Thursday, January 6, 2011
Ambivalent post (neither the first nor the last)
It's a day later, and I still feel badly about it. This makes me wonder how people who are constantly engaging in this kind of behavior can live with themselves. Maybe if one does it enough, it doesn't feel so awful.
Unfortunately, I rather think that's true. Some folks are even proud of their mean spiritedness. The other day I was waiting in a drive-thru line and noticed that both cars ahead of me had nasty bumper stickers. One proclaimed, "I ♥ Haters!" The other one read, "I may be fat, but you're ugly, and I can diet." I just googled that one to make sure it was correct, and I got 188,000 results in .33 seconds. You can get a bumper sticker, mug, key chain, or coffee mug with this lovely sentiment stamped upon it. Let me ask you this: Why?
I know why I was mean yesterday. It was personal. We all occasionally go over the top when discussing subjects that are important to us. But, as far as day-to-day being a jerk for the sake of a laugh goes, I just don't get it. I was in some pain yesterday, and that does account for some of my poor judgment.
Is it possible that personal pain is what drives all the awfulness around us? Buddha would have said "yes." Suffering causes suffering.
Fear, insecurity, and jealousy certainly have something to do with all the offensive bumper stickers that I see on a daily basis. Around these parts, there are many variations on the "My kid beat up your honor student" bumper sticker. Is it wrong of me to point out the grammatical problem of "My kid is an honor student because they have better drugs than your kid"? There's probably a bumper sticker that makes fun of people like me who correct other peoples' grammar. I generally don't (at least not in person). However, finding a typo in another person's writing is what got me into trouble yesterday when I read so closely that I forgot an actual human being whom I care about had done the writing (and even if I didn't know the person, normally I would still try to be decent).
So, back to other things, because no one (I hope) would appreciate any more of my self-chastisement.
Gun rights folks seem to really like their bumper stickers. "Keep Honking - I'm Reloading" is #1 (with a bullet). This one really scares me: "Warning! Trespassers will be shot, stomped, violated, strangled, mutilated, kicked, beaten, and boiled alive. Leftovers will be fed to the dogs." I'm not making it up. You can buy this sticker here, here, and if you'd prefer the milder version, "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again", well, there's 13,600 google hits for that particular warning.
I believe I've gotten the message.
I will not be posting it at the top of this entry.
Image note: George Morland 1763-1804 "Two Men Hunting Rabbits with their Dog, A Village Beyond" I wanted to find a nice painting of people hunting. Makes little sense, really. I found this, and thought it quite sweet (though, of course, the rabbits wouldn't agree).
Addendum: Y'know, it only just occurred to me that "I ♥ Haters!" might not be nasty at all. It might actually be simply delightful. Maybe the modern day Jesus would write that on a napkin when he's having supper with friends. Maybe we should all ♥ the haters instead of making fun of them like I am tonight, and make the world a better place. Maybe I should throw out this blog entry. Maybe not. Hey, I'm only human.