4 Everyday Things We Can't Stop Lying To Ourselves About
One of the greatest comebacks in mankind's history is yelling "Lalala, I can't hear you!" over someone else who is making a point, thereby proving that you are the superior intellect and the other person can go fuck a duffel bag full of cantaloupes. This is often known as "willful ignorance" or simply "being childish." Any way you slice it (slicing it like fuckable cantaloupes, preferably), it involves a person pretending reality isn't happening, and that tactic is way more common than you'd think. In fact, a lot of us do it all the time.
Talents And Skills
When's the last time you went to karaoke night at a bar? Did you manage to endure the entire evening without stabbing pretzels into your ears while angels traded their wings in for shit flaps? I would submit that this is nearly impossible. Karaoke has been its own punchline for decades -- we expect that if we're experiencing it, it'll be bad. Like, asbestos lube bad. Maybe once in a while a real kickass singer gets up there, but that's like eating ten of those shitty, moldy peanuts before finding one that's just salty and delicious. So why do bad singers keep going out in public to sing badly?
Why not just stay home? Why not just buy a decent bag of freakin' peanuts?
As insane as it may sound, most bad singers don't know that they sing badly. Again, if you've ever been to karaoke, you absolutely know this to be true. You may even have a friend who has deluded themselves into thinking that when they bust out "Cat's In The Cradle" on stage, it doesn't actually sound like three cat's in the blender. For those who haven't been to karaoke night, watch any singing-based talent show. American Idol made its mark by spending a few episodes every season mercilessly mocking the tone-deaf and musically unstable. These people aren't donkey-brained gluttons for punishment; they seriously don't understand what they're doing.
If singing isn't your bag, look at the world of writing. When this internet thing finally caught on, the world of the professional writer exploded. I would assume that there are easily tens of thousands of people writing for money today who could not have done so without online publishing being a thing, and who otherwise would have all been selling oranges on the freeway off-ramp alongside me. So probably all of these writers assume they're awesome. How awesome? Maybe even as awesome as me.
And how do you get awesome? Space poop and racist porn, baby.
I've been writing since I was in grade school -- I used to write short stories all the time. In high school, I wrote really preposterous and vulgar noir detective stories featuring my friends as characters, and everyone thought they were funny because I'm super-likable and charming and not desperately sad and in need of validation. Like the karaoke singers, I was bolstered by the support of my friends, who made me believe I was really good, probably as part of a master plan to make me shut up. And of course, as it turned out, I am good enough to do this for a living now. Look at you, reading my work. You just proved me right. But am I as good as I think I am? I have an entire finished novel on my hard drive that an ever-growing number of people in the world of publishing have turned down that suggests maybe I'm OK, but not some kind of Walt Whitman / Chuck Palahniuk writing-Voltron. After all, it's hard to objectively look at yourself and think, "Yeah, I'm pretty average. Go team!"
When you do something you enjoy and think you do it well, it's very hard to wrap your head around the idea that you kind of suck scrote. It's an insult to you if someone points it out. If they happen to, they're the scrote-suckers. Look at them there, faces full of wrinkly scrote meat. Assholes.
And because it would be the worst thing to post after talking about scrote meat, here is some meat.
Of course, this isn't to say that you need to stop singing or writing if you're not as good as you think you are. Hell, you can probably only get better. But it does make you wonder about your own objectivity.
Ever heard of Alexander Pichushkin? He's a Russian serial killer known for beating his victim's heads in with a hammer, then jamming a bottle of vodka into the hole. He was convicted of 49 murders, but claimed to have committed 60. A woman named Natalya started writing him in prison and fell in love. The two would be getting married if not for the fact that he's in Russia's version of the Star Trek Rura Penthe prison out in the dark reaches of Siberia, where any potential escapees would either freeze to death or be eaten by guard dogs. Here's where I pause for you to finish laughing.
Serial killer Richard Ramirez actually got married in jail, while others like Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dahmer, and Charles Manson routinely received love letters from scores of women. They actually have a name for this. It's called hybristophilia -- the attraction to someone who has committed an outrage. Fucked up, right? How common is it? There are dating sites exclusively for hooking up with people still in jail. Sites! Plural! Jail! Boners!
While serial killers are an extreme example and we can probably assume that these people may be suffering some kind of mental illness, you see variations on it all the time. How often have you heard someone describe the maniac next door on the news as a quiet guy who kept to himself? How often do we have to dig into the background of someone who did something terrible to try to find a way to humanize them? There are people defending Milo Yoppapopolos, who spoke out in defense of young teens having sexual relationships with men, by saying he was abused. Yeah, well, so? So were lots of people who don't think horrible, shitty shit turd things.
Some marginally talented half-sack-of-suck like Chris Brown gets in the news for beating Rihanna to hell and back, and he has women on Twitter sending him messages about how they love him and making jokes about how he could beat them any time. He's back in the news again for threatening to kill his current girlfriend. Mel Gibson wind-sprinted down the list of insane racist shit you can leave on your ex's voicemail and managed to hit pretty much every one on the list, and he's rumored to be in line to direct the sequel to Oscar-winning cinematic buttloaf Suicide Squad. It's almost human nature to want to turn a blind eye to bad things about people, because we have to deal with them somehow. And it's just easier to not worry about bad things, or to get it into your head that you can scrape away the bad and find the good within by fixing them.
He set his house on fire with his family in it. But hey, no one went with him to prom, so it evens out!
Very likely, there's one thing we can agree on about politics, regardless of our personal beliefs, and that is that the entire political process in 2017 is tongue-blast-a-wolverine's-butthole insane and everyone else is wrong all the time. The fun thing about analyzing how people support their own candidates / positions / edicts from the Dark Shaper of Flesh and Gristle is that we all believe the other guy is by and large so far up their own ass that they may be pooping out of their own mouths again.
"And if thou gaze long into an asshole, the asshole will also gaze into thee."
In the recent American election, we had two major sides represented. On one hand were the people who believed Donald Trump was the apricot antichrist who would tell you how cold a room was even after you set him on fire, and that Hillary Clinton was America's Obi-Wan. On the other hand were the people who are pretty sure Hillary Clinton has hooves, makes child prostitutes eat pizza, and maybe once sold all of America to a Filipino fisherman in exchange for some shiny rocks, while Donald Trump's honesty and integrity would lead us into a new era of power ties. But who was right?
I dropped out of poli sci in college after a month, so I'm pretty sure I understand the political process. And my observations have led me to believe that both sides were more deluded than your dog thinking you're BBQing those T-bones just for him. And the politics don't even matter, which is the sad and terrifying part. (Saddifying? Sure.) It's that we will go to the ends of the Earth to support not necessarily the person who has the qualifications and convictions we believe in, but the person who opposes the one we don't. Did most people who voted Trump vote for him, or against Hillary? Is an election about making your country better or just metaphorically ass-blasting everyone you think is dumb?
Land of the free. Home of the insanely bitter.
A voter, especially one with a handful of bugs up their ass about this or that, would probably vote for a crate of PCP-addled beavers, regardless of what platform they were running on, if it meant that the person they didn't like wouldn't get in. Who gives a shit what anyone will do? It's all about making sure someone won't win and won't have power. Because if they win, you lose. This is exactly how people react when an election is over. People cheer and say "We won!" like a dad claiming "We're pregnant" when we all know full well he's not the one going into labor in a few months.
The only thing people can agree on in American politics right now is that Jill Stein sure got a sweet payday when she raised millions of dollars online that she then simply kept for no reason. But beyond that, most people (not all, I get that) just refuse to see the faults on their side of the fence, thanks to how much they hate the other side of the fence. And the worst part about that is both sides have us equally getting fucked over by the people on top who just watch the rest of us squabble while they do whatever they want, like sit on the sofa without shoes or eat KFC for breakfast.
"I get to eat this at 6 a.m. because I won."
Working pantsless most days means that I'm often alone in my home with my many, many cats and my TV. And if daytime TV has taught me one thing, it's that no one who watches Maury has ever intentionally gotten pregnant. It also teaches us that a certain subsection of women can come home from work, find a pair of earrings that don't belong to them, find a used condom on their pillow and a note written in lipstick on the mirror to their husband about how awesome his wiener is, and they will still require Steve Wilkos to give that man a lie detector test because they have a sneaking suspicion he may be cheating.
You've probably had at least one friend who was up to their nuts or lady-nuts in a terrible relationship that they refused to end, on the head-shakingly stupid grounds that they loved the other person. It's never said with conviction, and often sounds like a child whining about eating vegetables. "But I looooooove Gunther!" they'll say. And you'll say, "Fuck Gunther right in his crooked ear!" because Gunther has been sleeping with that one-legged lady who smells like Funyuns, and we all know it. But his girlfriend or wife will put up with it probably until the day she wakes up with Gunther actually plooking the other lady's Funyun chute in the same bed.
Booped her right in her snack shack.
It's not the other person's infidelity that makes us so blind to a bad relationship; it's our own insecurity. Of course someone else could be unfaithful. That's not an issue. But how could someone be unfaithful to me? This shit happens to other people, not to me. It's almost a perversion of that issue of being blind to your own lack of singing skills -- you feel like it reflects poorly on you, you don't understand how you could possibly be fucking this up, you don't want to hear it. And of course in this case it's not you, and your friends will always tell you that. But even the most confident amongst us still feels burned deep down inside when someone we really care about betrays us. It hurts us and makes us feel like we screwed up somehow. So we can't allow it. That used condom must have been stuck to the cat's paw. That lipstick message is probably just the landlord stalking us. That Funyun stink is literally just Funyuns. Sweaty, old Funyuns.
Not totally unfuckable, though.
Generally speaking, the only way this situation gets resolved is when the person ignoring all the evidence finally gets tired of lying to themselves. You can tell them the truth 100 times over, and it won't mean anything until they're ready to hear it. That is a pretty awful truth in itself about the way the human mind can work, but it's also the only way many of us will ever allow truth to sink in.
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