Ready for a controversial statement? Here goes: we fucking HATE each other. I like to consider myself pretty laid back, but I’ll see certain motherfuckers out in the world and I just hate them. I hate their creepy gaze or their gross teeth or the way they’re holding that tiny box. It goes on and on. This is, I’m aware, completely irrational, but I’d argue that it’s somewhat ingrained in humans. Take, for example, the playground, where people who don’t know each other just walk up and punch one another in the face based solely on appearance, or instinctively fear someone or generally distrust/hate the shit out of everyone, period. These are all things that happen on the playground, because when you’re five, you don’t have a lot of ideological stances, but you’re still a sentient being with a brain that’s dying to sort things, so you sort people based on broad, physical characteristics (girls are gross, that guy’s fat, she’s eating her boogers, the gym teacher scares me etc.) and it’s enough to hang your hat on, opinion-wise. I’m not suggesting that kids are inherently little hate machines. Far from it. In fact, my kid (the 5 year old) works up a real vitriol about some kid he hates when we’re at the park, and then IMMEDIATLEY goes and shares his snack with that very same kid and they play great together all afternoon. That’s because when you hate someone just because you don’t like their shoes or their face, it’s usually a pretty easy hatred to overcome, and that’s good most of the time.
If you think this all sounds stupid and need a case in point, imagine that Steve Buscemi lives in your neighborhood but you don’t know who he is. You just see his pallid, googly ass walking back and forth from burger king and even when he speaks, you’re like “ugh, that guy is a fucking CREEEEEEP. I’m calling the cops if he so much as looks in the direction of the playground.” But then you find out that he’s Steve Buscemi, and all of a sudden, he’s not a creeper, he’s fascinating. Poof! Your instinctual gut hate just flipped 180 degrees with just one little bit of information.
Things get super sideways, however once we get older and start factionalizing ourselves along ideological lines. Then we start hating the ‘other’ and that’s when people start doing stuff like tying bombs to their dicks and walking into a mall. Your grandma has probably told you never to talk about politics or religion at dinner, right? That’s because people, even people who love the shit out of each other, are just one casual comment about welfare moms or illegal immigrants or gay discos from flipping the thanksgiving table and kicking the shit out of one another. Once you get passionate, fuck anyone who disagrees. Fuck planned parenthood. Fuck radical muslims, fuck the infidels, fuck the conservatives, fuck the liberals, fuck the jocks, fuck the queers, fuck the fat slobs, fuck the vapid culture obsessed goons, etc. People fucking hate each other and you can bet your bottom dollar that no matter who you are, you’re bumming someone out so badly, JUST BY EXISTING, that it makes em see red.
You’re a religious guy? There’s some asshole atheist out there who thinks you’re fucking stuuuupid. You’re into sports? Here’s someone who is angry about the hegemony of warrior/slave culture. You’re angry about the hegemony of warrior/slave culture? We’re just trying to party over here, bro, don’t fucking break my stride with that shit. You just want everyone to have enough food to eat? You’re a communist. You’re quiet? Speak up, loser. You’re loud? Shut the fuck up. It goes on and on like this. Fuck, even if you’re a total centrist on every single position, extremists think you’re a pussy and the rest of us think you’re too nice “to the point of being creepy.” So give that bullshit a rest, kay?
The internet has widened every single one of these divides to insane levels and there’s almost no place where it becomes so readily apparent how much everyone hates each other than on message boards, comment sections and of course, the comment section for your own life: the facebook page.
You guys all have a crazy military aunt or a dumb hippy, anarcho weirdo on your feed who’s super into posting “news” stories that further their own weird narrative, whatever that is (I have a facebook friend who posts Phish live shows in their entirety every week, so don’t talk to me about suffering, people). The thing is, the internet is so big that you can probably find a news outlet that caters to your own brand of crazy almost as easily as you can find porn that caters to whatever depravity you like to blow loads to. This leads to articles like “6 economic indicators and their biblical antecedents that prove we’re definitely fucked: THANKS OBAMA!” and “Doomsday Bunker Discovered under Denver International Airport!” and “6 Foods That Have Probably Already Killed You!” and of course the feel good anti-bully, pro-equality, you-won’t-believe-what-this-brave-gay-toddler-said-to-this-Afghani-warlord posts that just make me personally want to strangle things.
But the worst…THE WORST thing is people who are so gleefully happy when their enemies do something stupid that they post news from a comedy site without even applying the most cursory bit of thought or research towards seeing if, in fact, it’s real. Whether it’s something from the Onion about how Obama has started building a mosque in the white house or something from the Daily Currant that says that some southern congressman is looking to impose legislation allowing only white males to vote, it’s the most pathetic gladhanding, ideological tugjob of all time. Even when someone inevitably posts “uh, this is not real, you know? That’s a comedy website,” other motherfuckers are so excited by the IDEA of the article that they just ignore facts and keep on believing in it. There are studies after studies that seem to have proven that generally, as a species, we don’t give two shits about facts that contradict our world view, and facebook, with a little help from the Onion and lesser known comedy sites seem hellbent on proving that to be true. Cool. Real fucking cool. I mean, I knew we were all stupid before the internet, but man, this thing is pretty good a whipping back the curtain, eh? For every sweet new free animated gif of the naked Simpsons having an orgy I can download, there’s some dickneck just yelling about some agenda and using fake news to back it up. The true censorship, it’s been said, is not one where all voices are silenced, because in that climate truth will find a way to bubble to the surface, no matter the level of oppression. The TRUE censorship is when all voices have equal weight and the cacophony is so overwhelming that everyone says ‘fuck it’ and just goes back to beating off while the world burns around them.
Anyway, I’m gonna go beat off. Happy thanksgiving.