Wednesday, January 22, 2003

This just in: Another quick lesson on how not to be an arsehole all the time.

Your behaviour has consequences TOO, you pack of self-involved, petty-minded, arrogant gits. God, if I had to pick one thing out of the list of things I hate about you lot, it's your relentless commitment to ludicrously unbalanced double standards.

You spend so much time whining about the terrible effect that every tiny weeny slight (real or imaginary) has on your delicate emotional equilibrium: How angry that stuck up bitch made you when she gave you the brush-off, how that guy really hurt your feelings when he snapped at you for strolling out in front of his car whilst staring vacantly at a chipped nail, how pissed you were when that stupid shop assistant told you that their checkout was closing, how insulted you were when that barman asked you if you wanted diet coke (do you look like you need to drink diet coke? Was he calling you fat?) how disappointed you were when people ho-hummed your latest sixteen-page poem about suicide/revolutionary manifesto/list of reasons why beer is better than women/list of reasons why chocolate is better than men, etc, etc.

Now, how about extending some of that incredible sensitivity to the rest of the fucking world? Let's play a little game. Let's pretend that someone has just done to you what you've done to them.

Let's pretend that you've come out for a nice drink with your mates, and now some guy you've never met before has plonked himself between you and them and for the past hour has been talking non-stop about his tedious life. You've had to remove his hand from your upper thigh about a dozen times. You've tried to put him off nicely but he won't take a hint, so you've got a choice between either going home or telling him to get lost in a way he will understand.

Or let's pretend that you're working behind a bar. It's a shit job with shit wages, but you try to make the best of it and you're always pleasant to the customers. Now some neurotic woman whose earrings probably wiegh more than her entire body is chewing your ear off at the top of her lungs because when she asked for a coke you asked her if she wanted diet or regular, and your boss is looking at you like you're the one with the problem.

Or let's pretend that there's this individual with a sixteen-page revolutionary manifesto (or poem, or list of reasons why beer is better than women, or list of reasons why chocolate is better than men, whatever). And this person is insisting that you read their sixteen page poem (manifesto, list, whatever). And even after you've read the list (poem, manifesto) and told them you're really not that interested, they come back with more. And they won't engage in any kind of discussion, and they won't just back off and leave you alone, and then they start telling you how stupid/insensitive/humorless you are because you're not yumming down their sixteen pages of bumf with the uncritical eagerness of a dog who's just found a fresh cowpat.

See how simple it all is, when you look at it like that? It's called empathy. You acheive it when you have the intelligence to realise that other people have feelings, drives and desires, just like you! Isn't that funny?

Now, if you've read more than a couple of entries you'll know about the whole me-being-a-nutsack thing. You'll know that I'm obsessive, deeply paranoid, irritable, and narcissistic. I've got a massive superiority complex (although that's largely your fault: I wouldn't feel so superior if you lot didn't all suck), I'm a collosal pervert-- oh, and there's the hating of everyone, mustn't forget that. If all of that wasn't enough, I'm a Goth.

I am, in short, a total creepazoid. But despite all these things, there's actually a limit as to how creepy I will allow myself to be when I'm around other people. I don't stand in supermarket queues muttering sexual slurs between gritted teeth. I don't reduce bar-staff to tears because they ask me if I want diet fizzy-pop. I don't scream "Clean your bloody ears out!" if someone asks me to repeat something. I try to show some fucking restraint.

Now, the next time you're in the middle of a lengthy whinge about how [insert incident here] has ruined your [insert time interval here], and has furthermore reinforced your low opinion of [insert gender, race, profession, or other social group here], maybe you could take a quick reality check. Enjoy a refreshing whiff of introspection. Take a quick ride on the consideration choo-choo.


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