I’m a sociologist

Inconsistency rules the world. Last night I ate a medium pizza and then took a multivitamin. Followed that up with fish oil because I don’t want to miss out on vital nutrients and omegas after eating a small family’s worth of processed meats and cheeses. Gluttony getting chummy with prudence. You can go overboard with excess but then pull back with a half measure of restraint.

Instagram meme culture expresses this in its own shallow, idiotic way. Girls will suck a strangers dick but they won’t drink tap water. Yoga and kale sitting alongside emotionally deadening, dysfunctional relationships. Promoting promiscuity while despairing about love and loyalty. Not just the ladies, though. Men don’t know how to act either. Incoherence cuts across gender lines. Imbalance is the second greatest equalizer after death.

Whatever side you’re on, you’ll make exceptions for your own. We can do this because the history of oppression… The other side doesn’t get a break. And pointing out inconsistency isn’t persuasive. No one changes their mind because some of their beliefs conflict with others. If I know this then why do I write about it? Because the point of writing isn’t always persuasion. Sometimes there is no point to writing other than the writing itself. I hope I can someday convince people of this.

(As an aside, I wish more people would evaluate writing for its own sake. More appreciation for form and less quibbling over content.)

The way things are depends on who’s talking. Society is a repressive power that crushes individual expression and spontaneity. It’s also a permissive, wandering carnival of buttfucking and bastard children. There are too many rules and regulations over here while there isn’t enough structure and institutional support over there. Families breed bigotry and backwards thinking and they’re also the character forming backbone of stable, productive citizens. We grow up in dens of abuse and havens of love.

Religious prudes ruin sex by controlling what two people do behind closed doors. At the same time, debauched hedonists ruin sex by diluting its power and cheapening its sacred value. They trash society for the sake of abundant orgasms. One man’s spiritual degradation is another man’s enlightened self interest. We are just individuals trying to maximize our tingles and minimize our tortures. Unless you like pain, in which case no one should stop you from hurting yourself.

Do what you like unless you like doing what you don’t like. Society is judgmental and intolerant. It’s also not judgmental enough. We need to mind our own business and we need stronger, more involved communities. Mass culture steamrolls differences while niche marketing stratifies and strips down consumers. Capitalism breaks the bonds of birth and it shackles us to the profit motive.

People want recognition for rebellion. Misfits must fit in. We obsess over health and eat packaged creme pies in front of radioactive screens as our limbs and organs atrophy. Fuck you for telling me what to do. And fuck you for not telling me what to do at the right time in the right way. These kids over here were coddled and micromanaged, had their personalities parented away. But these other kids grew up without fathers in broken homes of booze and meth fueled breakdown.

More social services. Less social services. The government is too big. Banks are too big. So is your ego. Maybe it’s everything all at once depending on who you are and when you think about it. Maybe you’re tired, hungry and lonely. You’re riding the metro among people plucked from the four corners of the world and they all have their heads down, staring at their smartphones. They’re speaking languages you don’t understand and in that moment you think society is pure chaos, disconnection and isolation in a sea of strangers.

Then your mom calls and burdens you with troubles at home. You visit the small town where you grew up and everyone looks and sounds the same. They all hate gays and foreigners and they want you to stay with them forever. Your parents are getting older and you might have to take care of them. People are christians here. Now the world is all archaic order, crushing conformity and obligation. How could people be so complacent and narrow minded. You hurl yourself back into the electrifying arms of urban anonymity.

There’s no one way to characterize or define contemporary society because it’s made up of so many disparate parts and divergent strands. People are going in a million different directions and they all have variable ideas about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. I’m the only one who seems to grasp this with any gravity, so what I say is exempt from the preceding rule.

Author: The Empty Subject

Born curmudgeon

1 thought on “I’m a sociologist”

  1. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Gandhi

    Modernity allows no harmony.

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