Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What Language Do You Speak?
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

October 25, 2006

Imagine a person who grew up in Japan. He has learned the language and the culture of Japan.

Now imagine that this same person moves to Brazil. He has not learned the language and the culture of Brazil.

What will happen to this person if he follows either of these two courses?

  1. He condemns the people of Brazil as stupid, malicious, and incompetent because they do not understand the language and culture of Japan. He thinks they are idiots because they do not understand him.

  2. He accepts that he is now among people who speak a different language and have a different culture. He also accepts that he can save himself a lot of trouble by learning their language and culture. And, he can save himself the greatest hardship by accepting that he has to learn to speak to them in a language that they understand.
Following the first course of action, the Brazilians may conclude that the person from Japan was insane. They wouldn’t be able to understand him. He would appear paranoid and hostile to them. If he attacked anyone, the Brazilians would probably try to put him in jail or deport him. If they felt he was a threat, they would try to contain him or get rid of him.

Following the second course of action, the Brazilians may conclude that the person from Japan is ignorant, but otherwise harmless. They might make fun of him at first, but as he demonstrated that he was not a threat to them and that he was making a good faith effort to understand their language and customs, they would probably come to accept him.

People who grow up learning the language and culture of blaming, criticizing, accusing, denigrating, and insulting find the culture of gratitude and appreciation as alien as the person from Japan finds Brazilian language and culture alien. The big problem for the blamers is that their first method of coping is to define other people as the source of the problem. They play an energetic game of “fault tag” (tag, it’s your fault that you don’t understand me), thereby avoiding any real chance of achieving mutual understanding.

If the person from Japan followed the first course of action, he would fail to understand his Brazilian neighbors and would blame the Brazilians for the problem. He would not admit that most of his failures could have been avoided by learning the language and the culture of the people around him. He would never learn that there is nothing wrong with him and there is nothing wrong with his new Brazilian neighbors. They just need to take some time learn each other’s language.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Monday, October 23, 2006

You Get What You Give
Opinion (and a bit of a rant) © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

October 24, 2006

I got into it the other day with one of the young pouty-boys who thinks it’s cool to verbally abuse people who aren’t around to defend themselves. He’s one of those who thinks that slandering Jesus and President Bush makes him look smart. Then he bellyaches that no one understands him. You know the type.

So, I told him that enough is enough. I told him in so many words to shut his pie hole. Then I thought that if he would listen, this is what I’d like to say to him and all the other cry babies out there:

You want your precious autonomy, but you won’t allow anyone else to have theirs. You stick your nose into everyone else’s business every chance you get, and you think you are entitled to tell everyone else on God’s Earth how to live every minute of their lives.

You go nuts if anyone intrudes into your space, but you intrude on everyone else any time you like.

You don’t want to be judged, but you judge everyone else. You are an endless fountain of prejudices and negative opinions. You are a gold medallist fault finder in the bad-mouthing Olympics.

You want to be admired, but you refuse to show admiration for anyone else.

You want to be appreciated, but you can’t possibly show any appreciation for anything that anyone else does for you. “Thank you” is beyond you capabilities. And if anyone ever does show appreciation to you, you spit in their face. You don’t even know what a compliment is.

You want acceptance, but you refuse to accept anyone else. Cleopatra may have been the Queen of denial, but you’re King of rejection.

You want approval, but you refuse to grant your approval to anyone else. You are unpleaseable. You disapprove of everything. I’m sick of it. I don’t care if you’re unhappy. Why is that my problem? Be unhappy. It suites you.

You hate it when other people make demands on you, but you make demands on everyone else without even thinking about it.

You want legitimacy, but you won’t let anyone else have their own legitimacy.

You want people to listen to you, but you never, never, never listen to anyone else.

You want a voice, but you won’t let anyone else have theirs.

You want people to think that you are blameless, but you blame everyone else for everything that goes wrong in your life. What you are you, a frickin’ wall painting?

You have no social skills. You are un-socialized. I would tell you that you’re uncivilized, but you would think that that’s something to be proud of.

You want respect, but you can’t ever bring yourself to show any respect to anyone else. You are one of the most vicious, rude, rotten little cry babies I have ever known. And trust me, stud, I have known thousands.

You don’t understand why people hate you, but you don’t leave them any choice. Other people try to be nice to you, try to be civil with you, and all you do is attack, attack, attack. Your mouth spews hate like a fountain of karmic diarrhea. You’re never happy about anything. You’re always unhappy about everything. And people are sick of hearing it.

What a shame for all of us that you really weren’t born the Emperor of the Universe. Your life would be perfect if you could just get everything you demanded when you demanded it--like a little baby. If only everyone would take your advice, the world would be perfect for all of us, wouldn’t it?

You get what you give, moron. No one will give you respect if you don’t give it first. No one will listen to you if you don’t listen to them first. No one will care about you if you don’t care about them first.

If you don’t like what you see in other people, it’s because they’re reflecting back to you what you show them. They are showing you what you look like to them. You don’t like it, do you?

The world is not merely an extension of you. Other people have their own lives to live.

Snap out of it! Look at where you are. You’re in charge of your own life whether you like it or not. Now, shut it.
Okay. So I piled on a little. But I feel better.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The “Punching Bag” Game
Rules of the game © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

October 11, 2006

Hey! Let’s play a nice game of “Punching Bag”. Okay? Great!

Here are the rules:

  1. Find something that upsets you. You can score extra points by picking something that doesn’t actually affect you, like things from the past that no one can change or global problems that you can’t do anything about anyway. You can really score big points by being creative and dreaming something up. It is very important to remember to pick a fight that can’t be resolved. Just keep the fight going no matter what. Also, you can score huge points by setting up a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose scenario.

  2. Identify a suitable target to be the “Punching Bag”. Heh, you can’t play “Punching Bag” without a punching bag, can you? Here you can score extra points by picking a fight with someone over nothing, and then convincing the other person that the whole problem is his fault. You can lose points here by actually confronting the situation that actually upsets you. Women, children, and public figures make the easiest targets because they can’t fight back.

  3. Engage in senseless aggression. Verbal abuse is sufficient. Physical abuse of people and their property could get you disqualified (See 4. below). Senseless aggression must include at least one of the following, but may include all: blaming, scapegoating, scorn, denigrating, vilifying, name calling, foul language, pouting, complaining, gloom-a-thon (never happy about anything), negative demeanor, paranoia, contempt, arrogance, and inability or unwillingness to find pleasure in anything besides your own senseless aggression. At this point, putting yourself in the proper state of mind is important. You can increase your punching power by thinking that other people are malicious, incompetent, or down right stupid. You don’t score extra points by doing this, but it helps you generate more energy when you’re beating on your punching bag. Also, keep in mind that your senseless aggression is really nothing more than senseless self-indulgence. You’re not trying to make the world a better place; you’re just having a good time pounding on your “Punching Bag”.

  4. Avoid consequences. If you suffer any consequences for your senseless aggression, you lose double the points you scored. Choose targets who either can’t or won’t set limits on your senseless aggression. Aggressively assert that your punching bag started the whole thing and deserves what you give him (you score double points for aggressively pursuing your aggression). If you ever, ever, ever become aware that your senseless aggression is actually harming anyone, then you are permanently eliminated from the game. And you don’t get to blame anyone for it, either. To avoid this unhappy fate, always aggressively deny that your aggression actually hurts anyone, and always assert that it’s the punching bag’s fault in the first place, and that he deserves what he gets. You can score a coupe by denying that you have any choice in the matter, and that your “Punching Bag” made you punch him.
CAUTION: If you take responsibility for your behavior, the game is over. If you realize that you actually hurt people when you engage in senseless, self-indulgent aggression, and worst of all, if this realization actually bothers you, then you are eliminated from the game for life.

And that’s pretty much the game in a nutshell. Get upset, identify a suitable target to be the “Punching Bag”, use that target as a punching bag, deny that you’re doing any harm, and then blame the “Punching Bag” for the whole thing. You won’t actually accomplish anything (that’s why it’s just a game), but you may feel a little rush while you’re indulging your aggression.

If you want to see some truly skilled “Punching Bag” players in action, cruise around the lefty bloggosphere and read some of the Bush bashing rants. They are brilliant examples of how to play the game, and you can learn a lot from them. They follow the rules, they score huge points, and they are really creative. They get upset about things that don’t really affect them, identify President Bush as the “Punching Bag”, senselessly and viciously attack him, and then blame him for causing the whole problem in the first place. The way they avoid taking responsibility for their own behavior is absolute genius--I didn’t have any choice. I love it! Innocence, it seems, wears the face of a crocodile.

If you play “Punching Bag” long enough, you can become a pathological narcissist! Think of the benefits--never having to be responsible for your own behavior no matter how destructive you are, never having to take the blame for anything no matter what you do, having an endless supply of targets to attack, and always feeling good about yourself. If anything ever bothers you, you can just indulge yourself in more senseless aggression. Of course, you’ll never grow up, but why should that be a problem? You can just blame everything on everyone else.

Get good at the “Punching Bag” game, and you’re set for life.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

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