Where did you go, little doggie?

My girlfriend’s bearded dragon is lost in the house. My girlfriend is gone, and coming back tomorrow morning. I tried to be a good house husband, I cleaned, washed the dishes, took out the trash, fed the lizards, and then, for my final act, the crown of failure atop a body of good works, I lost a lizard. The despair and hatred I feel over losing this creature is washing over me in waves. I took that little shit out and turned my back for five seconds, and now she’s nowhere to be found. It’s maddening to search a cluttered, elaborately decorated home for a slender, quick reptile that seeks out and inhabits crevices. I’ll never find her. My search skills just aren’t sharp enough, and they never were. All my life I’ve been bad at looking for things. Just generally. Everyone hates me for this.

It’s also becoming exasperatingly apparent just how much shit, how much stuff, trinkets, accouterments, pillows, blankets, curtains, tapestries, clothing, rugs, cases, containers, bed tables, dressers, desks, and various other objects of home decor that I will have to sift through and rearrange in my futile campaign. I was really on the verge of turning it around, trying to be a little more positive, a little more upbeat and hopeful. My surgery is coming up, I’m eating better, keeping things clean, not acting like a total asshole, and breathing and stretching. And then I lose this stupid animal that my girlfriend loves. It always has to be something.

The horizon of thought

There are two kinds of people in this world: those that think in terms of opposition, and those that don’t.

I would characterize our current condition as one in which people obsess over the hypocrisy of their opponents. Wherever you are on the political spectrum, the denunciation is the same. “This group of people over here is guilty of saying one thing and doing another!” It is a charge of unequal application of a principle, of focusing only on certain cases that support a belief, and ignoring others that challenge or undermine it. Let me first say that I don’t really know what this means or what could be done about it, or if it’s even a positive or negative development. I’m merely outlining what I see as a limit to our thinking in the present.

It might have something to do with the rapidity with which people typically share information. It might be that people are generally crass, listless, and only feel passionately engaged when they are exposing the weakness and stupidity of others. A belief or an idea is never examined for itself or on its own merit, it merely serves as a pretext for sneering at people. Similarly, we love to indulge in sloppy psychologizing. Rather than ask whether a belief is plausible, or whether it is relevant to the specific context of the conversation we’re having,  we focus on what it must mean for a person to hold such a belief. “If you think this then you’re afraid!” Fear is bad, but only when it is the wrong kind of fear, and that is determined by….well, people who shout louder in the arena I suppose, or pretend to a democratic majority.

People that fear the government are paranoid, people that fear muslim terrorists are redneck racists. People that turn around and make a show of fearing radical white christian terrorists, on the other hand, are witty political satirists. If a muslim blows himself up and takes others with him, people say, “that wasn’t because of his beliefs, it was US foreign policy.” When a white man shoots up a church, planned parenthood, or school, people say “it was his beliefs, imposed on him by fox news, and not US domestic policy.” And you see that even now I am doing exactly what I described just moments ago. I can only point out inconsistency in the application of a standard. I am trapped by this way of thinking just like everyone else. It’s fun and pretty easy to d0, makes you feel accomplished and perspicacious, and distracts attention from your own inadequacies.

And there I went ahead with the psychologizing. It must be a desire to appear a certain way to oneself and others that drives this behavior. The one two punch: condemn hypocrisy, psychologize your opponent. We dance into the night, enemies in arms.

 

 

 

The shit hub

7 am, alone again. I live in Southeast D.C., which is heavily segregated and underdeveloped. 97 percent black. No sit down restaurants or bookstores until 2012. Now there are one or two places to sit down and have a meal. No coffee shops. Plenty of shootings, stabbings, squalor, illiteracy, diabetes, and kidney failure. Nothing but 7-11’s and Dialysis centers, liquor stores and barber shops. Nice cars though. Black people love nice cars. They will live in a dilapidated apartment complex and replace their broken windows with trash bags, but they won’t drive a cheap, shitty car. They drive brand new Malibus.

I live ten minutes from a bus station, right before you reach the bridge that takes you over the Potomac. I’ve dubbed it the toilet nexus. The shit swirl of the Southeast. All I want is one goddamn coffee shop within walking distance where I can waste my life reading and writing.

Yes, making fun of poor black people is one of the few consolations I have right now. People say you shouldn’t taunt the weak, poor, or disadvantaged.  For one thing, I have no money, and I live among these people. For another, fuck anyone who tries to tell others what can or can’t be said. You can not find something funny, but to forbid it because it violates your pious worldview is out of place. You may sarcastically deride the successful all day long, because of course their success is illicit, but you must never slander the poor minorities, cripples, and wretches, for they are pure and holy in their degraded station.