Dissonance

Life is weird. Or rather, other people are. Life is nice and rolls along following pretty mathematical laws; it’s the people that are screwed up.

I stumble around the net, come across an indignant fellow who tells the homosexuals are recruiting. I blink, think about pink fatigues, then refocus, and wonder why that fellow is so indignant. Even if he was right, what would be the problem in that?

At least once a week, even if away from the net, I run into something I am obviously supposed to take differently.

Artificial dyes in my food, which in genetically modified? Excellent!

Nuclear power? Give me some! And better build the reactors here than in Russia!

Do I want more taxes? Well, I don’t particularly mind, I suppose they go to a good purp— hey, why are you frothing at the mouth?

“Have faith”? Why the heck should I? I have evidence.

“Made in Finland”? “Buy Finnish”? Why should I — are the foreigners piggish and incompetent subhumans who do not deserve my patronage? I know them just as little as I know the Finnish farmer, and I don’t prefer either over the other, and I feel vaguely dirty when told I should.

Someone exhorting others to remember what Jesus taught — what, obsolete Jewish apocalypticism and Bronze Age ethics for the 21st century? Am I missing something? That’s not better than what the organized religion teaches!

A parade goes by, celebrating some sports hero, and I think: “Wait, they’re happy that a vague proxy of them performed in this particular single iteration of what is at this level a largely chance-governed ritualistic activity better than the other proxies? That makes no fucking sense at all. Do it long enough to get some statistical significance before you start screaming about it and geroff mah lahwn!”

Then someone is mentioned to have gotten religion — and I think, “hope she got better later on”.

And what, native cultures are going extinct? Good riddance; they’re better as museum pieces than as places for children to grow up in. (Not that I’m opposed to the gathering of museum pieces — just to having the desires and potentials of individual people drained by the maintenance of some particular piece of vampire scenery just because their fathers and forefathers were hoodwinked to do the same.)

“He’s with God now”? First, no he is not; he has ceased to be; he is an ex-being; and God never existed in the first place, and ugh his Heaven would be a pretty North Korea-like place full of bigots and fools of the most disgusting kind so good he’s not there; heavens you’re spouting such combinations of falsehoods and moral abominations that I… wait, did I say that out loud? Sorry.

Oh, and we live in a godless, unspiritual, materialistic, scientistic age, do we? I love it and I wouldn’t have it otherwise. Never had it better yet. Go to your druids and berries, die aged thirty-four, and bother me no more.

“So Person A called Person B by a rude name, and everyone is in an uproar? Calm down, people, it was just a fucking word! Words don’t hurt people that much; censorious, overreacting, prissy jerks like you hurt people! Stop making everyone act like a fucking bland can of neutered vanilla yogurt! Neutered yogurt? I’m so angry I’m not even making sense anymore! And you make me brain hurt bad!”

What, science threatens to do away with the soul, to reduce the human mind to nothing but functions of the brain, and humanity to nothing but a particular species of animal? Yeah, and so what?

What, the new Rammstein video is semi-pornographic? Excellent! Show me! And give me a side dish of Japanese drawings of things that are physically impossible, emotionally unlikely, and would be criminal if possible and done to real people — that’s my idea of good, clean, wholesome, harmless fun. (Mmm, tentacles.)

Really, when you are a skeptic, an atheist, a fan of heavy metal, role-playing games and science, and a general hairy cold liberal, you don’t even need much inborn cantankerousness to have a constant persistent feeling that most other people are weird.

Here “weird” is defined as “not me”.

Sometimes you halfway get the feeling that you really are one of the Satanic legions the fundamentalists rage about; your opinions seem to match pretty much. (“Oh, good of you to remind me. Yes, I would like free abortions for everyone for any reason at all, legal-age incest, prostitution and drugs legalized, parenthood licences required, no religious indoctrination of children, total separation of church and state, and Christopher Hitchens sodomizing the rotting corpse of Jerry Falwell on Youtube, and I would too like to see the UN or some other New World Order take over. What’re you going to do with that shotgun, cross boy?”)

And then there are the various insults people employ, though not usually at me, for I am tall, wide and quiet, and look like someone called Mr. Brick or Herr Pro Pain. Insults have that whole “You’re saying that like it’s a bad thing” problem. I wouldn’t take intimations of homosexuality or promiscuity badly, though they (sigh) are not true. Mentions of physical or mental limitations (or in the physical case, mass-related unlimitations) don’t particularly bother me either, since studying maths means you get used to your stupidity pretty quick, and it’s not like I have illusions or aspirations of being the next Mr. Universe. (Mr. Creosote, maybe. I even have a bucket of my own.) Calling me a sinner or godless of course stings not at all: the first is a meaningless (thought dangerous) word, and the second is outright praise!

(Really, “sin” is a meaningless word. It denotes the opinion of God, or some absolute heinousness beyond normal logical disapproval. Because there is no consensus on the preferences of that particular fictional being, it’s a dangerously slippery concept; dangerously, because so many people think it’s a fixed and bad thing, no matter what it is, or why. Interpretations of the wings-of-balrog or the pointedness-of-elf-ears questions don’t get as many people hurt as people assuming they know the dislikes of He the Supreme and Only Required Reason for All Moral Law.)

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