#2. The Cult of Self
Being wrong is negative, and we've created a world of baseless positivity with our awards and passing grades. A person who is wrong now feels as though he is being attacked and singled out and will lash out with the battle cry of stupidity, the death knell of intellect -- "Everyone has a right to their opinion." No single sentence has ever been more destructive to the fabric of our world than that one.
To start with, everyone has an opinion. Unless you literally can't think. So good, we all have an opinion. But that doesn't make it valid. Here's a quick test -- it's my opinion that you should send me all your money and then go fuck yourself. Literally. With a kitchen implement. Do you respect my opinion? Fuck no, you don't.
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"Leave the money on the table and stick this in your ass."
Having an opinion means nothing. Your opinion means nothing. Your opinion only becomes valid when it's backed by something, anything at all, that is rooted in tangible reality. In my opinion, mercury is a delicious topping for ice cream. Well shit, son, eat your shiny rocky road and see how that works out for you. In my opinion, alligator farts sucked directly from the hole cure cancer. Well guess what, you are not going to die of cancer after all, your face is going to be eaten off.
So maybe everyone can have an opinion, but it doesn't mean it's good or worth sharing. But that's not how people think. They think this right to an opinion they invoke puts them on even footing with literally everyone else. Because we don't have anyone who is a winner or loser, no one is ahead or behind, we're all the same, right? We all get a ribbon. So when a gastroenterologist tells you to stop drinking Drano, your opinion that it's delicious invalidates his opinion. Except his isn't the opinion of a random douche, it's as close as you can get to fact from another human being who has years of education and experience dealing with the issues at hand. It's informed and valid. Your opinion's a half a handful of duck squirt.
"Sup? Me again."
Now we're always a winner and we're never wrong. We're also the center of our universe. Other people matter less than us, and this is reflected in the media we skinny dip in. Facebook is our own little world in which we're the focal point. It's our pictures, our status, our friends, sharing what we like and making things go away that we don't like so that Facebook's helpful algorithms can ensure that the only things in your news feed are the things you want to see, never anything that challenges you. Have you noticed lately that you news feed has changed? Because people have so many friends on Facebook, the company had to find a way to ensure that only the "best" stories get to you. So, gone are updates that express dissent with any of the things you have liked over the years, and instead all you get are the things that neatly fit with what you do like. Wedding announcements. Baby pictures. Sketches of my penis in the moonlight. The things everyone shares mindlessly.
#1. Misplaced Aggression
What do you hate? Do you hate how liberal Cracked is? Hate the media? Hate gay marriage? Hate Obama? Looks like everyone online hates something in a furious, ball-exploding way. I really dislike Justin Bieber -- his saturation throughout pop culture, the inexplicable and blind devotion of his fans, his brazen attitude, his disrespect for law and basic decency, his music, pretty much everything about him is objectionable -- but man, I don't have the energy to hate him. First, I don't even know him. Maybe he's an innocent victim of circumstance. Probably not, but I don't know. I'll never know. I don't care enough to know one way or another.
We're a generation that has no idea what to do with feelings. We're caught between the manly ideals of old -- men are men and they eat steaks while the cow is still alive and then make love to women in the dark while drinking bourbon -- and the new mass-market image of a man as a guy who wears nice clothes and gets manicures and drinks gluten-free tilapia/tofu shakes. You know, lame shit like that. And since neither of those things really describes an actual human, when we don't fit the ideal we get all frustrated and antsy, and we end up with dickhead behavior. We hate things and start fights and create the idea of donkey punching. Have you ever thought about that seriously? That someone thought of that?
"I got punched and now I am unconscious. So that's sad."
There's a lot of anger from the basic street level with dumb shit like people shooting up McDonald's for incorrect burger orders to police shooting innocent suspects over 100 times to governments turning on their people and gunning them down in the streets. Who the fuck are we all so angry at? And why?
I'm no expert -- in fact I masturbate entirely too much to focus on getting a Ph.D. in anything -- but I can hypothesize that, on some level, a world that continues to breed entitlement backed by ignorance and misinformed opinions that have no validity whatsoever, where everyone thinks they're the most important person ever, is just a ripe, stanky Petri dish in which to create frustration, disappointment, and a desperate sense of loss and desolation when reality comes home and has a seat, destroying all the false beliefs we've fostered. So we make ourselves crazy by building ourselves up with lies, then knocking ourselves down with truth, and that makes a hell of a lot of people unhappy, this terrible cycle of expectation and disappointment.
Of course this is bullshit; the world is vastly more complex than that, and none of this accounts for disease, starvation, natural disasters, accidents, psychotics, crimes of passion, and the million other ways we can be screwed, let down, abused and used and left unhappy and unfulfilled from one day to the next. But it does make you wonder, doesn't it? What if we were all honest from the start; what if people succeeded or failed on the merits of their own accomplishments and abilities; what if real, factual, and valid information was free for everyone? That'd be some wack shit, yo.