An Extraordinary Life

One of the stock questions for any interviewer is which historical figure their subject would spend a day with, given the chance. I had to think long and hard about this because I don’t want to pick one of the obvious choices. Eventually, I settled on the Roman Emperor Claudius. Much about him is unknown, largely because his autobiography was lost to history. (Robert Graves wrote a fictional autobiography of Claudius, and the result is one of my all-time favorite novels.) I guess I want to know what he was really like. Shakespeare seems like a no-brainer, but as Christopher Hitchens pointed out, once you’ve met the man through his literature, meeting him in the flesh would almost certainly disappoint. The real question is: Who had an interesting enough life that meeting them would be more enlightening than learning about them? I doubt I’ll be quite so successful in my chosen field as Claudius was (or unsuccessful, given his untimely demise), but something tells me that I’m going to have an interesting life. I write about it a great deal, but the telling is only part of what makes the tale. I feel quite safe in saying that the bizarre and unexpected shit in my life trumps what has happened to most other people. That’s not bragging. There are times when I wish it wasn’t so.

Every so often, something like this happens, and somebody who I thought was my friend turns out not to be. I guess that’s part of life, but it would be nice to surround myself with people that I know I can depend on, not just people who have fallen in with me by circumstance. In this case, it was a friendly, personable fellow whom I’d acted alongside in a play last winter and who had, in the months that we’d kept in touch since, been a pretty good friend. Then he started complaining about politics on Facebook, not endorsing one candidate or the other, but talking loudly and obnoxiously about how both sides are full of hypocrites and the whole system is completely fucked. I hate those people. If you seriously can’t see any difference at all between the two major parties, you aren’t looking hard enough. I’m so fucking sick of these smug, condescending armchair critics who tell those of us who actually care that we’re naive to believe in the power of elections to change anything. Elections made this country, you fucknuts. If it weren’t for the hundreds of years of progress that our electoral system has brought us, none of us would even be here. I’m not going to tell anybody who to vote for (although it should be obvious who I support), but if you honestly think that Mitt Romney is as good as Barack Obama and vice versa, get the fuck off of my blog. Your ignorance is willful and you’re using it as a tool to suppress dissent.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I told my friend how I felt, and he joined his other friends in jeering at me. I never could have guessed that the man who seemed in all other respects to be a decent person would turn out to be, upon being called on his bullshit, nothing more than a playground bully. I guess I’ll be able to spot his type a bit sooner next time. Tell me something: If something that you said offended someone else enough that they don’t want to talk to you anymore, wouldn’t you want to know about it? I know I would. One thing I would not do is mock them just for bringing it up. I’ve done a lot of things that I regret, but I can’t say that I’ve ever bullied anyone.

It’s hard to do basically anything these days without hearing about the election. I never understood people who want to isolate themselves from political discussions. They ask others not to bring it up at the dinner table and complain when stand-up comedians introduce it into their act. Why? Politics is one of the most serious topics in existence, which also makes it one of the funniest. Yes, I like to kick back and relax as well, and the way that I do that isn’t by pretending that the very real problems that plague our world don’t exist, but by learning to laugh at them. My needs are simple. When it comes to choosing a president, I try to focus less on whether I agree with every position that they have and think instead about whether they have any interest in moving this country forward. Barack Obama does. Mitt Romney believes in one thing and one thing only: that Mitt Romney should be president. If you agree with that, vote for him. I’m serious.

It’s Sunday morning. For some people, that’s the best part of the week. I dunno, I guess it symbolizes renewal or something. This is my 100th post. It’s been almost eight months to the day since I started blogging. Since then, I’ve written so much and endured so much that I honestly don’t know how much more I can take. I’m not so tired as I once was, however. I try not to let my failures get me down (and believe me, I’ve wracked up quite a few since I started school again.) Most people can’t see past the superficial shortcomings of others, and thus never give them time to realize their full potential. I believe that no matter what, you must accept somebody as they are or not at all. You cannot compartmentalize different facets of a person’s true nature. Try that, and you’ll be eaten alive.

Now go enjoy your coffee.

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