Imagine that you’re anything other than a straight white man. Then imagine yourself as lacking talent, intelligence, a sense of humor, and basic civility. Go a bit farther and suppose that your desire for attention is insatiable even though you’re witless and slothful. Your brain stews in a broth of resentment and inadequacy.
Genuine achievement is off the table. You’re not contributing to a scientific or artistic field. You don’t charm or intrigue people because you’re devoid of charisma. But there’s still that gnawing need for recognition and approval, that subterranean lust for love and acceptance. Years of incompetence and self hatred have led you to seek pity from others. If I can’t win their respect, at least I can force their pity.
What is such a miserable creature to do? Grow up and accept that the world owes you nothing? Get to work and develop a craft or skill? Do you study persuasion and learn how to be more charismatic?
Well, that takes effort and time. The outcome is uncertain. Maybe in the deepest recess of your corroded heart you know you don’t have what it takes.
Like water running downhill, you take the path of least resistance. You weave a delicate tapestry of identity around the empty core of your character. As a queer, gender fluid muslim non binary practicing antifascist antiracist, I think that…..
Since you won’t be winning anyone’s genuine affection or admiration, you need contrived controversy. The heteronormative hate machine steamrolls your dreams and desires. Bigots gather outside your humble hovel and blast your front door with diarrhea medleys.
You went to the local bakery and they made you a hate cake. Upon opening the box you discover a giant frosted dick and the message, “Take that faggot” written in the icing below.
Your eyes see swastikas everywhere. White supremacists call you a nigger while you walk down the street. Things are going to change, boy. We’re in charge now and we’re bringing back the rope and the whip.
Finally, they use force. You’re cornered by a mob of trumpen proletariates. They beat you with their white supremacist boners and no one comes to help. The secret, silent fascists emerged from their dank hideaways to kickstart their curb stomping campaign. They’ve been waiting for you to let your guard down. They’ve been waiting for a great white leader like Trump to empower them.
To make matters worse, the EMT’s that arrive on the scene are neo nazis. They refuse to treat you because you’re…not like them. They leave your broken, gender fluid body to decompose in a dumpster.
Never mind the fact that none of this happened. No one smeared your aluminum siding with nazi poop. And no one gay bashed you with a cock cake. Furthermore, you weren’t beaten in an alley and ignored by racist, sexist medical technicians. It was all fabricated while you sat alone in your room.
But for a brief, glimmering moment, you became the center of attention. Not because of what you’ve done, but rather because of what people think you’ve endured. Suffering, cruelty, oppression, a tidal wave of excrement. In the the tornado of your fevered lies, people see a figure deserving of compassion and pity. They post and repost your fake plight on their facebook feeds.
As a result of your creative storytelling, people come together to fight fascism. Now you’re an example, now you matter, and you didn’t even have to do anything. All those years of sloth and regret melt away in a radioactive surge of communal support.
What you feel crushes what is true. And who you are drowns out what you do. It’s a great time to speak without thinking, to take the road frequently travelled. You’ll be in the excellent company of rejects, liars and whiners.