Human beings are prone to irrational thought. If you Google the topic right now, you may want to laugh at the lists that pop up. Irrational thoughts to most are things like "If people criticize me, there must be something wrong with me." That is not an irrational thought. That's a perfectly normal thought in the face of criticism and, in fact, may even be true. What if you are stupid? Not everyone is a genius. Sometimes people are dumb, or clumsy, or forgetful, or lazy. Sometimes not. So it's a reasonable thought, and the best you can say is not that it's irrational, but that it may be incorrect. It may be a baseless criticism of oneself.
Real irrational thoughts are not candy coated like that. Real irrational thoughts are ones few people will ever even write about, and I do so now at the risk of exposing myself as more monster than human. This is the stuff you never tell anyone. But you think it. I know you do. Hell, some of you may even act on these thoughts. And they generally come in three categories.
The history of human sexuality is as stunning as it is off-putting and arousing. Every human exists thanks to the act of sex, and yet, with 7 billion of us here right now and many more behind us through history, we're still only so comfortable discussing what gets us off. Possibly because we're all busy wanking.
At various points in history, we have been more or less able to give voice to our desires and needs. The reason for this seems clear in modern society, and that is fear. I am afraid of you just as you are afraid of me, and only a handful of people that most of the world considers weird are open to expressing all their myriad sexual perversions. Even that word is a bit judgmental, isn't it? If you like different sex, you're perverted. You're wrong in some way. Better keep it quiet. Hump that bagel in the closet, weirdo. Not at the drive-thru.
Getty Son, I'm gonna need that cream cheese.
If you want to have your tongue in someone's bum, or even if you don't want to do that at all and you never will but the thought pops into your head thrice a year at family gatherings, you may be crippled with the fear that someone, somehow, is going to find out and judge you. People whose opinions you care about will look at you like a monster, and you, psychologically naked as the day you were born, will have nothing to shield that terrible blow to your psyche. And that makes you and me and everyone else feel bad sometimes.
The crazy thing is that I can write this article and say it's OK, you have those thoughts sometimes and so do I, but on some level you're never going to believe me. What if it's really just you and me and Gladstone thinking these things and everyone else is thinking about how they can better serve their country and lower fuel emissions? And everyone else thinks that, too, and we'll never get together and be comfortable enough to just voice any of these thoughts, and not just because that would be an awkward conversation for us to have upon first meeting (save it for the second date).
Thanks to the Internet we have Rule 34, which states that if something exists, there's a pornographic version of it, and that actually seems like it might be true, which isn't always a good thing. Not everything has to be sexy to everyone, and that's OK. For instance, I think your feet are gross and I've never even seen them. Please keep them away from my crotch. Some folks are all about that, though. Some will be open about that desire, others not so much.
Deep, dark thoughts and desires are just that for a reason. They're dark because we're fearful of what they mean about us, and often they do just reflect some other aspect of our personality. And before I go further, let me assure you that nothing I'm writing about here is meant as a justification or excuse for sexuality that crosses the line into something violent or criminal, that's a whole different ball of smut. I just mean when you're eating a Twix and you think "It'd be awesome if someone spit in my face and made me wear latex panties later tonight. Now pull my hair and call me a dirty, pretty pony."
You've probably entertained one or two thoughts in your life and you were shocked that it even popped in there for the two seconds you held on to it before you pushed it away. Or maybe you didn't push it away. Neither makes you bad; your mind is an incredible machine and you're going to think all manner of random thoughts in your life. It's just bizarre that you and everyone you know will live your life pretending that those thoughts never happened when, if we acknowledged them, at the very least conversation at church would be more interesting.
Don't you just hate pants? Of course you do. And what about rambutan? They look like grapes that have a leather jacket covered in pubes, I can't deal with that. And say, don't you hate your family and wish they would all be flayed alive and fed to ants? Oh, you don't? Huh. Next paragraph.
Anger and frustration are hard emotions to master. The APA even has an online brochure that says as much. And even if you do keep a cool and calm demeanor in the face of such things, the instant something happens that infuriates you, your mind is going to do as it sees fit and give rise to all kinds of ideas to help fix the situation. And that includes the completely irrational and damn near evil. Just look at the comment section of nearly every article every posted on any website ever. People respond with intolerance, constantly.
If you get cut off in traffic by some asshat, you may not necessarily decide to road rage as some people do and whip out a tire iron, but probably the thought occurred to you that if that dude drove off a bridge and exploded it'd serve him right. Just imagine if that actually happened, though. Now imagine if it happened just because you wanted it to. Now imagine if that person wanted it to happen to you as you helplessly careened off the expressway to your doom. Harsh, man.
I'm falling to my death! Wee!
We all know hotheads who react off the cuff in ways like that, but they're the minority, right? Most of us keep cool, we're not constantly bogged down by hatred. And yet if you revisit that comment section remark, you'll be faced with a curious reality -- why do so many people on the Internet have so much rage if people in the real world don't? Why is there so much blatant homophobia, sexism and racism in comments and on message boards when none of the people I know are like that?
Unless they are.
We all let hate get the better of us sometimes, and for some of us this hate is quite misplaced and it creeps out in the most unassuming ways. Ever been sitting around with a group of people shooting the shit and, quite apropos of nothing, one of them decides to make an offhanded joke about black people? That's a moment, right there. Most people don't know how to react to such profound awkwardness, and usually someone will laugh, if only to allow breathing to resume in the room. The tension may be diminished, but you're all left wondering if you were just party to a hate crime. Why did that person even say that? Because they're racist? They certainly don't see themselves as racist, a fact they'll catch you up on by constantly assuring everyone "I'm not racist." If they're not actively harming minorities, they feel their racism isn't racism at all, just good old-fashioned observation about the differences between people. Of course, they may be saying it to test the waters. Maybe later they can make another joke if everyone reacted favorably. Because they have those thoughts inside and want to know if they're OK to share.
And while everyone's not harboring some secret racist thoughts, lets take a look at the hateful thoughts personal to each one of us. Ever considered if you could get away with murder? Sure you have. Maybe just as a thought experiment while watching a movie and noticing all the crappy flaws in the plot, or because you legitimately think murdering Brett Ratner is the only way to stop him from ruining art as a whole, but there's a good chance it's crossed your mind. Ever been moved to hit someone just because they were annoying you? Not in self-defense, not because you were being provoked, just because some grand gnat of a twat would not shut up, or close their mouth to chew, or stop showing you slides of their trip to Arizona.
Getty And here's a photo of who gives a shit.
Ever wondered why humans hate? What purpose it serves? Love brings enjoyment and a closeness between friends and relatives that assists in protecting and nurturing each other. Fear is part of our survival instinct. Even anger provides a measure of focus in dealing with situations we dislike and allows us, within reason, to exercise control over such situations. But why hate?
The fact that it's hard to even explain why we hate also explains why we want to keep it secret. It seems wrong. In an accepting environment our hatred is not wrong, and we're more comfortable expressing it, which is why racists congregate together, or why one friend may test the waters with an inappropriate joke. But if we're not sure others share the feeling, it stays hidden and only comes out when rage clouds us, or when we're anonymous and free to say whatever we want, like on the Internet.