Things That Happen

quill penI don’t much like traveling. Besides the environmental consequences and health risks of being a frequent flyer, I just don’t want to have to fly thousands of miles to see my friends or conduct my business. Sure, there’s Skype and social media and all that shit, but that’s just not the same as seeing somebody in person. But since my friends these days live all over the country (all over the world, really), I have to learn to live with seeing some of my friends only once every several years or so. It’s not a state of living that appeals to me. I have very good friends whom I haven’t seen in over a year. Hell, with my schedule, it’s hard to even make it up to Boston to see my friends at Harvard. It bears repeating: I don’t like living this way. I still write letters every now and then. (They’re these little paper things you stick in mailboxes. Mailboxes are where you put Netflix envelopes. Is everyone on the same page here?) That’s a dying practice, but it needs to come back. It’s how people kept in touch in the days of powdered wigs and horse-drawn carriages, and let me tell you, it’s more effective than Facebook. Probably better than Skype, too, although I haven’t tried that yet.

I hate the feeling of being squeezed. You know, like when you have so much to do that you can’t even process it all. Your schedule is filled up by all of these solid chunks that you can’t figure out how to finesse or work around. Meeting here, work there, to the point where you spend the whole day looking forward to getting home just so you can lie face down on your bed. It’s not a fun way to live. It’s hard for me to pay attention in class, and when I get home, I won’t be able to focus on my work. It might be nice to learn to focus on one when one is happening and the other when the other is happening, but that’s some Zen Buddhist shit I still haven’t quite got the hang of. So I think I’ll shift gears and talk about something else that has been on my mind lately: comedy.

I do not generally have “fun”. To some people, this makes me seem funny. Don’t be afraid to laugh, however, because there is nothing more annoying than somebody who thinks you just need a shoulder to cry on. (When I cry, I usually do it alone.) I met a girl at a party some years ago who condescended the holy living fuck out of me. It was a friend’s birthday party, and we were doing a photo scavenger hunt. When she jokingly offered me sex as a reward for driving everyone around on the hunt, I declined, but told her that I would be fine with chocolate. “You are the most uptight person I have ever met,” she responded. I punched her in the face repeatedly, then shit in her mouth just for good measure. Later on, when we needed a picture of somebody doing something weird with a fake Santa (my friend’s birthday happened to be near Christmas), I grabbed a miniature wooden Santa’s balls (we were in some kind of store), somebody snapped a pic, and we left. She came up to me and gave me a hug. “I’m glad to see that you are coming out of your shell,” she said, her breath still reeking of shit. I slit her throat and left her body there. (Okay, so I didn’t do any of that. But I wanted to. Also, it turns out that she basically invited herself to the party, as neither my friend nor anyone else there liked her any more than I did, which is to say that if they had birthed her, they would have killed themselves out of shame.) To you, this might be funny. To me, it’s kind of…annoying.

I hate having to explain myself to people. Every argument I’ve ever had has followed roughly the same pattern: A person has disagreed with me, I’ve told them that I found what they say somewhat offensive, they scold me for saying that, and when I finally manage to explain clearly and logically why they really shouldn’t have said/done that, they switch gears and become a smug, condescending asshole. “Come on, Robot King, you don’t really believe that,” they say. “Surely, we can all be friends.” If you’d apologized when I first spoke up, maybe, but the Smug, Condescending Asshole (SCA) realizes that they’re losing, so they try to pretend that the entire dispute was much ado about nothing. I got into an argument on one of my favorite websites recently over (what else?) Doctor Who and was amazed at how rude and dismissive people were towards anyone who wondered if they newer stuff lacks some of the charm of the older stuff. That’s it, really. I get that anything that is around for 50 years is going to have to reinvent itself to stay relevant, but if Batman threw on a tutu and started shooting an Uzi, you’d cry foul, and you’d have every reason to. It’s not so much that I can’t see how anyone can like Matt Smith or Steven Moffat, just that I feel that their understanding of the series’ purpose is fundamentally different from my own. It’s less about style than spirit, anyway, and I think that if you dig very deep, you’ll find that the simple, childlike glee that infused the classic stuff is present, but heavily distorted in Moffat’s vision. And that is a perfectly fair reason to call bullshit.

I’m still not sure how to deal with all of the SCAs I meet. But I do know that they’ll always lose. I don’t have to worry about earning their respect. I already have it.

To be continued…


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