Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Day to Celebrate Love

I hate being topical, but here goes. In four short hours Valentine’s Day 2016 will arrive. I know many of you may already have begun celebration in earnest. I also know that there are many more people who don’t celebrate or hate Valentine’s Day for a variety of reasons.
I spent a number of awkward childhood and teenage years having my feelings hurt because I did not have a Valentine. I took this to be a sign of something wrong with me. Why was I not worthy of the affection of another human person in that special way?
No, I didn’t want to have obscenely biological Valentine’s celebrations. Well, I didn’t want that until much later. I wanted someone to want a card from me. I wanted someone to want to give me a card. I wanted someone to hold my little hand and just spend time with me. That was LONELY.
My Mom, being the Saint of a person that she has always been, saw how hurt I was and always did something nice for me. I particularly remember her buying me a stack of Comic Books one year. It was the first time I had ever read The Flash. It was sweet, thoughtful, and to this day still, one of the nicest acts anyone has ever done for me.
That is really what I think it is worth writing about. I know 10 people right now who won’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because they have bitter memories of days gone by. I hear these people express these sour grapes in ways like,” It is a Hallmark Holiday anyway.” or,” The floral industry conspired this to popularize rose sales during their peak growing season.”
I won’t criticize that mindset. I had it for YEARS. If you are holding on to loneliness or hurt and cannot break free of it I am so very sorry. I want to suggest that there is a much better way.
Be my Mom. Well, No, she is absolutely unique. Let’s go with be LIKE my Mom. She is worthy of emulation.
Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself because no one is spending the time to make you feel special, go and spend the time to make someone else feel special. I would say that if you feel lonely that the simple act of focusing on something other than your own pain will probably make you feel better anyway. I know that at least a few people reading this are objecting to the idea because they don’t feel like anyone wants their attention. Well, Brothers and Sisters, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Pretty much everywhere there are old folks homes full of the elderly who would love nothing more than someone to sit with them, read to them, talk, or just hang around. Take your favorite book and go corrupt the elderly. It will be fun. Cthulhu will approve.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum, there are tons of babies in need of comfort at the nearest hospital. I challenge anyone to feel lonely when rocking a newborn. Babies have a Magic all their own. The old folks may not enjoy 50 shades of Grey (you perverts), but the babies only hear the regular tone of your voice and they are comforted. I cannot help you with any nurses you may offend. I suggest instead of housewife porn take Where the Wild Things Are. Less trouble.
More likely you know someone that is lonely and unhappy because of the season. In all the years that I hurt and hated the season I never once took the time to do anything for someone else. I was stupid, selfish, and inwardly focused. I should have thought about people who had it as bad or much worse than I did.

Make that the reason to love Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Weltschmerz describes weltschmerz as sorrow that one feels and accepts as one’s necessary portion in life or sentimental pessimism”. Weltschmerz literally translates as world pain. It is kind of an emo concept, but one I have struggled with for years. I have spent a long time trying to feel like I fit in with the world around me. I want to be well thought of and liked.
Even typing that sounds so massively needy and angst-ridden. I don’t want to be emo, full of angst, or needy. In fact, the desire to not be all those things is much stronger than my seemingly socially programmed need to fit in. The two opposing emotions do an interesting amount of battle inside of me.
When I was a younger man I defined two things about myself that were very self-destructive. First, I wanted to be a nice guy. It wasn’t enough that I view myself as nice. I wanted other people to see me as the paragon of niceness though not of virtue. Secondly, I wanted to be not only educated or sophisticated, but I wanted to be seen as an interesting and forward thinker. That boils down to a desire to be the most interesting person in the room.
A little over 10 years ago I started to research into dating and relationships. I had no trouble “getting” the girl, but the relationships never lasted. I wanted to diagnose myself and figure out what I was doing wrong. I figured out the two above problems. I dubbed the first “White Knight Syndrome”.
I think it was 50 Cent who dubbed this personality type “Captain Save A Hoe”. Don’t hold me too hard to that one. I could be wrong.
I did try to come to the rescue of every girl I came across. It’s still a tendency that gets me into trouble. No problem was too big. I’d fist fight a jealous ex-boyfriend, never mind the fact he was probably a good guy who had been put in a bad situation. I’d spend stupid amounts of time, money, and effort on trying to “help”. I would neglect the truly important parts of my life including my own health and happiness. Nine of those relationships out of ten ended very badly for me. Each one took away a little more of my sense of confidence and happiness. I thought it truly noble that I just kept trying.
I still have a tendency to want to be the center of attention. The reason for that has changed quite a bit though. I used to want to feel accepted and a part of things. Now it is mostly because I find what other people go on about as boring and melodramatic. I am not more enlightened or refined than anyone else by any means. I just quit trying to church up the fact that I am a self-centered asshole. When I take over a conversation its probably because what you are talking about isn’t interesting to me. I don’t care, and I am not shy about moving things on to the direction I do care about. I admit that is mostly pop culture bullshit, comic books, writing, Magic, or my kids.
Letting go of the need for other people to see me as nice was very liberating. I don’t need you to like me. I don’t even feel the need to keep up most “social contracts” anymore. I am not going to keep my mouth shut if you step over a line and offend me. I am not going to play nice. I am not going to ignore inappropriate behavior. I am not going to be the morally bigger man. I am not ever going to give someone a second chance. I am not going to pretend to like you when I don’t like you. I was one of the few people playing by those rules anyway.
I was never really very nice anyway. I wasn’t doing any of that for selfless reasons. I was doing it to be liked. That is sort of a type of self-important evil that I am better off not practicing. At best it is disingenuous. At worst it was putting up a bullshit facade. I don’t have the energy for that nonsense. I also don’t have time to waste tiptoeing around anyone. These days blunt and direct are the only calls to action. I still do make the mistake of giving warnings instead of putting much-deserved boot to ass, but hey evolution takes time.
Weltschmerz is a giant mind fuck. The idea which used to sound so appealing to me is all centered on the idea that you cannot achieve what you want out of life. You cannot live your ideals. You have to give up and bend to the world and allow it to shape you. Science would describe that as being adaptable.
Adaptation is another way of saying that you changed because of an outside influence, There was never anything wrong with me. I didn’t want to rape, kill, molest, steal, or hurt anyone. I mostly want to pursue a life that is meaningful to me. There was never anything wrong with the fact that I flirt easily. There was never anything wrong that I show off ALL the time. I am charming and funny even though I am not a unique snowflake. I am not very nice, but I am a good dude. I am the asshole that you can count on to be exactly the asshole that I am. Find comfort in that.
I let the world and some people tell me that I was broken and wrong. Then I found a German word that defined that nonsense and the idea became all valid. I am here to tell you friends that Weltschmerz is bullshit. Don’t feel pain because you don’t feel like the world isn’t what you want it to be. Forget the world. Be what you want to be. Never, ever apologize for it (unless you rape, kill, molest, abuse, or steal.. then don’t apologize just kill yourself. Not kidding here.). Develop your own standards. Be your own definition and inspiration.  Nothing else matters because you are going to be judged in your own heart.
Failing the world doesn’t really mean anything. Failing yourself is about the worst thing you can possibly do. It is failing to live up to the true potential we all have. I totally condone being a selfish asshole as long as you are useful and serve a purpose. Assholes get things done. We all need assholes. It is right up there with oxygen and a direct derivative of the need to eat. Why apologize for it? Tell anyone who tries to shame you into feeling that world pain to get lost. Trust me, you don’t need them. The people you really need in your life will be there to build you up no matter what you choose to do. Have the wisdom to see the difference.
Oh well, rant over, I am going to go watch some cartoons and get some sleep.


December 2nd Comic Books on a Budget