You are waiting for change.
You are not the same person that you once were, but then again, you still are. You know that there’s more to your existence than all of this, but you just can’t access it.
You hoped to be a universal man, but instead, you woke up and found yourself to be a nothing man. The place of nothing is a hard place to live.
You miss everything you mocked and despised, and got nothing that you lusted after.
What is this world that you call home, anyway?
You hate it when you find yourself being the taker. You can’t stand the feeling that someone has one-upped you by letting you go first. You want to be the gracious man, the bigger man, but you feel awkward in the moment of opportunity to be the giver. You are afraid of getting caught up in a loud faux argument over who should go first and be the taker. No, I insist, you go first. Please, I’m wanting you to take advantage of my largesse so I can feel as if you are beholden to me, and I hold power over you.
You want to live in a world where all manner of social bullshit is eradicated, along with the bs of the ego and the need to be on the winning team. You don’t care if you are on the right side of history, you want to be on the right side of Truth.
This is exceptionally difficult–even to remove all of the bs from your own self. What are you still saying and doing that is motivated by a need to impress someone and one-up someone else?
When you were five or six years old, you had no idea how many rabbit holes there were for an adolescent and an adult to go down. You thought that if you just remained yourself–isn’t that what they always told you, just be yourself–that you would remain socially adjusted and never fall into the dark chasms inhabited mostly by the mentally ill and prison bound.
Maybe it was the fact that you lost a good chunk of your eyesight, and the glasses never quite got you back the ability to see what everyone else saw. Maybe it was embedded in you from the beginning, and there was nothing you could do about it. It wasn’t until you were about 12 or 13 that you realized just how far off track you’d gotten from the pack of well-adjusted boys. You would go on to have too many moments where life would throw a curveball at you–almost always about the time you finally started to find yourself in this world and cruise along with some confidence. Then, all of a sudden…BAM! Someone would blindside you and turn you into the laughingstock of the party–often someone you trusted not to be cruel to you. The next thing you knew, you were spinning and revisiting the depths of your soul. All engagements with friends were cancelled while you sorted things out.
At some point, you must have realized that you can’t afford to ever just bop along on cruise control. You will have someone or something waking you up from your reverie, from your autopilot state of being, and making you question just exactly who the hell are you.
You spent a fair amount of time last night surfing the channel and having an extra beer, and it suddenly dawned on you what you are trying to find in the way of a new show…a character or characters who you feel like would get you in real life. More than just a sympathetic character in the literary sense of the word…someone you are certain would get you and you them, and all would resonate and be well with the world. This is probably why you liked Seinfeld so much, and eventually came around to liking Friends. The characters were not likable at first, but the more time you spent with them, the more you came to appreciate them and think you could hang out with them–at least on a limited basis. This is why you liked Fringe so much more than you ever liked the X-Files. This is why you hate almost every reality show there is.
The Kardashians, the Bacholerette, Survivor, Big Brother, Real Housewives, etc…they are all people that seem to have flayed away all of their real humanity for the sake of being caricatures of the characters they think they are being. It’s like the powers that be are training us to forsake our humanity, and using all these weirdos’s shows as teaching moments for people to strive to be less human, more mean and cruel, and not even animalistic. The code of backstabbing and constantly seeking material pleasure at someone else’s expense–the code of needing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on cosmetic surgery and handbags and cars–this code is not the law fo the jungle. It’s something that insults animals when you compare these so-called people to animals. It’s something far more cretinous, sub-human and demonic.
The guy on River Monsters is probably one of the few, all-around straight-shooting blokes you’re going to regularly see on TV. He doesn’t have a hidden agenda, he appears to be who he is and nothing more. You catch the Duck Dynasty guys in the well-worn reality show trope of the confessional moment talking like educated guys without accents, and you see the pictures of them before they had the show. They have created additional personas for themselves that extend beyond the ones they were using before they got in front of TV cameras, and people buy into it that this is how they really are–that these are real, plain folk.
Of course, the characters on shows like Seinfeld and Friends were characters played by actors. But, the agreement with the audience was clear up front. You knew that you weren’t getting to go inside Jerry Seinfeld’s real condo, and the real Michael Richards wasn’t bursting in all the time. But, you had the expectation of fiction up front, and you immersed yourself willingly into the fictional world of the TV show. With the reality show, the expectation is much different. You are thinking you are getting to go inside the homes of these people and live vicariously through them, but you are seeing the work of pre- and post-production crews that amounts to as much work that was put into the set of a completely fictional comedy or drama. In short, you are buying reality and being sold the reality you want to see.
At any rate, none of them are people you’d want to hang out with. You don’t like Bill O’Reilly, but you don’t care for Al Sharpton much, either. They are both full of themselves and playing personas that the public expects them to play for the camera. You think the people on CNBNC are more real human beings, but with the exception of Cramer with Mad Money, they know they are being watched for the content of the show not their personalities. If you took away Bill O’Reilly, and offered up the same content that is dished out on his show, the content would be nothing but a watered down opinion piece.
There will be no world peace until the day that each and every human being sees themselves and each other as just as valuable and legitimate. Each of us has the right to live and be a human being on this earth no matter what kinds of DNA and wealth we’ve inherited. Even in free societies like ours, there is a very clear and present subtext that some of us are considered to be more valid humans than others.
Of course, there are exceptions to be made when someone has crossed a line and wrecked a child’s life or killed someone. But, you are focused on the everyday folk everywhere who aren’t interested in committing crimes, yet still seem to be given the short end of the stick too many times when it comes to being treated as dignified, decent human beings.
This is your challenge, anyway. It’s one that you really didn’t see until you moved up here to this small Texas town. You’d learned to be more accepting of people who are different when they are gay, black, brown, female, fat, disabled, etc., but you’d somehow managed to continue to hold a sense of absolute disgust for the small town good old boy. The prototypical straw redneck in the oversize pickup truck who also carries around an oversize gut that bulges out of his XXX-Large polo shirt he wears when he goes to eat at Red Lobster or the Olive Garden.
You grew up with so many of these men, and saw them as the adult manifestations of your high school bullies. In short, you hated their guts.
You hated people who moved slow and talked slow, but then tailgated the crap out of you and drove twenty miles over the speed limit on rural highways and interstates. It’s taken you two and a half years of living up here to finally see that God wants you to get past this hatred before you can move on to other things.
Of course, some of these men have that raw disdain for men like you–skinny, glasses-wearing, citified, fellows that they all probably see as whiny, pus-eating liberal hipsters. You can tell by the way they aggressively maneuver around your little Honda Civic, and the way they ignore you or deliver a hard-set scowl if they do happen to catch your eyes in a public place.