Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hey, prick, drop dead!

The Almighty Asshole; he is a relatively rare bird, but a smelly, flightless, rancid one, nonetheless.


I know I've written about them before, but I was recently confronted with a prick so prickly that you want to see him beaten by 100 angry birds.  Oh, a sight that would be.  Here's a guy who seeks out those who may be doing something well or tasting some success or, Gawd forbid, may believe something HE doesn't believe and then he attacks.  He attacks who they are, how little schooling they've had, how little they are contributing to the world, how unliked or unpopular or fat or ugly they are, how their religious or political beliefs are wrong and stupid, and he slices hard with these knives.  He himself is a sad person.  He's mad if you're tall, successful, handsome, or liked.  He's not attractive to the ladies and doesn't have a lady.  He's got bad posture and sounds like a teenage female when he speaks, often lispy and mumbling.  He has no speaking skills, no social skills and believes he knows it all.  He believes that whites are superior to all, and he is superior to all whites.  He brags and brags that he has a degree in physics and that he is a builder (all bow now to his Greatness, please)..

It's hard to answer when one asks how he became this way; I can personally testify that he has BEEN this way for at least 22 years, since I knew him in high school.  It's funny; I had very little to do with him, at all, but I knew his reputation and how hated he was.  One day, in football practice, coach had me playing QB because the team we were coming up against had a really tall QB and I am really tall so he wanted me to play the position for the rest of the defense to understand how he might pass over top of them, etc.  So one play, I'm running around, couldn't find a receiver, and ran back across the back of the scrimmage line still looking; no receiver, so I knew I had to bust through the line of scrimmage and get some yardage.  Right before I picked my spot in the messy line of scrimmage to run through, I noted this prick not blocking for me but chatting with one of his friends, absolutely unconcerned that the ball was still in play, I then had 7 guys chasing me, and that his job was to push the defense away to make a hole for me to run through.  The choice was obvious; I ran square into has back at no less than 20 mph, absolutely flattening him as I watched his head snap back (admitting now that I enjoyed it) and I knocked over a linebacker, who caught my ankle and I spun around, bumbling for another 5 or 10 yards before falling.  That's the speed and intensity I had when I hit the line; when I hit him, that I would have never had were it not for the rage that snapped in my mind when I saw him chatting.  Why didn't he like me then?  I don't know.  I guess because I was tall.  I had never done anything to him.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and he decides to jump out of nowhere, attacking my books, calling them "shitty fiction."  Ohhhhhhhh.  My friends, suffice it to say that I didn't have to defend myself.  My friends and readers jumped all over him like piranha on a chicken leg.  He was left hollow by the end of the exchange which took the form of a series of comments on a friend's Facebook status.  He tried to backpedal and say that I (Kevin) was intelligent and that maybe I wrote well (and you can goddam guarantee that it made him SICK to have to do this, just to try to not make any more enemies than he had already made) but my friends and I were not buying it.

My point is this; the guy I'm talking about is real, and I know two other men like him.  First, you can identify them by a few common traits.  They are mean, they define their success and in some cases, they define themselves, by earnings.  Money made.  Next, they have very closed minds socially.  The do not tend to respect women, but especially tend to disrespect anybody who isn't their own race.  They are not open to understanding that life differs outside of their "county lines," that not everybody thinks like them, and that even those that don't think like them could actually be right.  They won't ever, ever, ever believe that.  They are right, and nobody else isThey are kings in their world.  It could come from parents who made them believe they were kings, or a wife/girlfriend who was subservient to them and over a course of years made them feel like kings.

First, I'd like to offer my words to them; words I'll happily stand behind when speaking to them in person.  Matter of fact, if one of them should see this blog entry and care to print it out and confront me with it, I'll read it to them, while looking at them, and I'll put special emphasis on this next message that I'm giving to them:

  • "You are an asshole.  A prick.  You are as small as you think you are big.  You set out to hurt people and elevate yourself.  Nobody likes you.  People like me despise you.  Your ego is nauseating and nobody likes that.  You are nothing, and nobody.  I know this because what makes somebody into somebody is the willingness to give, to be humble, and to care about others.  You, on the other hand, are a low-life asshole who thinks the world revolves around you.  You are a piece of shit that the world will do better without.  You are the type of person that makes me appreciate good people all that much more, because you are not good people.  You, child-like adult, are an asshole, and you will live and die as an asshole.  You have no class.  You are angry at the tall/good-looking/popular/loved people.  Stay out of my life and out of my way so that I don't have to find a creative way to make you not be in my life or in my way.  Carry your poison off into the darkness; carry your own insecurities and feelings of failure that cause you to act like you do off into the remote corners of the world where the rest of us won't be bothered by your selfish, childish, idiotic behavior."  

That's what I'll say, to their faces.  Feel free to pass this blog on to any that might need it read to their face.

Why this blog entry?  Because, as my close friends know, I seek to inspire, and I seek to inspire in areas where we're all looking and thinking that something should be done, and I'm usually one of the few that will jump up early and call for action, and I will always do this in favor of good people; of those that give to others, those that do not believe they are better than everybody else--ultimately to those that realize that no matter how bad your life is, there is no good reason to attack others unless they are either attacking you or attacking other innocent people.  So, please, don't just read this; believe it, and stand up against assholes and bullies.  Stand hard, and with confidence.  You can do it if you choose, and you will succeed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another language reminder; nothing sounds more stoopid than close-but-wrong words in a cliche!

You know you've heard them before.  "He was armed to the tea."  "That guy drownded" (Dr. Phil still says "drownded") or "It's a mute point."  Let me help you, my friends.  People HATE when you do this.  There are a host of reasons, and I'll share a few.

First, the worst possible scenario for the close-but-wrong word is when it's being used in a statement of wisdom from a younger person to a necessarily older and wiser person (picture an 15-year-old correcting or preaching to a 70-year-old judge in a court room).  There is an old and accurate quote: "It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims (--Aristotle)."  It is.  So to have a young (presumably inexperienced) person giving advice or orders to an older (presumably experienced) person WHILE also getting a quote/cliche wrong is to commit a social suicide in front of everybody you are speaking within hearing range of.

Second problem is that people already hate cliches.  Granted, something like Dr. Phil's "drownded" isn't used in a cliche, but it's equally deplorable and one would never expect a man with PhD. behind his name to not know that "drownded" is not the past tense of the word, "drown,." or that it isn't even a word.  Not even a slang word.  So as soon as they hear you say, "Treat others as you..." bang!  Their open mind slams shut and you are front-and-center in their mental murder room.  They have already given you the lethal injection.  They roll their eyes, mentally at least because there is something fully unsatisfying and repetitive about taking a wise/old/true statement and repeating it incessantly or, worse, pretending you have an elevated understanding of it or others do not (and there are my personal favorites; people that act like maybe you've never heard it at all and then can glow in the light of the witty display, quite knowingly, as if it was their own).

Why bother worrying about this disaster? We HAVE to avoid it because there is no fixing it once it has happened.  Everybody remembers the guy who says to the employees at the meeting, "Great customer service really is worth its weight in coal."  You just CAN'T make these mistakes the first time, ever.  I'll admit; I could have seriously condensed this message to you today.  My friend, Jasper, just recently changed his Facebook status to "Don't use words you don't know the meaning of,"  and that would about sum it up (Yeah, we both know about ending sentences with prepositions, and we both rebel; know the rules before you break them), but I wanted to use many colors to paint this picture because you don't get a second or third chance to not make this mistake; there is no recovery. 

Here's the thing about correct spelling, speaking, and grammar; people judge you by it.  They can calculate a million different answers about you as a person by only using your words.  You do NOT want those words to be incorrectly used in a major way (minor happens all the time, such as using the term "severe angle," as one of my favorite hockey commentators likes to do instead of using what he should be using: "extreme angle."  He does this when referring to hockey shots that are shot from areas off to the side or behind the net.  But severe?  That's a word that is a measure of intensity.  Angles do not have intensities, they are simply numerical references.  From dictionary.com, here are their pertinent definitions... 1.  extreme: of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average and 2. severe: harsh; unnecessarily extreme).

So we are drawing a distinct difference here between the types of people that use the word "psychopath," where "disturbed" would work much better and those that say, "I always choose the psycho-path less traveled."  You get me?  The latter just makes itself unforgivable and unforgettable.  The former... we'll forget in as early as a few moments. 

To totally avoid this disaster, there are three main things you have to do.  1.  Improve your vocabulary.  Do so by regularly reading definitions of words that you aren't very clear about but hear often or, if you're already a competent wordsmith, purposely seek out words that you're not familiar with.  2.  Impose a set of speaking guidelines upon yourself; promise yourself that, when speaking in front of others, you will avoid cliches altogether and stick to very well known and familiar words and ideas that originate in your own mind, not somebody elses, and don't let others' comments re-direct you into unfamiliar territory or, as my Grandpa used to say, "If you don't know about it, don't talk about it."  3.  Always think for at least one second before speaking.  People will not catch you; they won't be thinking, "Oh, that person is slow to respond so they must be scared of answering for some reason."  They won't even catch a one-second delay and it could save your behind.  One second is more than long enough to say to yourself, "Ok, no cliche, stick to rules, be confident" or, if it goes in a direction you refuse to such as religion or politics, you should be thinking "Steer it away or pass on speaking."  You won't make many new friends talking about religion or politics, no matter your beliefs.  

To sum up: improve your vocabulary, create a small and memorable set of rules for yourself regarding speaking in public, always avoid cliches and think before speaking. (Most of these are good for writing, too, but that's for a whole 'nother post)

EDIT: Also, if you're young, you will help yourself out a great deal by just saying to yourself (and believing), "I don't know anything.  I will respect my elders for their experience and knowledge and never take an elevated posture when speaking to them."