If you take a look back in time, inside your philosophy textbooks, you’ll find that one of the big topics is
Those people talked a lot about what virtue is, how to acquire it, whether it has value.
However, one of the big controversies about virtue was that…..you could never prove if someone had virtue if they didn’t do something with it.
And if someone were to act virtuously, you could never exactly say if such a person was really virtuous.
So, you may be wondering, how can we come to be more virtuous? Or rather, how have we been trying to be more virtuous?
Surely you agree that an absurd majority of human beings like the idea of “being a good person”. No matter what they’ve said about you, no matter what they’ve done,
there’s almost no one who isn’t enticed by being great.
But there’s something really ugly-feeling and apparently malicious
in the way of making people just plain great to each other.
And there’s something really elusive and bizarre
that we can’t seem to hold onto properly in our mission
to try and be a great freaking person.
And we fail and fail and fail at that childish dream of everyone being nice.
Because of our own inability to move forward with the goal of kindness.
And so many other people get in the way of that ideal of simple niceness.
We can sense their tendency to blunder it.
We have an odd affection for their inability to hold it.
We let the real, raw human niceness slip out of our hands over and over.
And so, without speaking, without saying, we let the following force guide us.
Or rather, it’s what we’ve been doing since we became human.
We’ve been acting this way. We’ve been doing things this way:
and living for
doing some apparent good by
or creating something elegant out of
the desire to exploit and to fulfill
the tension or the friction
of what something is meant to do
or should do
with what it actually does
or may do.
In spite of all the selfishness, in spite of all the primal rage,
within nearly everyone, there’s someone saying
“I wish to navigate this world well, so I can get what I want without being a major nuisance.”
“I have dreams about being a good person, and I’m not great at it, but I’ll find a way to push anyone out of the way who happens to defile that.”
Look at yourself. Look at your neighbor. At the people you live with.
Take your average moment of transcendent-seeming rage.
Where does it come from?
Somebody insulting your desire to navigate the social space.
Or perhaps, only the possibility that they are doing so.
Maybe they’re not at all……maybe what they have….
is just a shred of the lust for stifling the possibilities in your life
that you claim that they possess.
And that through hurling insults, through taking drastic, maybe even violent actions,
what you are saying is
“I will do my very best to touch and negate the essence of how you treat me”.
Because when other people try to promote their personal way of trying to be nice,
they too act upon a lust for manipulating possibility that’s universe-cuttingly powerful.
I do not believe that people are simply foolish and brash when they have a public freakout. Or when they post something filled with rage and scorn upon the internet that is really very bitter and lacking in a tone of kindness.
Right now, you’re probably considering going online and being ready to mock someone for getting upset at what YOU consider to be actual nice behavior or intentions,
You’re probably eager to go online and write out to someone how utterly furious you are at the things that they really enjoy doing.
My friend, my internet friend, you’re trapped. Free yourself from this.
No, I’m not telling you to log off. I’m not telling you to not make memes or watch people on streams or divulge every last one of your lovely dreams.
I’m not even saying that you’re wrong about anything you’ve said online for your entire life thus far.
I’m telling you to recognize that everything anyone does is a very big thing.
I’m telling you that any drastic action can be seen as a small thing.
We always act upon the overwhelming and comforting
bigness and smallness of
being just one person.
That’s what drags you to the internet, am I right?
So many times you go on a forum or social media,
and your posts and comments feel pointless, despite being so very satisfying to make.
The things other people rant and rave feel so very frustrating
when they’re not like what you’d say,
and yet it’s very nice to feel connected with those people.
Every time you go online, your emotions undulate.
You can feel the undulations inside of time and space.
Always connected, always not. Always feeling your closeness to others rising and falling.
Your content and frustration with others moves like waves in the ocean.
And if you’re following me, perhaps you might feel a little shameful
at what the internet’s done to you.
But that’s okay, that’s actually really great.
Because the internet is like a very tiny and gigantic model of the nature of human love.
When you are in love, in its many forms, you are close to someone, and yet you are also distant from someone.
The closeness and the distance to your lover fluctuates as you embrace each other.
And you also understand that to love someone is such a very strangely small thing,
when there are so many other people in this world.
And to love someone is such a very huge thing, since it occupies all of their emotional space,
and it resembles so many other things happening in nature.
You posting online are so very small and very huge.
What you do online is always caught between significance and lack thereof, and that is what guides you toward it.
Posting on the internet is not just a way to try and feel big,
it’s a way to feel good about being just one person
in such a very big and strange universe.
Is that not
the tenderness of love?
Is that not
the dangerous flaw of love and devotion?
Is that not
a good way to explain human emotion?
When I say “I really love that we have the internet”
it does feel weird, considering how much I want to change it.
But that’s just the passion for doing something meaningful by the friction and the tension
of the intentions of things versus the effects of things.
Let me tell you now, my friend.
Cast your eyes upon the history of this world.
Look at tradition. No, not traditions that are born of mainly wanting something cool to do,
like dances and parades.
I’m talking about things we force our family members to go through.
I’m talking about roles that our societal leaders demand us we take.
I’m talking about the effects of counter cultures that stray from the ideals of rebellion.
I’m talking about the ways of acting to your fellow human that so many people are upset with,
but will be defended with absolute exorbitance.
I’m talking about the things that make you want to say
“WOW WHAT A HYPOCRITE
THAT DOESN’T EVEN HELP PEOPLE”
“WHY THE FUCK DO WE ALLOW THIS”
“I’M SICK AND TIRED OF ANYONE ENABLING THAT”
Look upon it, my love, my darling world,
so very tired
of the uselessness of satire
the stagnation of criticism
the exhaustion of the will to change someone else,
Look upon them, I beg you, with eyes that see, that finally see,
it is all about
the ability to do supposed greatness by
the burning friction,
the mighty tension,
of what something is supposedly meant to do,
and what something may actually do.
Every time you post a statistic about what your adversary has done,
every time you make an egregious insult against them,
you know that
YOU HAVE A MEDIOCRITY THAT YOU JUST CAN’T SHAKE OFF.
You know that when you prop up your own achievements,
you know when you congratulate the efforts of your side,
THERE’S A WARMTH TO THAT YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE TO DESPISE.
You’ve lost your power.
Because you don’t even know what makes traditions oh so mighty.
It’s all about purpose and results, dancing together, attached together, never leaving each other, never belonging together, but always making up the mold of reality itself which always has to be.
This is what you feel when you watch a really good movie or anything like that. I am not endorsing anything new.
There are things which are, and things that may take place. And to say what is made for what is always a bit of a rebellion.
And to defy what has been is always very much like a tradition.
Let me tell you why customs and cultures are so hard to cut through.
Because they are aware of the wistful futility
of trying to claim that anything is meant for anything else.
Anyone who enforces a family tradition
knows they have only a tender grasp upon other people.
Tradition is like rubber, so very hard to break.
But if you can see the way it bends, if you can tell how its properties do waver,
you can find a way to push upon it.
You can get people to act upon your interests.
This is how it’s been though, isn’t it?
How one culture replaces another, how one tradition is supplanted by another.
It’s all about navigating that mighty lust
for the friction and the tension of purpose and result.
But I don’t even care about culture and tradition that much.
My goal is to change what happens when two humans interact with each other.
The games they play, the things they say, the looks they give each other.
The choices they make, the paths they take, the burning loves and hates they navigate
as they try to balance the exploitation of and cooperation with a fellow human.
It’s all about the friction between
the things you do coming from YOU
and the things you DO being what they are.
Do you get now, why people who live together
tend to be so mad at each other?
How people fall in love
and end up in that trap regardless?
And do you get how people witness
that mediocre kind of lifestyle…
and take forever just to learn how to defy it?
Parenting is the final boss of human mediocrity
because is it so charged with shame for the inability to bend possibility.
Even people with the noblest dreams of really really really just being nice to everyone
empowered by the will to defy what their parents perceived as as decency
are so swamped inside that interplay of others’ promises and actions,
it becomes nearly impossible to cleanse ourselves from the ugly use of that lovely energy.
I can barely even tell you more,
it brings me so much disgust to associate myself with how I was raised.
My apologies if you read this, but my goal is to make a world where people look at people like those who raised me in the face and say “I’m not having any of that”.
And they’ll say “I don’t deserve to be so eager to talk”.
All they have is a lack of respect for the use of someone’s energy.
All they have is a casual desperation to release their own.
And it’s something so ugly that I think the whole world could change
if they knew what they were.
The base form of what I loathe
is a parent who expects their child to talk when spoken to,
and gets really excited when their version of niceness isn’t appreciated.
People with a less than mediocre passion for really changing themselves when they approach speaking to another person
are the ones who prevent people like me from becoming the heroes they could have been.
They have no idea how extravagantly unhelpful they are.
And I’d like to free them from their vivid mediocrity.
Some people will tell you that American traditions, whatever they are,
are the thing we need to make us great.
Others will say, we must follow the righteous path of history toward what seems like
an enhanced version of the equality that we have.
All I want to do is see the smile on the eyes of people that don’t respect me
turn softly into genuine regret, by merely understanding how great a gap there was
between how beautiful they felt when getting livid,
and how much beauty people put into navigating around the effects of that very classless rage.
Of course, I also desire my closest friends
to see this world transform completely.
I want to the introverts to cry with joy at our sweet victory.
I want the extroverts to use their power more responsibly.
The internet is what has allowed me to live an amazing life
despite this atmosphere I wish to see be changed.
I still have the whole world to thank, and the city in which I’ve been living.
I still have several heads I wish to bow to.
But the internet is the means by which I’ve come to savor so much of what I love.
I think, I hope, I wish, that that FEELING of something deeply dignified
just under the surface of the internet
comes to be validated by yours truly.
That anyone who reads this blog will walk away from it with freshened eyes
and know exactly how to work together with someone
when simply entering a store after walking around outside.
When customer service is no longer a source of infinte fury,
I will know that my deed has been done.
That passion for possibility inside of your rage,
that lust for kindness inside of irritation,
I want you to see it, I want you to be able to touch it.
I want you to see someone going mad with fury over
someone else’s misuse of the friction and the tension of purpose and result,
and tell them, you are not a fool and not a creep.
You are just being as human as it gets.
I am counting on you to change the world.
2020 is going to be the greatest year in human history.