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The flattened, homogenized curve of evil

Friday 10/13/23

It's a curious thing that the people who base the outward presentation of their identities on justice and morality are so very often among the worst that humanity has to offer.

When I see someone on social media going on about issues which today fall under the heading of social justice, it's like I'm tipped off that there's something profoundly wrong inside of them. I'm not saying always. And it's not always about something that starts with the notion of justice.

Take COVID, for example. I have never believed much in COVID. Or, never believed in it much more than I believed in the flu. Both exist as what they are. Neither are extremes. They are usually things to be inconvenienced by for a few days.

I didn't believe in COVID much because I believe in learning, educating one's self, and things like basic fitness. Exercise, if you're so concerned about your health. Stop being a hypocrite. Try a salad now and again. Stop smoking. Stop drinking to excess.

When COVID happened, I did nothing. I didn't wear a mask because I don't believe it's good for you to breathe in spent air. I wrote even more, I ran even more stairs. That's what I did. Because I was educated and I'm not someone who looks for excuses to do less.

My sympathies were for the vulnerable section of the elderly population. I also knew that people love nothing more than an excuse, except perhaps being able to play victim, and they will take any excuse presented to them, in however roundabout a way, and will cry victim at the first opportunity. The reality is, they love these things. Their lives often have no purpose, and this gives them a simulacrum of that, plus attention, which they also love because there's nothing inside of them to draw on for sustenance.

I see these demonstrations on college campuses in support of Hamas, and I know I'm witnessing the banality, the predictability, the inevitability of evil in this world. I think evil used to stand out a lot more than it does now, where it's this commonplace entity, routinely less conversationally notable to people than Daylight Savings Time.

Often it fails to produce so much as a shrug in those who see the reports of it. They themselves will be closer to the evil side of the mark than the virtuous. You can be evil in so many ways. They can be quite petty. They're often petty because people are limited by their lack of imagination, their lack of initiative, their childishness. That doesn't mean that what's inside of them isn't inside of them.

A few years ago I started accepting that something could be so extreme as to be shocking, and yet people won't really say much. People don't say much about anything. People have a hard time saying anything at all, because no one has any language or writing skills now.

When you go on Twitter, what do you see? The Chiefs played last night, and Patrick Mahomes was trending. I didn't watch the game, but I clicked on his name on Twitter because you want to get a sense of what happened. But people aren't actually saying anything, are they? You won't get any insight, you won't get any idea of how he played.

What someone does is write, "Patrick Mahomes after blah blah blah," then there's a meme. It's the same meme you'll see from 60,000 people if you sit there long enough.

Do you know why that is?

Because people are functional illiterates. They can't communicate with words. So they do this meme/gif metaphor/simile thing. And they're bad at that, too. It's the same handful of images, right? When did you ever think, "That's smart." Or laugh?

So why are you looking at it? Why are we all?

Well, there is nothing else. This is how everyone is now. It's how the world is.

I think God could come down from the sky, an atomic bomb would go off, and you could find yourself questioning if anyone even noticed, or if you were missing something in this potentially embarrassing way, based on the nature of the comments you saw or didn't see, what you heard and what you didn't hear. How humdrum it all is.

There's no range of moral topography. Everything is this flattened curve, to take it back to COVID terms. I don't think people have a clue what anything means. It's like when you're sick, and you can't taste things as well, and all the food you eat tastes the same. You are in a dangerous place when humanity gets to that point.

College is a place you probably shouldn't go to unless you want to be a doctor or a lawyer. It's a scam that will put you in debt, and you won't learn anything. Look at me. Everything I know, everything I am an expert in, the leading authority on, is a result of what I taught me. None of what you read in my work or hear me speak about is anything I learned in college. I didn't learn a single thing there. I had professors who didn't have a clue. They struck me as people who had nowhere else to go in life, so they came there, where they would be given shelter from normality, usefulness, and reality.

What I learned, insofar as I learned anything, is who not to listen to. I learned that I needed to know, because other people didn't, despite their titles. They weren't going to inform me--not in that way--and I was responsible for myself. I learned that you don't write like they do, because it will have no value for anyone.

I see these students at a place like Harvard, who must be among the most sheltered, entitled, clueless people in the world. Granted, that's a large group, but what you have with people like these students is this hubris that they're better and smarter than everyone, and you get these moral dabblers, for whom bloodshed, terror, tragedy, has no personal stakes for them. They're incapable of empathy, and they're shallow and pathetic. People who are these ways try to be edgy, and in this instance, they think they're edgy in this provocative, intellectual fashion.

What happened the other day in that Hamas...what do you even want to call it? Attack? Raid? I don't think those go far enough. But what that was was hell on earth. Can you even imagine being there? Can you even imagine waiting today to see if your loved ones will be tortured? Executed? Beheaded?

But if you were Rumpelstiltskin, and you just woke up in the woods and moseyed on back to town and was perusing the internet, I think you'd do this double-take as to what happened. You'd do it because you couldn't understand how there were people were supporting it, essentially, and how the tone of everything was just so ambivalent. Business as usual. Cold. Flat. Dare I say, accepting?

People are very casual and forgiving of each other in their enmity for the Jewish people. It's almost like it's allowed. Imagine if people had the open attitude so many do against Jewish people but instead against Black people? And these college kids are people who lose their minds if they're misgendered, this thing that isn't even real. But disemboweling innocent civilians at a concert?

"It's for the cause."

Which no one could define. And there is no cause on earth for which the actions of the other day are justified. I daresay there is no place in the universe where anything about what happened could exist as less than total, eternally unjustifiable evil.

This is a terrifying age. To me, the most terrifying yet, because most people are dead inside. They are morally dead, intellectually dead, emotionally dead, spiritually dead.

When I say spiritually dead, I don't mean in terms of religion. I mean in something beyond themselves. And beyond all of us. Because there is something beyond all of us. We can give different names to it. Some use God. Some might say duty. Goodness. Joy. Truth. Beauty. Nature. Art. There is something that directs us to transcend ourselves. Challenges us. Asks of us. It's both outside of us and inside of us. What the term is doesn't matter a lot in my view. That we find a way to hear and answer the call is what does. The call of ourselves. Our souls. Love. We most understand what it means to be alive when we understand that what we are is only the start of what we may be, and need to be, in order to fully be ourselves, and more than ourselves. Anything else, anything less, is just being there. Don't ever just be there. That's not why we're here.

The way--or a way--you become less dead, and you gain standards, perspective, a sharpened sense of right and wrong, a multilayered moral typography, is you interact. You connect. With people. With the world. With yourself. And the way we connect, whether we like the method or not, is with words. That's what we have. It's not all we have, but everything else isn't as much and can't be as much. I don't care how many hugs one gives. Hugs won't do it. They won't connect you to anything or anyone in and of themselves. It's only words.

But we can't speak. We can't write. And when I say what I do about these ridiculous venues in publishing, and these ridiculous people, someone might be tempted to say that these sorry individuals don't matter. I mean, look at them. They're human punchlines to bad jokes. But they've helped kill off language, writing, communicating. They are in part why everyone says the word "literally" so often now, as this cure-all to get over what they can't get over. I've said it many times, but what "literally" means is, "I'm trying to say this thing, and I want you to know how much I mean it, but I am too fucking stupid to find the most basic words to use, because I only know a couple dozen of them, but I want you to believe me, please please please, that I extra super duper think this I don't really think at all because I'll forget about it in fifteen seconds anyways (sic)."

We're dead to each other.

So when people are slaughtered, it's just more death, really, which we're accustomed to. Does one zombie ever frighten another zombie? I would suspect that they barely notice each other, if at all.

And that's the human race now, in 2023. Which is terrifying. It's almost like people should actively try and do something about it.

Imagine that?


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