Calling People Out on Their Bullshit

As I’ve aged, I realize that I give zero fucks about so many things that used to be so important to me. I recognize that it’s part of growing up, you’ve got to invest in garbage before you realize what’s treasure. In our current political and societal climate, I’m becoming even more aware of things that are more bullshit than they need to be. Below is an indefinite list of issues that I would call BS on because they exacerbate and enable the same bullshit behavior, preventing people from growing and actually connecting with each other.

  • racism
  • homophobia
  • passive aggressiveness
  • presumptuous, know-it-all behavior
  • inconsiderate behavior, especially in public
  • one-upping for attention

I know it’s easy to build a wall around your feelings about these sorts of things, or to even excuse them. Oh grandpa comes from a different generation! He just doesn’t know any gay people! No. Don’t be a dick, accept other people, it’s none of your business what people do.

There’s also a right way and many wrong ways to call out bullshit. When you call bullshit on someone, you want to do it productively. You want them to consider their behavior so that they don’t repeat it in the future. So, how do we do this?

  1. Call bullshit on the behavior, not the person. Say something like, “I don’t believe that’s correct, motherfucker,” [motherfucker added at your discretion] or “That sounds like hate speech to me,” instead of “Why are you so racist/homophobic/holier-than-though/etc.?” or “That’s bullshit!”
  2. Be prepared to say why their behavior isn’t correct and be respectful dammit. It’s hard, I know. You probably want to yell at them for their unseemliness, but you have to help them see the error of their ways. People don’t want an infodump why they’re bad, so don’t list off all the shitty things they’ve said or done. “I don’t know about you, but in my family we were taught to respect others.” “How would you feel if So-And-So heard you say that?” “Excuse me, I’m right here.” I use that last one A LOT at the grocery when people pretend not to see me. Or a tasty one… respond with silence and hard eye-contact. When they ask what’s up, ask them why they would say such a thing when they know it hurts you. Be prepared for a real conversation after that one.
  3. Some people do the things they do because they’re covering up for deeper issues. For example, those people who one-up a conversation with something bigger and brighter than what you were talking about in order to shift the conversation to themselves. This is where you can say, “Yo, bro, I was talking about this thing, we’ll talk about yours when I give a shit.” Ok, ok, you can think that, but it’s probably better to dismiss them completely rather than feed that fire they want to stoke. If they try to bring up their one-upness again, a casual, “Oh, I thought we were talking about my thing,” may shut them up.
  4. One of the biggest things that irks me is people being passive aggressive. It’s definitely one of those behaviors that’s hard to detect until you’ve experienced and been burned by it. People who tend to be passive aggressive desire to feel dominant in some way. Diffusing their statements with humor may turn the tide. Some feel like they don’t have a voice or think they aren’t being listened to. Acknowledge them and ask “How would you resolve this, then?” Directly telling someone they’re a passive aggressive bitch isn’t going to get you anywhere, as much as you want to just tell them that. You aren’t their therapist, but diffusing and ignoring are your best tools.

Be prepared for the worst. People are shit sometimes. Don’t surround yourself with toxic people, and if you can cut them off, do so. Connect with people on a deeper level, try to see from their perspective, and if it’s a shit perspective, try to educate them.

The End. -A

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Letters to Nobody

Have you ever written a formal letter to a politician, president, or restaurant you really hated? I have, mostly in my head, while my opinions are well-heated, but they still linger sometimes.

When Ted Cruz was running for Senator again in my home State, I wrote him this long letter (in my head, obviously) about what a dickhead he is. He really is a dickhead. Let’s list some dickhead things about Ted Cruz:

The President talked shit about him and his family, and he didn’t have the balls to stand up for them.

Ted Cruz opposes Net Neutrality. Any good internet user knows that Net Neutrality under Title II laws protects us from throttling and being sold out to advertisers and big business. Ted Cruz? He doesn’t give a shit because they’re paying him out.

Ted Cruz believes that gun control legislature is ‘”tiresome.” Seriously, guy? PEOPLE ARE GETTING SHOT ALL THE TIME. Just 3 hours ago, a guy was shooting at an IHOP 3 miles from my house.

I could really go on, but it just has me seething thinking about the Zodiac Killer and how they have yet to prove that it was Ted Cruz the whole time.

So in my beautifully articulate letter in my head, I told him off. I told him that he doesn’t deserve the position he’s in to handle lawmaking for my State, nor the country. He doesn’t have my best interests at heart. He’s a snake that would rather buff up those that grease his palms than those who live in his districts. This asshole is so high up on his horse that he would only give me a canned letter back that has nothing to do with what I wrote to him anyways. (Example in case, my concerns about the repeal about Net Neutrality in 2018 and his auto-generated letter indicating that he didn’t even read what I wrote)

So if you’re reading this Ted Cruz: Fuck you. I can’t wait for you to be bumped out of office and political life forever. Your family doesn’t deserve you. You also look stupid with a beard.

Sometimes I’ve written letters in my head for good things. Like to my local library that always seems to find obscure Japanese films for me that I request. The stuff I want is super expensive and rare, too. Sure, I could get it from Amazon for $50, but in a few short months, they somehow manage to acquire it! My internal letters to the acquisition team are usually heartfelt and appreciative of them supporting my odd tastes. I imagine them reading my letters, being happy that someone thought to write them a letter, and then they actually read how weirdo I am.

If you’re reading this, public library near me: You’re the best and I appreciate you.

And lastly, I write internal letters to celebrities. My latest was to comedian Louis C.K. and how he disappointed me. I told him how much I used to be such a fan of his work, any film, TV, standup, I was there, supporting his craft. We saw him live and laughed our asses off. I cross stitched one of my favorite lines of his. “The meal isn’t over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself.” So relatable, right? Then he had to go and use his position to his sexual gains and it was just shitty. And now we can’t like him anymore. He ruined his career and our adoration for his humor.

If you’re reading this Louis C.K.: You suck and you’ll never be the same in our eyes.

These are just a few examples in my head of letters I’ve written. Obviously, this is just a tribute (like “Tribute” by Tenacious D) and will never be as good as what I’ve actually written.

The End. -A

What the What?

So why start a blog that no one is going to read? Maybe someone will read it. Maybe others will bookmark it to their favorites and only check it when they are sitting on the toilet (#lifegoals). Maybe someone will find one little snippet of truth that connects with them so profoundly that they will feel better about their life for just an instant.

I know I want to write. I feel the urge all the time and reminisce about the days that I would blog in character for LegendMUD. I have a handful of adolescent-looking journals buried deep in boxes that no one can get to, for fear of my awful, angsty, two-faced entries seeing the light of day, or even worse… someone’s eyeballs. But I’m a better writer now. I know that because I read a shitload of books, and some of that has to have rubbed off on me, right? I mean, I know what a good sentence is. I sometimes try to write in a formal, literary fashion, and sure it comes out okay, but for this setting, I’m going to write as I feel and as I talk. It’s more natural that way.

So what are my plans for this digital space?

  • It’s for me.
  • Anyone else reading this is just bonus points.
  • Articles on my life, my bullshit, other people’s bullshit, influences, etc.
  • Memes

The End. -A