That word can be so gray. It’s why when it’s those few times that things are black and white, and one of those colors is wrong, it’s just so freeing to go “No, this is the one that is right. Fuck the one that is wrong.”
It’s like knowing which one has the ball in The Shell Game. That’s my choice! That one.
And those videos of kids picking the correct prize, and then getting pranked are righteously viral 🙂 Yeah, you don’t think about what’s under the third cup because you’re enjoying the freedom / dopamine / knowledge behind being righteous — you have a centrated, less-considerate answer because it takes energy to hold it and you want to say right, right, right.
(Because holding and containing a mental assessment takes a bit of energy, the evolution of that impulse to get it out there fast and hard kind of makes sense.)
There’s been a lot of wrong this week. Wednesday when I caught the news I found it really hard to focus to the point that I wish I hadn’t, at least for a few hours. Cons of being connected.
Today I’m seeing weird people make arguments for the wrong side. Folks are either being righteous or doing mental jumping jacks to back their side of the American discord.
And all I’m thinking is, being righteous is dangerous too. Very aware of that. But some people are just posting fucking stupid point of views too. I mean it. And I’m apt to mock it I know this. But there’s real danger in enabling the bullshit, or bullshit justification of something wrong, too.
And there’s a weird balancing act, of trying to assert what’s right without being too righteous or nasty to the point of destructive, and not trying to enable the bullshit. A correct principle = when someone is mentally ill in a way that makes them toxic, it’s kind of worse to knowingly line up with their destruction.
Yeah, I’m saying a few words today because that’s right. But I love when people are making me go through the stupid-ass balancing act of not wanting to get too dirty wrestling with pigs. And there are some real fucking pigs exposing themselves for what they are out there lately. It’s not even low hanging fruit at this point — it’s shit on the ground that needs to be cleaned up.
The hardest part in dealing with dumb fucks is trying not to be too righteous. It’s a little annoying and energy demanding to second-guess and double check your own output to make sure it’s worth putting out there if you get the feeling that the pig begging to be wrestled with wouldn’t bother, half as much.
When I went to college it was for the sake of figuring my life out while developing what we’ll call internal assets that’d mature. I’d only matured enough to know I hadn’t come close to maturing yet.
(Maybe I’ll get there one day?)
And one of my degrees ended up being in English because it was that easy. I know that sounds douchey, but that’s reality: I joined a magazine that offered college credit as payment (lol) and one day realized I was such a finite number of credits towards that degree that I figured hell, let’s take like 5 more classes and make that happen.
Maybe I should frame this — I like education for the internal values. The degrees themselves are usually a stupid measure of anything except a fundamental exposure and possible career qualification trajectory. Weird example: One of the Ph. D candidates in my old lab couldn’t design a sensible experiment for squat, and didn’t seem to intuit how to figure out if a hormone antagonist made a subject hungrier….which is to say she didn’t go “hey let’s administer this hormone and see if they consume more food!” Their experiment design — something they worked hard to think about and come up with to propose — would have been costly, indirect, confounded to bitsies and mean to rats. That person is a Ph D now.
Meanwhile, when Dr. Kristal ended up chewed my chaw out he said, “I think you’re very bright, but I think there are people who will work harder than you and go farther.”
And there’s an expert opinion on how I’m not indispensable for being the guy in this example who did propose “Um, is there something I’m missing or why aren’t we just injecting this hormone here and measuring how much the subjects consume?” and along with a solid “So what?” that I did. And even if my model was the experiment that was run, I agree with my lab overlord that I coitenly didn’t deserve to be a Ph. D candidate just for that. Moreover, there’re definitely better scientists out there than both of us, and many of them don’t have higher degrees.
Degree is for a career. Value is for life.
And with that said, English programs can bring real value. I underestimated it back when, but today I’m tackling some work challenges in a technology field that are making me appreciate running through that a lot.
Working smart is the most valuable way to work, and I’m thinking today that an English program can teach you how to apply smarts to engage technical situations without being a technical specialist yourself, or own nontechnical engagements better than most other majors could.
(Disclaimer: that is not to say you can walk in and be on par with a technical expert like you’re fucking Iron Man. The beauty is that you don’t need to be a technical expert to engage and work with one very well, and that today’s best English majors should be able to do this extra extra well.)
When my income was entirely reliant on tutoring CADS students, I came across quite a few who said things like “I’m in COLLEGE.” I remember one girl shouting this with a zeal that made COLLEGE hitting my ear holes like “CAHLLAJ!” while I was a room full of people who’ve been doing that and then wondering why we’re declaring this out loud.
Yes, this person came from a rougher background. And there are many reasons folks from rougher backgrounds often don’t expect more than B’s. It’s a big deal to just make it to class when your belief is that it’s a big deal that you just made it to class….and this is distinct from the elation of being a tourist.
Well most universities and colleges run like businesses now — and it’s reality that a customer who’s excited to be a customer is an excited customer. In this case, more than seeing you get B’s, these institutions are much more excited to sell you reprinted editions with punctuation changes for a premium, or dining dollars so you can buy bottled water. It’s sad because businesses will sell you whatever shit you’re willing enough to buy. Want a cup of heavy cream with melted chocolate for 6 bucks? BAM, starbucks has got you. Want a movie of some petite barbie making a dookie in a hotel shower? Ok wtf, but internet has got you.
So if college majors can be determined by market demand (“if”) then an English major can be like one of those hot chocolate degrees. Seriously. It comes with a cost that’s way, way less if you make your own version at home.
One of my favorite lessons from English class was about how the first English programs began as hobby. That studying books was like, studying movies or video games.
(That’s a comparison that’s going to keep aging hilariously, ain’t it?)
It’s like the program was never really for the sake of having the degree, or something.
And sure, there are just some bad lessons you can take from an English program– you might have the notebook which could be calamitous of you want to be a writer. You might “learn” that writing more and too much is better and laudatory. You could learn how to surf and coast and show up to your class in pajamas and nothing more. You might meet anxy gals who are trying to disguise problematic upbringings or norms as groovy interesting poet-stuff alongside some accompanying interest in your Other, and learn some doodoo there too. Hell, you could even learn to be a pretentious and pompous gasbag who ends up as a morally craven relic of a day gone past who constantly craves an overriding validation from others in everything you do to countermand a latent and subconscious recognition of one’s increasing irrelevance and, hell, maybe that existential anx will stop just being a fun phrase and develop into a serious complex where you end up as someone’s crazy uncle just because you let that devolve you, hard. It could happen.
But for me? Yeah I’m getting internal thrills from being able to rise with competence — I think my English major has been weirdly valuable towards enabling that.
Hard research is a discipline of its own. Knowing where the nitty gritty details are, how to replicate, reproduce, get granular and obscure, knowing how to really touch a pattern to elucidate — hard research. But I’d say the real benefit of English major is a little different, and knowing how to soft-research hard (how to worm your way to a practical result) or how to add value from and tocold hard research (synergize and align with expertise.)
In my correct opinion, hard research itself is best done outside an English major. Within the degree it tends to result in lots of really really pompous name and word dropping dumbassery wherein learners act like saying Sarte and Foucault makes you smart. While I can panopticon within that, to this day I appreciate one pain in the ass foil of a professor who wanted to beat his class relentlessly until they got his version of hard research required to ace Criticism 330.
(Oh how appropriate.)
Guy will critically kick your ass. He kicked mine.
I love to death this professor’s integrity and ambition, but I meant it when I said he was a hard-research foil.
Hard research also takes yourself out of the equation because you are full of foolishness, bias, and a challenge to the objective conclusion. An English program isn’t the optimal environment to learn that in. (It’s like, dehumanizing a pursuit of truth is best done out of the humanities or something.) I didn’t understand what this teacher wanted until I got knocked over for trying. Had two professors yell at me in UB, but this is the guy who was 100% correct. But the hard research requirement his class offered didn’t come close to touching the biggest value of the program. Learning hard research is wonderful, but better done in a more technical program.
Ok, then what’s the value?
Well, a lot of English major is sweet enough to encourage candidates to explore creativity. That’s invaluable too, but not the program’s best value.
A lot of English major is class participation. Learning how to raise your hand and add to a discussion, especially when, let’s face it, so many of your professors are bullshitting as an open fact, so you can learn how to be cool while engaging foreign concepts. But that’s not the best value either.
A lot of English major is writing. You learn what you can produce with a keyboard, you learn deadlines, and you learn how to frame a case with words to score. That’s been great, but not it either.
Strangely, I’d say a lot of English major is learning the value of business. Business is a fine major too, but it doesn’t teach business the same way does it? English classes involve walking in and saying “Wtf is going on in this room and what is our business? For I am here to look for the value, articulate it, and add.” Labs and projects aside, business majors know they have to walk in and pass a test — very different. Hell, English majors have to study Shakespeare, not because it’s that “good” but because that’s the industry-accepted gold-standard of the middle-English classic and if you want English as a degree you’ll have to literally learn how to read another version of your language, sucka. (“Also there’s a new Shakespeare book you’ll need to buy the latest edition of even though he’s been dead for hundreds of years lol you figure it out.”)
I’d say the most ideal English majors, or at least my favorites, were people who found the program “easy” but still challenged themselves to sharpen some talent. These are folks with a knack for writing a letter because they felt like it. These are folks who can listen and demonstrate a real curiosity about something you just shared. These are the folks with an opinion on wtf just happened in that scene. These are the folks who can present an argument you don’t agree with in a way you have trouble disagreeing with.
Know what all of the above ends up equating to?
Smart beeznees skeels. When you can understand the assignment and add a valuable spin, you’re doing it right. If you can do that with the written word, you’ll be talented in those classes. And omg, if you can present your strokes on the heart of an argument
Sure you’ll get a good grade in a silly college course, but you’ll also do just fine within business roles that don’t necessitate a strict specialist, and you’re going to be able to stand out in any workplace. And bonus, if you can actually deliver smart work why wouldn’t you do very well in this world? Hell, not saying I’m awfully amazing consistently, if I take a stab at something you can bet you’ll find a hole.
I still think English major is a hot chocolate degree. Fun fact: After black coffee, hot chocolate is my preferred order at starbucks.
HC is just a treat to be able to bring to the table, and English major-y skills are best backed against another discipline — just like no one should be living off of hot chocolate.
It’s weird looking towards a past self…do you venerate or look down, when there’re so many pro’s and cons? Realistically, it’s probably unwise to do either.
But one thing I’ve always liked was a concept of self-actualization, and one thing I’ve always thought about actualized people is they are healthy, happy, and work to produce what they desire. That last part means they’re creators in some way.
And all I want to think about is, how hard it is to find something that’s truly created. I still have a nagging feeling that modern American movies are mostly hacks. When you’re a younger, less exposed viewer, it’s harder to touch on the generic. But there are so many things like movies and games that just….I start to have trouble remembering their name. I don’t have a problem remembering why I don’t remember their name. What’s the last “I make a gang of specialists that Michael Bays through the world ridiculously” movie with Ryan Reynolds in it? Oh yeah, I have all the information I want right there. End of thinking — fuck off, glutamate.
I almost wish I could go back to a younger me that got sceered at horror movies because the concept of that kind of monster was new and awakening. Dawn of the Dead’s first remake was sexy as fuck because it featured running zombies and that was new to me, and most people I talked to. That idea of fighting against the most automated, all-out baseline sadist always scratches at a primal wonder — but there’s exploring and walking the beaten route. Now, there’re literally 300 movies since then doing the same thing. The most square guy and girl will make it to the end. Then it will have a question mark. Seen it.
This applies to games too.
None of this is to say that everything is blah — that’d be bullshit. It’s just… it does get harder and harder to bypass the external algorithm. It’s a gift to be able to say “I want to watching something like _____” and end up with something original that lets your mind cud for a while. It’s a gift to know how to explore the web that comes up with things like that. Pirates have said skills more often. Meanwhile, buyers know how to go to a market…..and this ends up with lots of points for pirates. I guess raiding for good content is what we’re getting at.
I do think we’re making an America that wants to know if you like superhero movies so they can pour superhero movies into your suggested queue. And that gets lame if you like superhero movies and get a deluge of black panther (ok) captain america (meh) thor (meh) thor 2 (double meh) ragnorok (ok lol) avengers (cool) endgame (meh) captain marvel (ok lets check out dc) batman (meh) batman (meh) batman v superman (uch) justice league (ok I’m not even going to bother) xmen (no) xmen 2 (ok can we stop) xmen 7 (bleh) New Mu- (THIS IS TOO MUCH JUNK AM I SICK OF SUPERHERO MOVIES?)
When it occurred to 97% of Americans to check out the above, but not say, Defendor, then that’s a national shame and I wish we learned how to raid for our interests outside of the algorithm, more.
Star Wars got way, way less cool, and that the same thing is happening to Harry Potter, because the American drive seems to want to movie via business model, where this kind of thru-put makes sense.
Imagine not having tasted anything sour in your life ever, and having a vitamin c deficiency. You might end up deciding to eat way too many tomatoes, and then getting sick of tomatoes.
Cyberpunk anticipation was also making me think people have an appetite for cyberpunk, which is making me rub Disjuncture, although I also wonder if people have an appetite for Keanu. It’s weird because, that game ain’t Keanu. These are all words.
Speaking of games I’ve spent a bit much on silly games that I play for like, an hour and move on. Recently picked up the Warhammer game and….oof, what a miss. 32 bucks to frustrate hours of time, and I kind of knew going in that this was the type of stale, tropey story, artificial doofy rank, soulless combat shitfest it was going to be right off the bat and….can those types of products quit coming out?
I guess not.
Every game I’ve played that’s great offers something to the player. Not just fun, the way you’re grow into the game is the real thrill of it. Anyone can make a game, because anyone can almost call anything a game. But the games with substance — stuff that’s teaching me reflexes, tactics, strategy, organization — I keep shooting for, and missing.
I don’t disagree off the bat when people say “THE BODY IS SO RESILIENT!”
Although I always want to say most bodies are really resilient — depending on how you look at it.
And regardless, it’s nice when a person knows their body is resilient.
I had a period of actively trying to do little but get manuscripts turned into traditionally published novels. Maybe I’ll have another with some differences — who knows. Burns a lot of resources, that. Doing it in today’s age…takes lots of research, looking up, personally crafting….I think you can’t be an asocial author who is good at one form of writing without shooting yourself in both feet nowadays. If you want to take the modernized “traditional” route, or if you want to be marketed, you’ll need humans to open doors, and getting to a place where you can do that takes significant work and drive….not much pay out until it’s real.
(There’s a reason that the proportion of authors who come from more privileged backgrounds exists, and those reasons are crystalized in weird ways today — helps when folks can take internships, or a couple of years to develop. Not a requirement, but it sure af helps.)
Anyway, between that and dealing with some craziness around a big death in the family, I lost a lot of the discipline I carved out. I feel now that I really hit the ground running as a kid. Part of that was my muddah putting in really good food values, part was getting lucky, and part was weird stuff like…my wanting to get in better shape and skipping lunch to work in the stacks (stacks=part of the school library) and read what I read about what’s known in old readable books about health. Other weird stuff too.
And I went from living how I did to saying “eh how bad could a year of indulging and dishapwining this instead” (like learning better programming and work skills) get, really? The body is resilient. My body is resilient, raht?
Well, the above all feels true. But I think some things to consider are scope, and priorities around it here. Scope – Besides “Resilient to what?”, how long are we talking here? 90 years? A 20 year old’s body should be resilient. Whose body are we talking here?
“The body…” what a weird generalization….and people who talk like that may be weirdos. “The body.” “The blood.” “The abstract concept I’m making generalizations about” . . .I used to know someone who talks like this when trying to be intellectual, and he probably still looks up to people who go to burning man.
Anyway, I think it’s better saying “my body is resilient to most concerning things now” because it leaves the door open for saying “…and I’d like to keep it that way.” I can say that a couple years of living how I did (6’4 proportions of calorific booze, saying ok to fried food to learning how to make it myself, going from getting all them good vitamins and mins and hydration and macros to saying, meh and enjoying that food is delicious and being glad to not be hungry and calling it a day.)
It’s significantly different. Not crazy different, at least not crazy different immediately since that’s how that works. But it’s significantly different, and I can feel that these decisions cause significantly different shifts. And I can’t really generalize fairly because there are so many layers to health, and another fun reality is, I can’t experiment with my health because while I don’t have a be freakish about it, it’s not a good experiment. Ignoring the stakes, personal health is also not a good experiment in weird, more trivial ways — easy example, I can’t replicate the same conditions as say when I was 16 and expect the same results simply because I’m not 16 exploding years old anymore. There probably aren’t magic bullets and healthy foods and tricks that’ll give me vitality better than good old fucking dishapwine, luck, and regularly good decisions. Taking care of older family members has made it abundantly clear that resilient bodies get side effects with age. Like, I think my old man was really resilient, but habits catch up, and das da fact.
I used to have a regular anx about cancer as a kid — like I’d get anxiety about sitting too close to the tv after hearing it’d give eye cancer, same around microwaves, second hand smoke, all of that. Lots of reasons that’s way more in the background today, but I’m almost getting that way about circulatory system issues. Stroke, heart attacks limpdick, getting winded after running 5 steps — these are pretty preventable horns on that bull of life so many Americans like to take on. Not feeling like moving is too. But there are really, really cool side effects of being healthy too — neurotransmitters make life better (no iron, no vitamin c = no serotonin production). And I’ve learned I’m much sharper throughout the day when I get movement in. Stuff like that.
It comes up often between good humans that they disagree — and not how they disagree.
And there are ways to disagree stupidly, and ways to disagree awesomely. In an ideal world, no one disagrees stupidly. In the real world, most disagreements that matter are not “This side is right and this side is stupid.”
And I think life is groovy, in one of the realest states true for lots of us, because we can be safe, have healthy happy bellies, and enjoy the tech of our days. Everything from facebook to twitter — all the ‘interactive’ platforms make it pretty clear how many of us spend a good portion of our day, and a good amount of our energy and hours being pretty pissy because of disagreements.
And I’m not an expert, but I’m very confident that I’m not the worst either about how people disagree. I think there is a level of wisdom that should be fundamental — bare basic. Fun-da-mental, that level just beyond elementary that prepares people for adulthood. In fact, recently I think all this increased access over the last couple decades has led people to be able to seek out people who are also not operating like a cognitive adult, and it leads to a lot of the stuff that makes the stereotypical teenager at their worst a pain in the butt. These clumps of hur-durs have implications on a larger scale that make me go “oh dear, let’s avoid” so I’m kind of carving out this understanding for myself so I can know what to look for — I think. I’ve also noticed all of the below just makes interactions more seamless, comfortable, and valuable when dealing with my favorite people. Hell, I think they’re basic agreements that’ve led to my best relationships with folks being what they are today. So to start, here are semi-random 3 golden rules, because I’m pretty damned sure the world would be a better place if we all embraced this:
Relevance assignment should be one of the earliest stages of information processing. If someone cares enough to carve out an understanding for their self, and get rooted in an understanding that to them feels deep and unmovable, they need to also understand the reasons why they care. That personality part in most of us — the one that gets pissy when people start to scoop reason-dirt over a mind that wants to tread the surface only — is very aware of this. This is why curiosity shouldn’t lead to war. Why trivia shouldn’t lead to fights. And why people sometimes need double down when a deep understanding is in danger of being moved. Basically, if people are arguing passionately, it’s really questionable if they can’t dispassionately say why if asked reasonably.
2. The Burden of Proof. I used to feel like the general majority definitely cringes when someone is an aggressive jackass about their point of view — unless it’s definitely funny. And today, after a certain guy became president by being an aggressive jackass about his point of view, I feel that most of the general majority cringes when someone is an aggressive jackass about their point of view. This is still ok. It still means that the resting state of collective social will is “don’t be a dick.” Messing with the burden of proof tenant is the most general way that people can be a dick:
If you make a claim, it is up to you to be able to prove it. If you make a feeling statement, that’s sharing a thought-probe, and that’s different. So if you say, “Bill Ted is evil and wants to eat all my cabbage” and want that to be taken seriously, you need to be able to evidence why you believe that. One of the most toxic and unpleasant people I’ve ever met crossed ways with me about 6 years ago, and this person would make outrageous claims like that lost Malaysian flight disappeared because passengers were experimenting with new black hole technology and that’s why they’ll never find the plane. When I tried to explain why I found it hard to believe that a black hole had probably not been formed on planet Earth I was clapped at, and told “Do your research!” with a real life exclamation point. This person had successfully blown my mind, I went out for a happy hour, and before my first sip was suddenly burdened with disproving that some scientist-agent had detonated a black-hole bomb on a passenger plane. The debate ended there because of golden rule #1, although I thought it was funny how that works and still do.
3. Know when you’re exploring something that you don’t know, and let’s call it insight arrogance. Thinkers and listeners are both responsible for managing insight arrogance. And insight arrogance — that false belief that you know or already understand more than you do, is a tricky thing when, at the same time — people should want to carve out an understanding for themselves when they believe they can.
Again, feeling statements make a big difference. Yes, sometimes people feeling something out like the confidence of hearing someone else say something like “You’ll have to….” because that’s so, much, easier than figuring out a whole understanding — but someone who is helping, and not certain, can just as easily say “I think you’ll have to…” because those two words add a lot. Those two words go to ownership of a belief more than a statement on objective reality.
Basically the smartest of us know when they don’t know something. This is why dumb psychologist wanna-be’s start diagnosing people in ways they shouldn’t. And this is where flat earthers line up with people eating tide-pods. This is why it’s called taking responsibility when you choose to ask questions, over asserting false answers. Easy example would be, if you don’t like vaccines, you could ask if the ingredients are harmful, rather than insist they are harmful and then make experts #2 for you. Basically, I think only fools think they’re an expert when they’re not.
Anyway that’s my random garble for today time to 5am workout now.
I’m kind of moving with the current. I always want to begin these posts with nice little quips, simplistic rules that feel right, observations that ought to reek as poignant. And while I kind of have those, the truth is I’m swimming with the current
(Lots of internal and external forces try to keep a reasonable level of buoyant. Fish do that as a full time job, even the ones in little bowls and aquariums, and as safe as that is I think I’d rather be a dolphin.
See, now I want to point out that dolphin are eaten in Japan, that a good number of people prefer them in seaworld, and that you, dear reader, are someone who is guilty of stereotyping dolphins.
Ok. Guess I’m in one of those kind of moods)
I’ve hit 35 more than a work week ago. The 9 days since that happened somehow feels like less time than a regular week ago. Big takeaways from that are that if you double my lifespan it’s inarguably closer to 70 than it is to 40, because math. Men on my dad’s side of the family — which I’d like to believe I’m pretty damned different from, die around mid-70’s. It’s just….knowing it’s appropriate to start applying phrases like “mid-life”, you know what I’m so ready to start raging against stupid thilly new mentalities and talk about how sharp AND basic we had to be in the 90’s — and how we liked it.
I’m time-poor AF, but healthy and doing ok, in fact newp much better than ok by any metric. I wasn’t always sure I’d be able to say that in nyc rent, nevermind during a pandemic, but I can coitenly say it.
One thing I think is a top priority forever and ever is going to be the ability to adapt and roll with it. (Oh gosh, I want to say being agile. No. God no.) But seriously, I was raised on print is media (and not media can be print.) Cursive is educated (and not being able to communicate across multiple mediums well is king.) Penmanship is marksmanship (rather than real marksmanship on the keyboard matters most). Weird work things too like showing up breeds company loyalty (whereas work smart, period). Or company loyalty defines a career (and not career steps define a career). I don’t know, I still sort of wonder how much of the majority of folks are actually faking it and still trying to figure it out, and I just hope I’m adapting and catching on.
Maybe a lot of my original lessons and values I kind of rethink ….maybe we could have rewritten those to be better as examples, but still, things would have and did change anyway. One thing I know that I don’t know is, I have no fucking clue how many ideals I have today will one day be ideal to change.
That is both a relieving and a frightening thing to know. But it makes it so much easier to smile when you’re falling back on both core tenants of 1) don’t be dumb and 2) try your best
As for 2020…..
I guess I’m in the minority because I still think we’re in a sort of amazing age — I think digital beats gold in many ways — but there is also a fucking plague, global issues and lots of lunacy afoot. My contribution to that thought bubble has become, humans are weird in ways that’s showing how fantastically amazing we all are. Of course we’re going to come up with a vaccine in record time! Let’s also distract ourselves with neurolinked VR and photograph it with drones — man we plagued it this year like we never did before in human history. A bunch of us teleworked. A bunch of us somehow got way fatter because ordering food by typing on your phone is easy. A bunch of us made Florida look cool by drowning a bunch of boats in some weird boat-for-a-cause. A bunch of us learned new skills and hobbies in forging the amazon empire — this has been WAY better than the Spanish flu. And let’s also try too, but there’s only so much you can sanely do on an individual scale (which is still more than ever before.)
I’m still starting to back up my own ego against the idea of rearing good hellspawn and saying “OK you take a shot and just try and don’t foul!”
Hey a couple of weeks ago, I was on wikipedia reading about the word slacker. I don’t know why, it just felt right at the time, but I came away with a lot that made me go “Yeah.”
You know, there’s a view of “slacker” that’s NOT someone who’s lazy….but someone who wants to do something interesting, or nothing at all? Now sure, we can throw all sorts of slurs like lazy, or entitled at that, but I can comfortably say that fits me at least in high school, and I certainly think calling me lazy is misguided, as is entitled. That’s like saying someone who is alone is lonely, and wants privacy.
A slacker is that pain in the ass who doesn’t get a high grade because they don’t try. Teachers get frustrated because they can’t attribute that lack of motivation to incompetence — lots of slackers pass tests without doing the work, because the test is fucking boring. They slack and still pass to show that.
The funny thing about what I’d call the slacker is, they tend to be motivated. Slackers geek out, and can smell their own. And one thing that motivates the slacker, I’d say, is fear.
Well, as someone who was a slacker in grade and high school, I can say that one of my fears was leading a life I found to be boring, numbing, and tedious every day, and having nothing but uninteresting things to do, and being surrounded by people who didn’t really want to say anything interesting. I can say that while every goal wasn’t met, I’m kind of more than ok with how things are turning out.
There are people who can look at a situation with people involved, and who get irritated at the premise and results of the people’s involvement.
Then there are people who look at the same situations but can’t see beyond their irritation at the people, and these people simply suck at making evaluations.
Seriously, it’s amazing how many folks feel the need to keep mum since engaging politics is engaging a shitshow, but meanwhile, hearing people actually have a back and forth about things that don’t deserve a back and forth makes me think this is what’s wrong with america.
I have the week off. I’ve still got the urges to wake up around the same time and log in to make sure fires don’t need putting out….pretty sure that’s a testament to habit-echoes. Do something regularly for 40 days, and your brain goes “Why aren’t we doing that.”