Subject: On Assholes And X-day

From: (Phloighd)
Newsgroups: alt.slack
Date: Sat, Jul 14, 2001 12:59 PM
Message-ID: <>

In lieu of a pieced-together report detailing what I can't remember, I
thought I'd put together a few thoughts I had.

I love X-day. It's my religious holiday, the only holiday as far as
I'm concerned. Brushwood has, for me, been a most slackful spot to
spend the remaining hours left on this dirtball. I enjoy spending
time with people I rarely get to see as well as meet new folks whose
names I've heard but whose visage I've never gazed upon. But despite
being among the cream of the Yeti race in a slackful place I can
usually count on being forced to deal with an occasional asshole.
Because some of you are assholes.

I'm not talking about someone the pinks consider a jerk, because of
one's beliefs or whathaveyou; I'm talking about the ones who annoy
*us*. What makes an asshole? Although a definition is available,
it's far easier to recognize asshole-in-progress than put forth an
accurate picture without example. When you're sleeping and you're
woken by some screaming guy banging on metal baying at the moon, you
think "asshole." When you're watching a ranter and a drunken heckler
doesn't know when to shut up, you think "asshole." When you try to
talk with friends and one person comes up and dominates the
conversation with inanities, you think "asshole." When you see
somebody snapping pix of naked people just to go home and develop pix
of naked people, you think "asshole." There are dozens of potential
examples like these, but I chose these for a reason.

I've done all of those things. I've been a real asshole.

Only rarely do folks intend to be assholes; I know I didn't. I was
off somewhere in the recesses of my brain thinking nothing mattered
because the fucking saucers were coming for me, okay, and at the end
of the world you can do whatever the fuck you want with no
consequences. That mindset is a great deal of fun, but tends to
produce more assholish behavior than otherwise. It's a risk you take:
add intoxicants and assholes start to appear.

But "asshole" is, usually, a temporary condition. Often the asshole
doesn't realize the true extent of their behavior; this realization
may not come for months or even years after the event, when suddenly
like a lightning bolt -- "Shit, I was a real asshole!" As Schabe said
to me once, one never wants to be the subject of any sentence that
starts "Some asshole..."

Now here's the real trick: don't apologize. That's right, accept the
fact that annoyance has occurred and the asshole inside came out to
play for a little while, and others were pissed off. Accept it.
Don't waste your time with "man, that was good acid" or "sorry, drank
a little too much last night" or "that was *your* daughter?" Don't go
there. It's not going to change the offended parties' opinions too
much, and probably serve only to remind them what an asshole you were.
Don't apologize -- redeem yourself!

If you're sufficiently entertaining or rich, asshole can be overcome.
Those incidents of prickishness can be overshadowed by being funny or
generous. And while you're winning friends and influencing people you
can give thought to the asshole incidents in your life, and decide if
they're worthy of repeating. Some are, most aren't. But you have a
choice: continue to let the inner asshole out and let it dominate your
life, or learn from your mistakes and redeem yourself. Besides, if
you're lucky it'll be forgotten anyway, until you post some long
rambling message about assholes.

Thank you for letting me believe I've redeemed myself.


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