worse). I've dealt with people ranting about death panels and evil terror plots to steal our underwear and take away our babies (don't ask, I'd swear in court that person was suffering from some sort of psychosis...), and how the world is going to end at the hands of this horrible socialist, anti-patriot, tax-loving Muslim jihadist regime. [insert eye roll, chuckle]. Chill. Take a deep breath, and explain, for the love of Pete, where you came up with such a nonsensical idea. Because really, the rest of us would like to know whose name to write on the bottle of schizophrenia pills.

See? The trick is to say it calmly, like you're serious. Though in all honesty, you probably are. And in all honesty, I think it's quite likely that wherever talk like that came from, the original owner probably doesn't even believe it unless they really are suffering from a psychotic break down (possibly due to drugs, whether recreational or prescription...). Take a certain radio talk show host for example. He's in it for the money - he makes MILLIONS off of stuff like that, marketing fear and panic to the gullible and naive. We've seen the silly things he tries to sell as an affiliate - things like portable Freedom Gardens (so you can have food after the apocalypse, when our President bans fishing and locks the country's rods in his closet...), and all sorts of weaponry. Really? C'mon, you can't seriously believe he's serious about any of it. Cashing in on chaos...

Fox News is pure evil, what many of us "lovingly" refer to as "a channel of somewhat psychotic, lying, fear-mongering, sniveling, money-grubbing imbeciles who peddle violent, racist opinions and call it news, for naive, gullible people who clearly can't or don't want to think for themselves..." How's that for hate. But I wouldn't say that to a Fox watcher... Well, I've never said it to anyone. Why bother? Those of us who believe that Fox isn't exactly truthful know that those who think it is will likely never believe it isn't, even though we tell them and provide evidence. And surely there is some good in Fox News. Somewhere. Maybe a teeny tiny bit of something somewhere, shoved aside in the darkest corner of their basement. But it's probably there. There's always some good in everything. Even when it seems impossible, you have to try to find the good. Those "friends" I mentioned - I don't think they're all necessarily bad people. Even one who... well, who he is isn't important, but he said something really hurtful to me and so on. I'm still annoyed. But that doesn't mean he's a bad person. He has a lot of good qualities. We can be civil and end things on a good note. I tried to do the same with another, was working on trying to come up with a nice response to an annoying message; however said person assumed an away message of mine (lyrics to Crossfade's "Already Gone") was intended for her (when it was certainly not), and so on, and sent me a message about it. And yea, that annoyed me (the assumption more so than the message), but I decided to just let it all go and move on. We have quite a lot of history, so I know she's not a bad person overall, and it's not worth fighting over. We've grown apart, it happens, it shows, whatever. No need to make it a big deal. Deep breath, let it out, anger gone. Isn't it nice? If you have nothing nice to say, (or I suppose if you have something really mean... because you can say something nice but still say something mean), just don't say anything. Something we learn in preschool, yet doesn't seem to stick past 3rd grade. Not that you should ever internalize your emotions... Take it from me, it's just as bad as if you started screaming at the person. Never lose control. In a shouting match with Glenn Beck, do you think you'd win? He'd think it would be the one who screams the loudest. He will yell whatever he can at you, to trip you up and agitate you and get you upset. His target is emotion, not logic or intellect. He, and his audience, would no doubt declare him the winner. At the end of the day, will he have won? No. What has he learned? Nothing. What has he accomplished? Nothing but tiring himself out. The winner would be the calm, quiet one who actually makes sense, knows what he or she is talking about, and never loses focus. So never lose control.

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