4 Reasons the World Has Never Been Better
If you're a regular reader of my work, you know I have a preoccupation with sex, awkwardness, and blowing sunshine up people's asses. Thing is, I used to be a very cynical, pessimistic, angry sort of runt. I was sarcastic and surly much of the time, and the reasons for that are myriad and depressing and none of your concern right now, because that was then and this is now. Now I wallow in positivity and the very joy of being because of another totally different reason that you also need not concern yourself with. But the fact that it can happen is what's important.
See, the world can be depressing as shit. I know that and you know that. There's a lot of ugly out there. Lots of hate and anger and bags of flaming shit on porches. And as has been pointed out in some of my past articles where I've clumsily tried to impart life knowledge or inspiration, maybe I can't always hit the nail on the head for you specifically. Maybe you're introverted beyond belief, maybe you have endured horrible abuses I can't imagine, maybe you're dealing with emotional and psychological issues that a simple comedy article directed to a general audience could never hope to speak to. But what if I could? What if I could help you? What if you could help someone else? What if just one person somewhere has a better day, a better outlook, a better opinion of themselves and the world at large as a result of things I have seen and experienced and shared? Well shit, son, that's what keeps me going.
"I'm doing active shit in sunshine, trust my judgment!"
I can eat all the dollar store food and taste all the lube in the world while fumbling through every orgy on the Eastern seaboard and I doubt I'll change your life, but I do want you to know why I did those things. Why I'll keep doing goofy shit I've never done before, and keep putting myself places I can't even imagine wanting to be. I do those things for you. The grand, plural, indefinite you. I want you to be wowed by the audacity, and inspired by the ridiculousness. I want you to see the world the way I see it, even if it's just in 2,000 words, half of which are about bum sex and crazy bus people.
The world I see is amazing. It's intricate and heartbreaking and beautiful. It's full of monsters and angels, of sights I long to see and sights I can't forget. There are people whose presence has completely altered the entire way I understand reality, and others who I've only caught a glimpse of and fallen in love with for nothing more profound than the way they smile. And I know not everyone lives in this world with me, and to me, it's a little tragic. Too many people live in a much darker world of repetition, depression, anger, abuse, hate, and shit. Shit that's waist deep and you feel like you'll never get out of it. A world in which people who are supposed to protect you betray you, where violence is par for the course, and where fear sits on your shoulder every waking moment because it's how you have to manage your home, your family, your everything. I hate that. I'm sorry for that. I know what that's like.
"Want me to kick someone's ass for you? I totally will!"
My experience isn't your experienced, though. It can't be, and it really shouldn't be. We all walk different paths. But the path is on the same planet, at least, and in that we can find some similar ground to try to understand and help each other. So with that in mind, if you find yourself unhappy about life or your path through it, let me give you some things to be happy about right here, right now, in the present!
Never before has the world been so open for a person like you. Some of us are lucky in love -- remember that guy in high school who managed to date the hot girl you were obsessed with for four solid years but could never hope to date? Ladies, feel free to reverse this to be applicable to you, and if you identify as gay, bi, or something else, I feel confident assuming you've also had this experience at least once. (Unless you were that handsome Channing Tatum son of a bitch at school, in which case, good for you. Good for having those impeccable genetics that made you beautiful. You have no idea what it's like to be the son of a cave troll.) But that person seemed to have it easy, at least as far as companionship went. A million friends, a thousand parties, and never the fear of loneliness to bring them down. Bastards. Handsome bastards.
The rest of us stood on the sidelines to a greater or lesser degree. We wanted more, but maybe offered less. We didn't have Hollywood romances or kick-ass parties with the whole graduating class in which we all got wasted and had sex. Maybe we didn't even have someone to play Magic: the Gathering with, even though we had like six Shivan Dragons, and those things were hard to get, man.
Look, it's a real card, I'm that big a nerd!
But today! Today, my friend, you can have it all if you want. Mock an eHarmony commercial all you like (and you should, the company is kind of a shitbird), but the reality behind them is the real deal. Thanks to the Internet, it's so much easier to meet people than it ever used to be. People for romance or people for friendship. I have more online friends than real-life friends now, which isn't to say I live in a pit like Gollum and talk to myself, it just means that, online, I know way more people than I do offline. And I feel genuinely close to a lot of them, people I have never met in person.
Today you have unprecedented access to everyone else on Earth. Even better, your fears of rejection are so much more easily allayed when you can meet these people in places that cater to people who like the things you like. You can meet your brony pals on a site dedicated to bronies. You can arrange for a hometown Quidditch match just by hanging out on the right subreddit. And yes, you can date, even if it's awkward. Even if you have an anxiety disorder, or an STD, for God's sake. There are people like you out there, and they want to meet you as much as you want to meet them.
Along with the need for companionship is the need for support, someone to let you know you're not alone, because that's the biggest thorn in the side of so many people. When you suffer from depression, you look at the world like you're the thing wrong with it. You alone have somehow fucked up. But you didn't! Other people are in the same boat, and just by hearing them tell their stories, stories that are so much like your own, you get the sense of relief that only comes from knowing you're not a fuckup. Like, maybe you fuck up pancakes or whatever, but life, you're doing that OK.
And it doesn't need to be depression, either; it's anything. Sexual identity issues, terminal illness, mental health problems, chemical dependency -- you make a list, and you'll see someone else made a list, too. And so did a bunch of others. And you can find them and see that they know what your life is like and you know what their life is like. And does that cure any illnesses or heal any wounds? Not by a long shot, but it offers you one of the greatest things you can hope for when the world is pinching one off on you, and that's a hand. Or just an ear.
It does not offer you dat ass.
Everything in the human experience is better with someone else; we're hardwired to want to experience life that way. We are social animals, whether our emo selves like it or not. We work better in groups. We also suffer better in groups. Look at a horror movie -- who's the biggest idiot? The guy who goes off alone. We find strength in numbers, not just physically, but emotionally, so seeking out this support, this like-minded and like-experienced group of others, is normal and helpful. In today's world, it's easier than ever, thanks to the existence of actual support groups, both online and off, as well as clubs, charities, and more than are set up to help bring awareness and acceptance to whatever it is you're struggling with.
One hundred years ago, if you were depressed, then fuck you. Depression was something women suffered when they didn't get enough opium. You'd better opium up and shut up. Today, not so much. Now you get to actually share your story and get back advice, some kind of solace, and understanding, and that can make a world of difference to many of us, even without the added thrill of opium.
Have you ever heard of Bailey Jay? Let me drop in a pic here.
Is that hair color natural?
She's pretty hot, right? She's also transgender. Someone in the comments will likely call me a fag for including her and saying that, but most won't. Because our world today is also one of unprecedented tolerance.
Now, you may have just guffawed and asked yourself what world I live in, because the world is full of bigots and racists and hateful pigs like Ann Coulter and Nancy Grace and Donald Sterling. But that's the negative you. Don't think that way. Not to say you're wrong, but let's flip your perspective a little and look at gay marriage, which is now legal in 16 countries around the world, plus many states in the U.S. and parts of Mexico. Denmark was the first country in modern times to legalize same-sex marriages, and they did so in 1989. 1989! Look how much history we had as a people during which this was not tolerated at all. Hell, it took a law in 1969 in the U.S. to make interracial marriage legal.
I'd never dream of saying that your life is probably a jaunt down Lollipop Lane if you're a gay man, or a black woman, or a transgender person. I bet you face way more shit than a white guy like me ever dreams of. But I know we're getting better. We, as a people, are getting better. Fifty years ago, couples on TV couldn't be shown sleeping in the same bed; now we have RuPaul's Drag Race. And that's not a comment on the quality of programming, but the diversity of it. We're accepting now, more than ever. Other people are allowed to be other people. Your perspective is only yours, and you have no need to force it on others, just as they don't need to force their values on you. And the people who are the assholes, and the bigots, and the dipshits, look how they talk. The Gay Agenda. Black Culture. They think these minorities are trying to do to them what they're doing to the minorities -- oppress them and make them lesser people. It's like when you see a man who constantly accuses his wife of cheating and it turns out he's the one who's been cheating all along. It's an Ouroboros of dickhattery.
Like this, but with penises, and on a hat.
Transgender rights are coming on the heels of gay rights, and God knows neither group is fully integrated into society yet, fully accepted by everyone, but is it better now than it was 30 years ago? I think it is. And that's a good thing. A society that accepts all of its members is a society that can flourish and be better for everyone, and that's what we want, right? Probably. A world where you don't feel ashamed of being gay. Or liking My Little Pony. Or being overweight. Or liking Olive Garden, no matter how gross it is.
Before the Industrial Revolution, life expectancy was about 30 years. That didn't mean 30-year-olds were senior citizens; it just means that, on average, 30 was a pretty good haul for most people. Sure, some of us lived to see 80, which is about the current life expectancy, but far more of us never managed to get past infancy, and those who did had to constantly worry about polio, scurvy, werewolves, inquisitions, the plague, the other plague, Groat's disease, and bottomless pits. All previous times to be alive were shittier times to be alive.
Today, thanks to things like improved nutrition and medicine, you can expect to live to be a senior citizen, you can expect to be a solid 4 inches taller than your ancestors 200 years ago, and if you live in the industrialized world, chances are you have a roof, running water, food, a clean living space, and fairly reasonable access to health care and so much porn. In a bygone era, your roof was whatever you made yourself, your floor was probably dirt, your food was what you grew, your clothes were what you made, and medicine, if you could get it, might be administered with dirty instruments, or it might be snake venom and opium on a cookie. They did weird shit back then. You don't even want to know what they used as fap material back then, either, but it probably involved some sweet goat heiney.
Of course, we still have a long way to go for everyone to share in this prosperity -- there are nearly 2 million homeless people in America today, and so many more living in poverty. But look how far we've come. Look at the potential that is here for all people.
Will we one day get our shit together and make sure everyone enjoys equal prosperity? Well, that might be communist, don't say that anywhere near a conservative radio host, but it's still a nice idea to think that one day we could live in a world in which people don't have to die in gutters for lack of proper mental and physical health care, nutrition, and housing. And we're way closer to that today than any other time in history. So look at you, no matter who you are and what you do. Does your life suck? It might; everyone's does sometimes. But it's better than what it could have been in so many ways. Remember that the next time you make it through a day without a werewolf eating you. The world is pretty awesome.