Original Comparisons: Why “Shut Up” is like “I’m Sorry”.

People are always telling each other to “shut up”.

“Shut up, shut shut up, shut up!”

Yeah, it rhymes, yeah, it sounds nice.

It’s so mean.

It feels so right.

People are always saying “sorry.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

It sounds so tender, it’s a conflict ender.

These two little phrases, sources of frustration and catharsis,

both when you say them and when told to you.

What is the reason we, despite being adults, despite not being primitive,

are so passionate about apologizing,
so glad to tell others to be quiet,

so glad to mock an insufficient “sorry”,
so utterly infuriated more than we’d expect
by a person’s barking to not speak?

The answer is that “sorry” and “shut up”
do not fully hit the other party.

To say that you are sorry
is to try and come closer to sincerity.

To make someone apologize
is to show lust for the undulations of another person’s emotions.

To cry out that you really are truly sorry, in a really truly awfully sorry sort of situation,
is to try and bond together with the very lightness in another person’s tenderness.

To tell someone “shut up”
may be quite unlikely to get them to not talk back,
and that it is why it does not feel quite so brutal.
It feels like falling short of violence in its softness.
“Shut up” feels so fucking heroic.

To get someone to comply with a “shut up”
isn’t really all that satisfying, and you know that is the case.
That is why it does not feel so villainous.

Are you trying to get someone to “shut up”,
or is it something else you’re after?

What you want is to alter the undulations of another person’s will,
what you also want is a situation in which you are the person who has the power,
but it isn’t really either of those things that is your goal.

What you are is overwhelmed
by the friction of purpose and result.

What would make you want to say “shut up” to anyone in the first place,
is probably the type of thing that makes you feel

“I’d come close to doing that, but I’d never do it myself”.

And in such a heightened state, you say something like “be quiet” or “shut up”
which you know is NOT a NICE WAY TO ACT.

When I hear people say “shut up” to me or to each other,
I might get madder than anyone on the planet.

But what I want do right now is tell them
that the reason they believe “shut up” feels so VALUABLE TO SAY inside that moment,
is because it has something resembling the awkwardly dignified energy of an apology.

“Shut up” is a strike that grazes.
“Shut up” is an ache for new possibilities.
“Shut up” is the defense of your ways of coming out on top despite the bullshit.
“Shut up” is a very mischievous kind of maturity.
“Shut up” being popular despite being hated
is proof that an emotion hasn’t been discovered.

Oh yes, the friction between one thing and every thing,
always undulating based upon its wide perceptions.

The state in which you’re trying to get someone to apologize,
that is even more elegant, even more horrible,
than the most powerful of “shut up”s that you’ve said.

So many situations in which attempting to elicit some apology
for a certain sort of misdeed, that other people would cringe at you
for attempting oh so boldly.

But you don’t feel bad about forcing apologies, do you?
Maybe you have, but even so, we all respect the right kind of request for a big sorry.
We’ve all been warmed at some point by very sincere “sorry”s.
We’ve all been disgusted by them as well.

Here’s the reason, fellow human, why getting a “sorry” feels so elegant
despite asking for one feeling oh so very indulgent.


Getting a sorry feels nice because you choose to allow it to suffice.

You act as though you’re barking for compliance,
and then when your loved one or your adversary (or both, of course) gives in and apologizes

you make a shift and say to them,
“you have done more than enough”.

And that is a thing that makes me want you to please SHUT UP,
even if I won’t say it, even if I shouldn’t.

You know that pushing for an apology
gives a person a practical incentive to make one,
and that it makes their sorry incomplete.
But it’s that emptiness within sincerity of emotion
that you are trying to work inside of.

I am telling you straight to your face
that the “shut ups” and “apologize to me”s that I despise so much
are indeed at the foundation of higher human decency.

Because it’s right to try and be sorry, we need a way to make others want to be.
Because making someone want to “be quiet”
can indeed forge within them discipline.

But that is how things have been.
I want things to change.

What you lust for within other individuals
is that feeling of “my emotions and behaviors are invalid,
but I can overcome that by becoming more like better people”.
But can’t you see the ache to have that within them
is oh so very willfully cataclysmic?

I think that sometimes, people spend so very long
trying to get others to shut up, trying to make others say sorry,
trying to figure out how to restrain themselves socially,
getting ever closer to their own kind of apology,
that they just want to see all social interaction go up in flames.
They just want to mock everyone.
And that sure seems like the vibe of the internet lately.

But I believe inside that is a growing child crying, wishing,
why can’t we just be nice?

The 30 year old writes out, “wow fuck everything” to a post about a woeful social fuckup.

Do me a favor, world, I’m begging you,
try and smell the very wistful nature of what it means to say you’re sorry.
Try and taste the freakish lightness of making someone want to close their mouth.

It may increase your chance of doing any of these things
closer to the way you that you have said resembles kindness.

I aspire to a new form of social dignity.
And inside that world feeling sorry will be real,
but no one will apologize in quite the same bemusement.

And more spectacularly, we will find a way to tell each other
to reconsider what they say, or whether they will talk at all,
without needing ugly orders to shut up.

We can find joy in shifting towards our “sorry”s.
We can even bend the other’s will to speak.
But we will be closer to each other.

Because the missing emotion will have been found.
Our emotions won’t undulate the same way after we’ve touched that undulation.
Our mediocrity will finally wash away.
If I have engaged you, please read my manifesto.


Published by commanderdoubledge

As strange as Willy Wonka, as sincere as Benjamin Franklin, I am the one who is going to bring purpose to the internet. I am Commander L1 Doubledge.

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