Friday, 12 November 2010

culture of explicit weakness indicating explicit strength indicating implicit strength or implicit weakness?

I keep seeing a hell of a lot of stuff in society, not just of media or culture or but also people, all around, on buses, in the bank, at any given social event, whatever, more than happy to talk about how something, some thing, that 'average' people would call slightly more difficult, stressful, hardshipi, whatever than 'the norm', that has happened to them and they want to talk about it in the sense of representing how strong they are, how much they rise above, how hardcore they must be to just deal. Sometimes the reason this happens is that many people are too unimaginative to consider that the stranger they are talking to may have problems of their own. Sometimes it's because the situation you live with is so alien to them they wouldn't know where to start with regards to the trying to empathise, in your shoes, kinda thing. But either way, there are so many ways I meet people, hear them talking about their shitty little problems and think to myself, to varying degrees of white hot rage or another, why don't you just shut the fuck up about it? You only just met me, if you talk about this when you've only just met me, you are doing numerous things that annoy me - first, you are assuming the conversation will go the way you want, with me shocked and sympathetic and maybe admiring that you have so much to go through and you clearly do get through it. Second, if you do it with me, a stranger, that suggests to me maybe you feel the need to talk about it all the time, you can't cap it, and if you can't cap it then you aren't handling are you? And how fucking annoying are you to your friends if you go on and on about this at all times, every minute you see anyone. Or thirdly, maybe you only do this to strangers, and if so is that because you assume that their time is less precious, their lives less important, born only out of your lack of imagination telling you that knowing nothing about the stranger you are prattling at means theres nothing to know. And of course, then you have my fourth, and possibly most prevalant irritant - going on about everything you deal with as if you are by default way more stressed out, hardcore, prevaling despite blah, than the person you are speaking focuses on one of my major pet peeves - trying to present yourself as strong by explicitly emphasising the weak, vulnerable, difficult, insummountable thing if your life, or the terrible tragedy that you felt such strong emotions about that it changed you as a person, that aint gonna make me think you are super awesome for going through so much and dealing with it, because unfortunately you're talking to one of those people who went through, you know, tough shit, and who dealt, came out of the other side and found out resilience is our thing. Other people might think you have super human inner strength for getting though an insummountable situation, but I think what applied to me. And yes it makes me bias:

I am good in a crisis.
I am better in a crisis than during an anticipatory period.
I'm quite pragmatic and just deal with what is actually a problem, not what happens to some people in the future but there is no statistical or other evidence it will definitely happen to you.
I believe in balancing my problem versus the gradient of other problems in the world, as well as my life balance of problems versus awesomeness and then other people's problem versus awesomeness life ratio, and see whether I think I and whoever the 'they' is, have a right to complain a little bit.

So, a hell of a lot of people piss me off. However it all depends on the situation, and ratio of occurance. As well as concurrance in some cases. Social skills and my own guilt in this situation can have a strong effect as well.

For example, I have some friends with ME, and I've had a few friends in the past with it too. Some didn't tell me this was the case very early, and rarely talk about. And sometimes only talk about in response to me ironically doing what I'm talking about hear: complaining about health problems consuming me without realising the person on the receiving understands that fine. Though they do it nicer, not out of an urge to make me feel bad for complaining; they're not arseholes like me. Now, I thought these people were stars anyway, so finding our they had Harsh Shit To Deal With™  just made me admire what I generally admire anyway. Specifically people who want to be about more than the weakness in their life which by proxy of Dealing, makes them look like they have great strength. That may be true, but as this blog shows, I don't necessarily like people who do it all the fucking time. Then you have other people who I've know with ME, and some of them... well, they are right little fucking bastards. Some would use their ME like the shield of a troll to bounce off any accusation of asshole status. One guy I knew when I was studying A levels (so lame, I know) he would skip any lecture  he wanted, because you know, ME, then five minutes after the class is over, he's around. Or having people over his flat to chill out, eat snacks, watch films. And shit stir. Yes, I said it, that vague phrase that can mean so much or so little. But really, he would shit stir all day, about every person he knew, with this shit eating grin on his face, picking on peoples' fears and insecurities, poisoning their love, extinguishing their flame of hope and self appreciation in order to make everyone lose the things that make their lives worth living, or lose the things they are about to have that would make them happy. I thought that guy was an asshole, I thought he gave ME sufferers a bad name, and in tandem I thought he was faking the extent to which ME caused problems in his life and created his personality due to his being an asshole. I figured even if he had been diagnosed then his condition had lessened when I knew him because obviously his proactive approach to ruining peoples' lives didn't fit in with the extentive dibilitation it supposedly caused when it came to doing any curriculum work or research. 

On the other hand, am I being completely hypocritical? A lot of people would call me more of an asshole now, and I am more outspoken about what and who I hate (to one extent or another given the week in question) and that is because I hated the fact that I had been so amiable and meek before I got ill, a behaviour that may have contributed to me becoming as ill as I was. I remembered that before I moved to london I had a real spark, a real fierce glint in my eye. People remembered me because I was outspoken, eloquent, caustic or charasmatic in turn. Whether I was being intimidatingly evil, or demurely charming, I did it with an intensity people didn't forget. Then life things happen and my soul started to die, and the glint died with it. Like my mother. And at the same age. And it seemed that what replaced the glint wasn't nearly as interesting or memorable. The moment I was out of sight I would be out of mind. All I was was an amiable, meek, helpful mass. No real face and no real voice. I had thoughts, big and intense, but with the spark gone I couldn't ignite. Then I got sick and realised that even without the glint I could have said everything I thought. Being meek hadn't helped my life, hadn't had any beneficial affect. I could have said any of the things I thought, even with the spark, the eloquence. And more importantly, nothing bad would have happened from it. I wouldn't say I regretted it, but the idea that I would have died a forgettable mass didn't make me happy, and I remembered that who I was when I was in Cardiff had made me happy, and being honest about my opinions and musings was a part of that. So I decided to go back to that and I am. But I don't think the fierceness, the spark, the charm has come back so now I'm just an angry girl crudely expressing caustic opinions. I don't think anyone would say I have the charisma to pull off the level of bile I can sometimes spill to make entertaining enough to remember. Or sometimes its just that I don't want to be consistently charming and charismatic. There was a time when I was that as well and it got me nothing but trouble. No, much better to be inconsistent, sometimes interesting and fun, sometimes giving off the intense stench of poison, as the mood takes me.  Some people would say I'm floating into mad pigeon lady territory. But I don't mind that. I like mad pigeon lady. Her madness holds secrets. 

Anyway, is that what my A level friend was really all about? He was about the age I am now back when I was a teenager... was he simply channeling his inner truth, based more in a truth laying outside of moral questions of social interaction and appropriate treatment and more in what his soul was telling him he'd be happy with if he died that very day? Did I not see this because I hadn't really been tested yet, I hadn't seen how unimportant certain issues of human interaction and social norm were? Sometimes what is right for the soul is not nice, not positivity, not polite tact. Sometimes making friends with your hate diminishes it's strength, allows you to remain the master of yourself and the master of your perception of proportion. Sometimes following the bile in your soul and analysing your inner reaction to everything is the only way to flush out public opinion and have some integrity to the universe, to anything that comes your way.

Either way, my perception can be erratic. Sometimes I meet certain people who do what I advocate today and I hate them. Sometimes I see people who do what I often think is pompous, self involved and without a sense of proportion and I think its contextually reasonable. Sometimes I'm the asshole calling everyone else an asshole. Like the Scottish Drunk I saw next to a graveyard screaming 'Who's the fucking best?'

But in general I will say, there are certain people in society who seem to complain about very small problems and never seem to vocalise that they know how much they have to be happy about. And for these people I have nothing but complete scorn, all the time, any time, no matter how I may be perceiving the ratio of assholes in the universe with me on one side and every other body on the other side. Then you have the people who complain about problems that are self induced and/ or relate to them not having 'the perfect life'. These people are swiftly ejected from life unless I have no way around it. I could literally spend my entire life, every minute of every day for as possible puking in the faces of these people, if it wouldn't rot my teeth and make my immunosuppressed body quite likely of shutting straight down and have a heart attack or something. If I ever hear someone talking about how they need a new car but the 80 grand they earn each year gives them no leaway to make this possible, or another faceless idiot talking about how now they have the perfect house, the perfect job, great friends, great style, a safe and secure environment but they can't find the absolutely perfect man when they have reject 600 guys for offenses ranging from not knowing what a cravet is to getting blond highlights on dark brown hair then I will probably put a billboard up with their face with aforementioned statement, asking all to honk if they think they are a cunt. Or any variant therein. I do not do well in conversations about such self induced problems. They are either people who cannot keep anything in proportion or they are trying to highlight how awesome their life is by expliciting that their only problem is X, eg small. Either way it's a conversational vacuum and you will get nothing from me. I will most likely just walk away, probably forgetting that a conversation was in progress at all.

End Rant.

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