CarHonk Catharsis (The Big Damn Freakin’ Elevator Pitch)

You know what they say about trying to promote your ideas. If you can’t do it in the length of an elevator ride, you’re probably fucked.

You ever try crossing the street in the middle of a traffic jam?

Chances are, one car is gonna stop for you. And there’s a good chance the car behind that car will HONK at the car that’s stopping, just for your sake.

It’s the type of thing that makes you pretty upset. Clearly there’s a good reason for the car to be not be moving. And clearly, the honker is out of line.

Even if you can justify it, you’ve got to push your eyebrows down at something like that. It definitely belongs somewhere in that category of stupid of malicious. And it’s definitely worth quivering and quaking over just a little.

Why press your horn? Why? Why?

How could anyone be so casually awful?

Is everything fucked?


I do not believe that everything is fucked.

Because I believe that our species has been trying to bottle that sort of state for as long as civilization’s been around.

It’s in all good fiction. It totally is.

And you’d have to be smoking something really really really strong to not have that urge within you as well.

That drive to be…..unlike the nasty and the useless and the rude and unhelpful.

Yeah, we crave that, we really crave that. Even people far off on the deep ends of human cruelty…they want to feel like they’re not the shitty one, somehow.

We have yet to filter out the scream of personal dignity from the most irritating and loathsome behavior.

And the best of evidence of this…is when your cheeks start glowing and your heart starts swooning at the thought of somebody………being so very properly improper.

When you can soothe the part of you that feels surprised and fascinated by how intensely you can regard the traits and deeds of anyone,

you’ll be able to bring this world closer to its biggest victory:

real words, real words, real words of criticism that soothe the insightful, keen, nuanced sort of beast that is a human.

Maybe you’ve lost interest at this point. If so, let me grab you by the collar metaphorically and stare into your eyes.

The person in the car honking is not a simplistic fucking idiot.

The person honking in the car is not a mindless fucking dope.

The person honking in the car is not a shitty fucking stooge.

The person in the car, honking as they are, has those fucking rainbows in their chest that you have.

You know this and you fear this, don’t you?

Or rather, you’re scared that no matter how many times you insult somebody like that,

they just won’t fucking change, people won’t fucking change.

Your insults are as slow as sedimentary erosion.

And here’s why. They have that same sense of special-ness that you do
when you’re at your most composed and furious.

And I believe that thing all people have really is rather special,

it’s just poorly articulated.

And my purpose is to explain the shit out of that magic spark of inner beauty that makes a person immune to anything but slow, mysterious self-improvement.

Yes, stranger, I want you to look into that pain inside your smile when you insult someone, deride someone, or shame someone, and think,

this isn’t really that apt, is it?

I want to destroy our need to argue about why anyone would do anything that’s shocking and extreme, causing millions to love or hate them very, very deeply.

That skinny line between the best people and the worst people that you straddle so adeptly is the root of all that can’t be criticized.

I’m not your average blogger, taking minor jabs at big philosophers.

Creating 3 or 4 or posts saying “well, ya know, there’s something kinda not terrible about the people on the wrong side of history.”

I aim to satisfy everyone who ever got mad at anyone and felt as though they’d gone beyond words.

I have something solid. Something unique and forged from raw insight into what a person’s mind is like when at its most unstoppably serene.

I have an idea of how to bottle us. Contain us. Demystify us. Validate us.

Everything on the tip of your tongue, which pushes you to screaming.

It comes down to these three concepts that I illustrate really well if you go and read Season 5 and Season 6.

  1. People, socially have a hidden sense that everything is CONNECTED BUT ALSO NOT CONNECTED, in a way that’s just as admirable as it is exploitable.

2. People have a cognizance, a tolerance, a love, and a disgust, of EXCESS in themselves and others, and a healthy feeling resentment for specific sorts of passiveness.

3. People have an overwhelming affection and appreciation for what it means to be perfectly out of place and very well distanced from human incompetence.

These concepts will all make sense if you can learn what I mean by “being dragon headed” or “the hunterian opiate“.

They’re terms I’ve chosen because they embody a person’s sheer ferocity and craftiness.

And don’t serve the purpose of exposing malice as much as how terribly strong a person feels when they feel like the opposite of worthless.

It might not make sense to you now, but give it time, and you will get it. If you’ve read a philosophy textbook, or know what good filmmaking is, or cried listening to music, or made a really good fucking meme, you’ll get it. I’m rooting for you getting it. I need you to get it. We need to get it. We have to get it.

Think of this as the last gambit before everything stays shitty forever.

Think back to the car honker.

Look at those three terms I just posted.

Think about the goal of capturing lightning in a bottle.

And realize this-

the maker of the funny noise in the vehicle is aware…..

even if they can’t see the intersection in front of whom they are honking at…..

that there may very well be a good reason for the car not moving.

That it’s excessive to blame anyone for simply hesitating at the pedal.

That it’s highly possible the noise will have no effect on pushing any car to move.

That the horn is a form of a primal sort of catharsis not to be indulged lightly.

That they are capable of not pushing the button, and have indeed done so in the past.

That they have likely been in similar situations of bondage and futility before.

That in some ways, they are in a state of freedom, having vehicular autonomy.

That they seem like an antagonist to some drivers, and a potential ally to others.

That this is one situation, small compared to others, and also big, being the moment of the present.

That they are not the only one suffering like this, but must ACT CREATIVELY.

When a person takes an action that is likely to be seen as crude or useless or belligerent,

their chest begins to stir. They feel something deep down. They get warm and mystical. They enter a state above evaluation.

But I will end that lack of articulation.

I will breal that state down to a fucking science.

I want to bring us past our reliance on good TV and literature and music or mythology or even profound poetic works just to come close to tolerating the wrath of all your neighbors.

No more, no more, no more, no more, I want it to end. Just stop the inner and outer screaming and shock and awe about how anyone would find joy in being horrible.

No more people needing to go to forums to find a fraction of the ability to bear all the behavior that seems totally beyond correcting.

And definitely fucking not a need to rely on your own family or community or culture to find a place of competence and steadiness in a tricky world.

In this place inside my dream, there are people looking into each other’s eyes and feeling “yeah, I get why you’d do that, I totally fucking get why you do that”,

and calming. the. fuck. down.

And in this world, the everyday disasters of human cooperation don’t happen. They just don’t fucking happen and nobody screams anymore.

Okay, let’s cool the heat.

Forget about my dream for a bit.

If you’re just bored and want to read something that feels a little bit new, give me a chance! If you want a fresh take! If you like the internet! If you hate your job! If you want to feel close to other people! If you’re here, today, and hope for just a little more insight into why everyone else feels like the person who’s got that insight!

Or you’re just tired as fuck from nothing seeming to go right from the endless project of betterment that the mass media seems to have always wished for.

Maybe if you want to try just one more thing, one more time, before finally, finally, finally, being able to…..grasp yourself at your most intense.

Get around others at their most intense.

Create unity with others despite their intensity.

Fill in the blanks that all the folk songs could never do.

Capture us in a beautiful bottle.

Just need a dopamine hit.

Or have thought 9 hours about why anyone would be cruel to anyone.

By the way, don’t read the whole thing. Just read Seasons 5 and 6!

I really found my stride there.

So, within Seasons 5 and 6, either start from the beginning,


or go out of order and see what interests you.

Sink your teeth into these twenty posts like they’re lasagna.

I promise you, I promise you, I promise you.

This is what you were wishing somebody could have said before.

This is the next big little step to seeing why everybody else feels so nice despite seeming like the antithesis of being good.

If you get that modern fucking Plato vibe, keep going and peruse the entirely of this.

Well, stranger? You’ve already stayed longer in the elevator than you needed to.

Will you stay a while like I asked,

or get out and keep anything from changing?

Got a little pain in your head from the big ego of that statement?

Hold onto that pain. I can help you with it.

I can free you from the irritation that comes with anyone insisting that you would totally benefit from following them.

I can help you not have to walk back and forth with jaw clenched and neck weak,
every time you see someone exhibiting sunshine and rainbows at someone else’s misery.

That’s my offer, a reduction of the headaches that come with witnessing anyone’s joy.

A way to lighten the load of the pangs of interpersonal bewilderment.

Just keep reading, I promise, I promise, I promise.

At least a little relief from the beautiful shitshow that even the greatest writer’s can’t seem to put a wire fence around.

The endless quest to feel valuable.

Spicy Gamer Vibes and The Banality of Karen – Level 15 : To a Karen, Retail Workers are like Pinball Machines, Ready To Have Their Buttons Pushed [Nightmare C: Good Desires]

Are you listening? Are you there?

Let’s take it back to Karen at the retail store.

Let’s turn on our open minds as well as our infinite disgust at the fact

that not one thing has ever been written that could reliably de-Karen-ize a human being immediately.

Let’s turn on our hope that we’re just one weird metaphor away from really sensing what makes you ready to be unpleasant.

This isn’t universal morality, mind you.

Just something to tame a heart ready to pounce.

If I am to fail at de-Karen-izing the average human interaction,

let this be cradled by someone who hoped things would be different,

but could tell they didn’t have to be.

So, retail worker, service worker, loyal, loving employee…

do you ever feel a bit like you’re on display?

Do you ever feel rather disgusted at your vulnerability?

Do you ever feel resented for representing good behavior?

Do you ever feel like you’re guaranteed to have your buttons pushed?

Well, of course you would.

But…. no matter how many people say or do things big or small,

The world is still so intolerably aggravating that you could smash your face into the conveyor belt and cry.

It’s almost like…..there’s something inside of a bad customer which is impossible to defeat because……it’s not even really that evil to begin with!

Almost like deep inside yourself, you feel like you’re actually kind of a Karen too. Like you have some kind of essence that makes difficult people coming up impossible,

because in some way, you crave and respect that human difficulty,

as people start doing when their brains get big and their hearts go strong.

Yes, that deeply mysterious essence.

How about you try reading the previous two posts and understanding what’s meant by the spirit of playfulness and the will to power?

You see, people, especially certain types of customers,

enjoy casual lovely little displays

of strength and competence

in an interesting, exciting, fun little context.

And inside of those moments, said customers are overflowing with a sense of clarity and and steadiness.

A feeling of beautiful balance in their desire.

Yes, that odd feeling in your heart.

(If you’d read season 8, you’d know exactly what I was talking about. That being the willingness to make trouble to solve things, the readiness to be unpeaceful to fight exploitation, and the eagerness to generate discomfort in everyone, even you, to prove you have a real heart somewhere in there).

The hardest thing to fight might be a person who is entirely convinced about

their desires having a humbly elegant quality, and whose desires actually really are.

Desires which involve something more than either hedonism or altruism.

Wishes with adaptability and intelligence. Goals that are measured and considerate.

How do you stop them?

What kind of allegory could possible change that?

I think if you think about it hard enough,

the sensation a Karen gets

before making their daily debut,

is similar to the feelings one gets

when approaching a pinball machine.

(please tell me you know the game)

I mean, look at those high scores. Just sitting there. Just waiting there.

Look at that. Wow. Hmm.

What kind of desires do you feel when seeing a list of high scores?

How about the rankings of top players in an online game?

Or maybe it’s test scores that get you going?

Perhaps the stock market is what moves you?

Or the status levels of ultra-cool assassins in a movie?

That one’s my favorite.

When gazing at those high numbers and dreaming of your own achievements,

you feel something which might be called “envy” or “ambition”.

But it’s something a lot chiller than that, a lot calmer than that.

A lot more sane and clear headed than that.

You find out ways to let your desires simmer and marinade.

Like someone ready not to simply become #1, but to live the struggle of getting there,

and savor the weird dramas of being top ranked, as well.

I’m not really that good at pinball, but I get the appeal a whole lot.

And I’ve felt this way when looking at the high scores.

I think this emotion, this state, is definitely comparable to

how difficult customers feel before they turn a request for help, into a conflict with more daring and more spice, before even getting there.

Now, we could focus on the sensory appeal of the store’s fancy counter and cash register, much like a pinball machine and its oh so many flippers and lights.

Or the way it feels comfortable to let your energy out at that little station of interaction where you can keep a good posture and hold buttons down for some numerary purpose.

We could also focus on the gravity of the pinball, the need to keep the ball up and moving, and a Karen’s sheer pride and readiness for having things go her way, ready like a finger.

We could focus on the zany activity within the machine, under the glass, and a bad customer’s willingness to have things go awry, with the server begging for simplicity.

We could even use the willingness to pay a coin to play the game as a metaphor for the oddly courageous sensation a Karen gets when about to be upstanding or belligerent.

Do you feel it now, the heat within a Karen’s heart?

That magical feeling in your own?

Yes, these are perfect examples, aren’t they?

But I’m going to emphasize the high score table most of all.

Think carefully about what I’m about to tell you.

Retail worker,

service worker,

I’m going to explain the vibe you give off and wish you didn’t.

I’m going to expand your understanding of your vulnerability,

and elicit more than a little bit of rage about how it’s impossible,

to keep a Karen from being appetized by your look and feel.

Because it won’t happen without something so much as

a paradigm shift in humanity so great

it would make every book ever written

about how to act nicely to others

feel like desperately striking at the wind,

or smashing one’s fist into concrete

My dear retail worker.

Backbone of so many things.

Absurdly underexplored by discourse.

Silent pariah of the educational system.

(Which should really be destroyed).

Once I explain this to you, do not get mad and lash out at others.

Simply try reading these past five seasons.

And understanding why others simply feel innovatively playful and modesty powerful

and learning to control those ridiculously intricate feelings that make you feel

like your heart is impossibly well-put-together and tremendously strong as well.

In the next moments, I want you to try and fall out of love with

what makes desire feel beautiful rather than ugly.

And take the first step

in making this human experience

or these supermarket encounters

finally no longer such

a happiness-killing nightmare at worst

and an awkward dream at best.

Here is the answer you’ve been seeking.

As well as my jump off the diving board.

I am finally retiring from this format.

Dear employee…

I bow my head….

but that uniform you’re wearing.

That posture you have.

That tone of voice.

That control you show.

It’s all a little bit bogus, right?

You’re being paid to act like you’re the shining example

of how a human being should act in public.

“Look at me, I’m officially doing okay

at the conquest of politeness”.

“Right now, in this moment, my good-vibes score

is definitely higher than yours”.

Now, to a person without many hobbies, to someone discontented with their own public treatment, approaching some worker in such a status feels like not a chance

to get revenge on the universe,

but rather, a great moment

to get one’s hands a little bit gritty.

To become more expressive than normal.

To throw shade, as we say.

Just as a pinball player might not even feel an overwhelming desire

to go for the high score of the day,

(just as I may feel when going for a good rank in Hearthstone)

a sensation remains in your heart that says

I’m ready to be pretty fucking engaged rather than hold back entirely.

You say, you feel, I’m ready get my heart lightly ablazed for the sake of proving

that I am a person who knows how to do things that involve

others being more difficult than they know they should be.

To a high score player,

to a retail tormentor,

to an angry boss,

to a physical abuser,

to conductors of war,

and elicitors of genocide,

there is a strangely mild and well-controlled sensation deep within the heart that says,

I am showing competence and cleverness in the face of people being challenging to me.

Tell me, would it ever be wrong to savor the joy of being clever and competent in the face of people

who are at the ready to be difficult with you?

Absolutely not, right?

Especially when it comes from witnessing the odd mix of selfishness and dignity

that retail workers give off like an aroma.

Culture itself is practically nothing but these situations as well.

You don’t get mad reading Aseop, do you?

Thereby, there is nothing insane or mentally ill about looking at a cashier,

and thinking,

“this is my chance to present a bit of difficulty

to match the mildly grandiose vibe they give off.”

Everyone knows that a high score can be taken down.

People at the highest highs of eagerness to feel playfully powerful

(come up with your own most sickening examples of the misery created)

know that they could not be the peak of such human energy.

And yet, the draw of being so….is far too lovely to resist.

Karens gather their tokens, and with a feeling of balanced composure,

insert them into the machine that is you,

and add a little flavor to their lives.

Yes, the store counter is the bored extroverted adult’s version of the arcade.

You, shopper-helper, are vulnerable and tempting

because you’ve wrapped up being nice and good and decent

in this utterly game-like display,

in the delicious space between sincere and phony.

You are so appealing.

Like a puppy so cute you might accidentally squeeze its neck.

Passive but imposing, almost like a nation forcing trade.

Like a thief coming up with interesting excuses.

Like a court jester responsible for the vibe of the room.

So tempting to do battle with, you are.

Who wouldn’t want to push your buttons?

Who wouldn’t get riled up for a bit of conflict?

Well, do you understand the banality of evil now?

That term I borrowed so awkwardly?

(I want you to scream at how good this is at describing your life)

Do you see how things have reached the disgusting point of genocide before?

Do you see how conformity with carnage doesn’t feel obscene at all?

It all starts with wanting to have a slight edge over difficult people,

and there isn’t anything unhealthy or gross about that feeling.

Adults need that feeling to feel like they even have hearts at all.

And yet,

And yet,

and yet,

and yet,

that very sensation is what has to be defeated.

in order to make human interaction no longer a nightmare.

You know it’s a nightmare every time

you set foot in the bizarre space between you and everyone else.

To end this nightmare, to pause the game, you must learn to feel

what makes your desire feel like

a cool little supernova of human greatness.

And banish that feeling when interacting with anyone.

But not by isolating yourself.

But no, rather, by playing excellent games that really do please your heart.

Because the warm glow of possibility is what drives people to act.

And we have yet to drain it from our constant interpersonal struggles.

Are games really not the perfect sewer for it?

Spicy Gamer Vibes and The Banality of Karen – Level 14 : Objecting to Accommodations for the Disabled is like Making fun of New Game Controllers [Nightmare B: Good Taste]

What was your first reaction when you found out about the existence of Braille? Probably a little bit of shock and confusion at first. Likely some disbelief that it actually functions, or that people are willing to manufacture it.

Maybe even something resembling disgust or agitation was felt by 7-year-old you. Whatever that strange pity or bewilderment was quickly turned into fascination and appreciation for a reading system made for those with visual impairment.

I can’t give a history on Braille, but from what I can tell, its rise in use was rather expedient. Few people defended “raised letter” systems for being more “like the real thing”. It was not regarded as “in bad taste”, it was just tough to motivate to motivate the educational and industrial sectors to incorporate it.

A thing like Braille has the potential to briefly invoke a sense of confusion and alienation, but for the most part, everybody’s on board with the system that lets you read with your fingers. Considering how things often go for people aching for decent accommodations, Braille has been a dream. A win on so many fronts.

But the world’s not so simple, right? There are plenty of neat and convenient and easily agreed upon things a person with a certain disability can ask for and use, and almost everyone else will oblige. Sign language interpreters doing their endearingly meme-worthy thing at political conferences is an example of this. The straightforward existence of wheelchairs is another.

And yet there are other aspects to “disability” which generate the fires of social tension with obscene consistency.

They’ve resulted in treatment that ranges from horrifying to upsetting to frustrating to bothersome to cliche.

Why are things still so?

Why not just trust the judgment of the person with the disability?

That can be best summarized with this statement:

Even within the heart of someone who wants, say, a ramp to be built in a step they want to roll up onto, are these two things- a sense of having the right amount of power over a situation and a feeling of doing things in a crafty and novel manner.

There’s a willingness to create inconvenience in a tasteful way.

A wish to make new obligations in a brilliant way.

An ache to bend the hearts of others to your will, but with precisely the right dosage of imposition onto someone else. And surely the spicy mood created by that will is there.

Fighting for your idea of personal dignity can be so difficult because other people feel they can sense that you’re acting in bad taste.

Like you’re close to modern civility but ever so slightly titled into instinctual savagery. Like you’re close to self-interest but ever so barely leaning into bland conformity.

Allow me to explain the nightmare once again: the reason why it’s hard to defend yourself when asking for accommodations, perhaps especially for those whose disabilities aren’t visually apparent.

It’s because the person denying you your heart’s desire sees you as…..failing to match their own idea of what good taste is.

You’re the stereotype of what people fail to define but always try to define:

People just not getting it.

To the vast majority of grown up human beings, good taste is knowing when to back off, when to indulge, when to cooperate, when to go your own way, when to be expressive, when to work hard, when to antagonize, when to negotiate, when to praise, when to scorn.

To do none of those things adequately is what makes you “awful” in a person’s eyes. And to merely falter at them significantly despite being on the right track is what makes a person “tasteless”.

And when a person feels “tasteless” to you rather than “awful” it’s hard to make them your enemy, an object of extreme hate.

But it’s very easy to do the opposite of what they’re begging you to do….

to a person who feels moral but tasteless.

It’s so easy to meet a stretched hand with a little slap.

It’s so easy to let go of a hand trembling in pain

when the person has such a fucking juvenile look on their face.

you feel it, the banality of evil, the banality of Karen.

Some on disability forums say that the best tip to give people confused at how….not to offend any disabled person…is to simply treat them like people. Not to care too much about exactly how to look at them or touch them or speak around them, but just to treat them like people.

Well, what,



what if the sense of “I’m just treating people like people” is too intricately flawed to begin with for that to ever work?

What if all the weird little jokes and provocations and empty promises and small talk and risks and evasions in and the bizarre playful nuanced little things in a human interaction where both parties are convinced each is the more mature…

can’t help but make their way into your disabled experience and taint it?

The only solution for you is to awaken this world

from the nightmares created by everyone feeling like they can

tell the itty bitty differences between good and bad taste.

Yes, call it the plain, mid-level evil created by navigating other people like an adult.

That slight sense of being the ever more tasteful one,

and how your cheeks clench when you do it.

I want you to be sickened by that feeling in the right amount.

I want you to reject that sensation of “hey, I’m just being the grown-up here, sheesh.”

Everyone, everywhere.


Several years ago I watched a video complaining about other people complaining about motion controls making their way into their video games.

Motion controls, mind you, are that thing where you wave around the Wii Remote to play tennis virtually. They’ve become infamous for leaving a streak in gaming history of extreme gimmicky-ness, half-assed functionality, and intrusion into games that could have played just fine with two analog sticks, a d-pad, and 1 to 12 buttons.

And likewise, they have their fans as well. Plenty of people loved driving in Mario Kart Wii. Swordplay in games like Skyward Sword had that extra bit of joy for your inner lover of combat.

VR is also pretty damn big on motion controls, since your whole body can actually get into it properly. But the most common form of motion controls these days is aiming in games like Splatoon, where the controller’s movement can be used in addition to an analog stick, to make aiming really, really precise and fun.

We can argue about the way that some games kind of half-force you to use them, but for various PC games, it’s completely goddamn optional.

This is the video that I was talking about.

To summarize, this one Tuber was all like “get those motion controls out of my video games!”

And the other guy was all “that’s ridiculous, there’s no reason at all to complain about motion controls when you don’t have to use them and they didn’t even impact the development of the game and the normal controls!”

You might agree with that. How is it even remotely possible to care about motion controls that were just kind of gently patched into the game?

You could smile cheekily at your screen and hope you find the answer someday.

Or you could try understanding in terms of “having good taste”.

It’s almost like you’re drilling straight into the ground, right? Digging and digging and digging and digging, deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper, into the murkiest, murkiest murkiest spaces of whatever “your heart” really is to find out what “having good taste” actually is






Good taste is balance.

Intoxicating equilibrium.

Of indulgence and restraint,

of novelty and tradition,

of weirdness and simplicity.

To some people, a gamer’s thumbs upon a d-pad and a few buttons is the epitome of good taste.

And anything fancier than that

comes from a similarly joyful

but much much more egregious

and fundamentally ugly-feeling place.

And to some, (I say this feeling sick by the way at how things are)

leaning toward the wishes and conveniences of the typically abled majority,

rather than trying to muck them up for a minority,

at least within a few situations where it feels appropriate not to accommodate too hard

also feels like the epitome of acting in good taste.

It feels like nuance, it feels like navigation, it feels like adulthood, it feels like

the spiciest kind of peace.

A type of inner warmth that almost hurts and feels “off” of what a person should be,

but ultimately because easy to adjust to, and ends up rather gratifying and comforting.

Like burning flakes upon the tongue you somehow come to love.

Ah, yes, that is the feeling.

Adding spice into your life by being just the right amount of difficult to other people.

It would be wrong to not savor that.

And simply hand everything to everyone who asks.

And yet,

Well, does the term “banality of evil” or “banality of Karen” make more sense to you now?

Just as that one guy felt he had good taste in his hobby and couldn’t resist hating on at controller tilting enthusiasts,

someone could easily say rude things about disabled persons

(again, I am slightly sick now)

out of a sense of good taste in how things operate in public and shit.

(I could cry just a little)

There’s a spirit of playfulness and a will to power inside the way things get done from day to day,

including something like the use of steps and rails in front of a building.

For somebody to interrupt that, to challenge that, to rewrite that, certainly comes from a similarly playful and powerful place.

So, disability having stranger, or reading this, does this answer suffice?

People look at you as just another kind of adversary.

Just another quirky little rival in the ride of life.

And the suffering you experience by them could only be negated,

if the sense of having good taste was in me, and all, and you, defeated.

To end the nightmare, learn to wash “good taste” out of your mouth.

Destroy the sensation that comes from looking at the NES rectangle and thinking

“yeah, don’t stray too far from that”.

The whole world needs to learn not to glow like fire with warmth and wit

when they see someone being “tacky”, even if that person’s world is crumbling.

Spicy Gamer Vibes and The Banality of Karen – Level 13 : Street Harassers and Shouters are like the Fierce Watcher In Red Light Green Light [Nightmare A: Good Presence]

I was harassed on the street recently. Let’s just say I was staring at the wrong convenience store’s two dimensional food imagery for a few seconds too long. At a less nice street in a good neighborhood. Near the wrong person in a mainly innocuous street.

Showing the wrong body language in a state of hunger for food, perhaps. Not ready to be given a weirdly indirect and mildly assertive “fuck off” by somebody who clearly wasn’t having a great day.

The way I was caught off guard is what’s important here. I keep my eyes peeled for unpleasant strangers no matter where I am. But I had no clue I would be briefly shouted at by the guy just standing in front of the store. And he could tell I didn’t expect him to do it.

I was far from expecting him to do or say anything. I was literally looking at the food on the wall and considering getting some. It was also barely for 3 or 4 seconds.

I can’t say I wasn’t a bit traumatized. It’s been years since I’ve been…..made to look like an ass…..with my responsibility for it near zero. It really hurt, I mean it.

But I can also say….I wasn’t shocked or confused or made to despair too hard….that I lived in a world where such things could happen. It just made me want to keep on explaining it.

Because I know it doesn’t come from a place you could simply call dumb, or mean, or idiotic, or malicious.

It’s deeper than that. It’s purer than that.

It’s more powerful-feeling than that. It’s more insightful than that.

To catch somebody off guard in a way that feels intricate and unusual, to go forward with it in a way that other people could easily hate you for, is exemplary of having a strong heart. You could even call it proof of the need to show you have a sharp wit.

Kind of like the way you feel when delivering friendly insults, doing small pranks, and especially when playing embarrassing games.

Like it or not, you have the passion for catching people off guard. You have that spice inside of you.

Chances are, at any point in your life when you were called toxic or obnoxious and didn’t feel that way, you had this very feeling, that you weren’t trying to have power over others, that you mere merely displaying that you actually had a bit of power at all.

That you weren’t trying to hurt anyone, you were just trying to get some healthy satisfaction against the pain of being too nice.

What a spicy feeling, right?

[an interlude, before the metaphor]

It’s at this point I planned about bringing up the philosophical concept of The Will to Power, and how this time, I’ve been accidentally discovering it on my own, and expanding on it quite intricately. And the near crying level of happiness I felt what I found out about that concept and how I was matching it with my explanations about what makes the mind feel sharp and the heart feel pure. It can be summarized or interpreted as a bizarre and ever prevalent need to not simply be powerful, but to prove that you posses power and can exhibit it extravagantly, in order to feel real happiness.

(I swear I never read what it was despite having heard the term, you’ve just got to believe me when I say I’ve been following my heart and not plagiarizing anyone)

Since the theme of this is comparing difficult human behavior to joyful states within games, and I’m planning on sticking to it, we’ll leave my references to The Will to Power at that, or something more brief, in the future. Feel free to read about it and think about it in every single one of my posts, and especially in the term “invoke yourself”.

And, uh, one more thing before I deliver the metaphor as per usual. I could also explain things in terms of “the human spirit of playfulness” and other similar concepts. “Play theory” being applicable to games as well as social situations is something other people have actually picked up on before. I read about this recently on a Reddit post, and filled with the hot juice of validation, like drinking from a packet of CapriSun left too long in the sun. Like some kind of in utero feeding, like something I’d already felt.

I remember hearing about “play theory” in terms of trying to explain humor and comedy to people, but I honestly conjured the games-to-social-interaction comparison without anyone’s encouragement.

I vaguely remember hearing about the way animals play with each other is part of what makes them good hunters. But it wasn’t any specific article that inspired me to describe that people have a hunter-like disposition in the moments where their behavior feels beautiful, insightful, and worthwhile.

To try and expose great-feeling actions as feeling like the passion of someone on the hunt, as someone merely try to play a good game, that is what I have been doing.

I firmly believe it’s mine or somebody’s destiny to bring these two concepts together like a socket and an outlet.

Or rather, that this is the only way for things change as long as humanity still walks!

Read the past 5 seasons, and you’ll get it. You’ll totally get it.

All of this stuff we can’t stand about each other but can’t find the words for

is what happens the mysterious and heart-wrenching need to prove we’ve had human strength fuses together with the confounding and exhilarating sensation of acting creatively and interestingly, and at a point that feels incredibly, absolutely appropriate to display that feeling which has happened to us.

When other people admire us for doing this, and it resonates with them, it becomes part of their lives as well. When they share that feeling enough with others, it becomes part of their culture. It becomes a version of proving your strong heart and sharp wit that others can’t help but latch onto.

When witnessing others having that such feeling detests people, and sickens them, and it feels “off” to them, and it just plain reminds them of unpleasant actions they’ve never loved and never could…

that is where a higher kind of hatred for other human beings arises.

And of course, feelings more in the middle, when you don’t know if you love or hate somebody completely, but you’ve gotta talk about ’em.

People can sense each other having those moments where you feel like you’re….

a playful badass.

And that inspires them to incorporate that into their culture as well, so that someday people somewhere can invoke their inner strength in a similar way, defy that which feels just like that but unpleasantly different.

But in the end, culture kind of doesn’t matter right?

People are still the same without a culture, right?

What truly puts the butterflies in your mind and the plasma in your heart isn’t simply your opinions about other people, it’s about witnessing and engaging with the ability to overcome terrible and unusual situations.

That’s what really lies at the core, isn’t it?

That’s at the molten center of the person “being a dick for no reason while standing on a sidewalk” isn’t it?

It’s that spicy fucking vibe.

It’s that irresistible need to be a bit of a Karen.

That sense you are being merely human in a higher, deeper level.

[end of the interlude, here comes the metaphor]

Have you seen Squid Game or As the Gods Will?

One is a live action drama with daylight horror vibes.

The other is a long-ish manga that got a movie adaptation.

Both series focus on people playing deadly children’s games,

and being eliminated in large numbers

so that some individual or small group can win a great reward.

And, perhaps by coincidence or not,

both series open up with a game of Red Light Green Light.

Well, actually, they’re both different versions of the game,

and in both, the leader sings a short line rather than merely saying “red light, green light”,

and different character and story elements are involved.

But as an American, I’ll stick with our version.

You know about the rules, right? In the game, you have to sneak up on somebody who willingly turns their back. They’re the “traffic conductor”.

They say “green light” and turn their back, and you are allowed to move forward.

Then they say “red light” and turn around.

If they see you, you exit the game and hope for the best next time.

Or just get embarrassed at losing. Maybe both?

The general flow of the game is typically that some players will end up getting spotted while doing their best not to move,

and that others will try to learn from the other player’s mistakes,

and learn to read the leader’s habits.

The leader will do their best to keep the sneak-ers off balance,

and will typically try to read the personalities and tendencies of their adversaries

so that they can win.

Naturally, it’s not too hard to explain why your mind feels hot and your heart feels big while playing Red Light, Green Light.

You have to read people. You have to control yourself. You have to defy other people. You have to synergize with other people for your own benefit.

It’s an incredibly rich state to be in.

But to leave it at that make you make you more like a smart animal than anything.

What makes the game truly pleasant, and not just interesting or satisfying is that there’s a friendly and civil element to it, which has to be defied and navigated in order to succeed at the game.

And that’s a really fucking good metaphor for what makes society how it is, isn’t it?

And why it’s so hard to call any anybody creepy or menacing?

Why nobody feels like the biggest dick or bitch in the world when enforcing their personal views about how to act,

or when making things difficult and confusing for others in any social situation.

Civilized life is about comprehending and obeying rules while warping and defying them.

For the watcher to truly win the game, they have to obey the vocal chanting rules of the game, and must be honest about what they saw. And yet also be very swift and clever in those razor-thin moments when they turn around

They have to catch you off guard. It’s all about thinking about how to make people become off guard, and following through with it.

Who would call that a “bad vibe?”

Who’d call being sneaky and clever and playful some kind version of purely ugly human presence?

Who’d fail to smile at least a little at these games?

Surely not you when you were a kid.

Surely not the oldest folks either.

You get what I’m saying now?

You have to wake up from the nightmare that is wanting your presence to feel fucking great.

And……as for the sneaking people to win, they must not move when seen, they need to figure out how to be quiet, and they must respect the presence of the person playing the watcher.

These people more closely resemble the person being harassed, in my metaphor. They’re not trying to eliminate anyone, but are rather just proving they can survive the game.

And show off their stealth under harsh light. Prove their steadiness when stumbling. Make it out of there with their heads held high. Make the master of the game look just a little bit stupid for counting on their failure.

That’s a state not too different from the player of the game, though, eh?

All those sentiments and machinations that go beyond mere sadism or craving for victory.

You starting to get the cycle of difficult human behavior now, aren’t you?

Just who in the hell can say

which one of the two sides in a game

is the spicier one?

Who’s really the more salacious and spiteful of the two?

The aggressor and the survivor start to become like siblings or lovers, don’t they?

All you can really say is that both the watcher and the sneak’er get a massive fucking high

from feeling like they’re in the head of the other.

Like they sense the strength of the heart of the other.

Like they know what it really means to BE the other person.

Is that not the spiciest form of empathy there is?

Tell me, do you feel spicy right now, reading this?

That’s you contributing to the cycle of human conflict.

It’s not you getting cranky, or moody, or vengeful that makes you, a human being, of any type, so dangerous.

It’s you feeling like the spice inside is at just the right level.

The perfect level for doing something objectively GREAT FEELING,

something undeniably playful and powerful at once,

like forcing others to play a game they don’t want to be a part of,
but will find valor and purpose inside of,
or surviving a game you want no part of,
but you’d love to win and prove strength beyond it in.

The next time you watch a battle royale series, focus on that.

Focus on the weird sense of empathy that comes from being someone who makes situations difficult for others,

and the odd feeling bordering on affection that you feel

for those committing that very act.

It might help you control that force you have yet to admit

has been the problem this whole goddamn time.

Or at, it might help you least tolerate the nightmare of

wanting to have a good, awesome, interesting, powerful, playful, profound presence

that’s possessed by you and others

just a little bit more easily.

Until then, we’ll just keep playing the game of

Darumasan Ga Koronda

until everyone explodes.

Somebody has to something more than just try and stop these games.

You need to control what makes us love them in the first place.

You need to help end the nightmare

by turning off the sensation of

“my presence feels just right!”

Spicy Gamer Vibes and the Banality of Karen – Level 12 : The Scummy Stalling of the Filibuster is a lot like Winning by Doing Nothing in Mario Party

I presume you’ve heard of the filibuster? A lot of the details are pretty complicated, but to put it simply, it’s a weird stalling tactic in the American legislature involving reading stuff that’s barely relevant.

At some point in time, they nerfed the whole thing, and now it’s a lot less infamous and egregious than it was. But you can still use it, with the right conditions and promises, or something like that.

Most people hear about the filibuster and think it’s a shame something like that actually exists in modern governance. But they also find it pretty fascinating and silly.

I think most of us can relate to the whole gimmick of it and can’t help smiling hearing about it.

In many ways it’s like some kind of brilliant little prank. Something you can’t help but find awesome or distasteful.

Perhaps the best thing to call it is “spicy”. Something with lots of friction in it. Something outrageous and humble at the same time.

If you wanted to live in a world where the filibuster never actually became a thing in the first place, you’d have to get a grip on the part of you that finds barely doing anything to be absolutely delicious in the right context.

To create a world without filibustering, you’d first have to understand why everybody loves something like the Luigi Wins By Doing Absolutely Nothing videos made by using Mario Party game footage.

Sure, there are many scummy ways to stall out your opponent and make them screw themselves over in Mario Party’s board game tactics. But often, you can win action-based minigames by having other people simply make blunders fighting each other.

While fighting only CPUs or total noobs, you can fail to move your character a single bit, and all of your digital foes will bump each other off those bouncing balls into the lava pit.

If you don’t get a glowy feeling inside from watching Luigi, especially the underdog brother himself, attain victory by merely choosing not to act, you really would be some kind of heartless.

I’m sure plenty of people have spent a lot of energy talking about how disgustingly immature the filibuster is.

I’m sure there’s a lot more nuance as to its actual applications.

And perhaps that nuance, uncovered via its origins, is actually pretty damn gross.

But it would be wrong to call it ridiculous. Watching people get frustrated when you’re putting in such a low amount of effort into something isn’t that bizarre of a feeling.

Making a mockery of someone else’s progress…by causing them to put heaping tons of effort into getting their goals back on track…is just what comes naturally for people when their own convictions are strong.

You don’t stand a damn chance of making something like the filibuster unappealing.

Even to someone who hates the hell out of it, it’s still got that appeal that makes your cheeks clench, doesn’t it?

The marriage of laziness and ambition, like a clever joke, like a secret technique, like a goddamn Aesop fable turned upside down.

I mean, yeah, doing nothing with your controller won’t work much for Mario Party, but look at any game and you’ll see there’s a part of it that rewards not trying too damn hard at it.

If they call you scum, make them crawl through the muck.

If they think you’re ill-intentioned, make their experience totally suck.

Force them into a switch-out game in Pokémon that makes them beg for a stroke of luck!

You can say the filibusterer stinks like a turd and makes insects fly around him.

But in his head, the fly is the other political party, and he’s waiting for them to land.

So he can gobble them up and hop onto some other mission,

in a state so ready for conventional battle.

Somebody has to smash the frog sooner or later, I hope.

Spicy Gamer Vibes and the Banality of Karen – Level 11 : Dress Code Enforcers Might Admire the Eagerness to Report People for Cursing in Your Online Lobby

Dress codes are pretty banal things.

Just telling people what to wear.

But the reasons for having a dress code,

and what to do when somebody defies it,

that’s not so banal.

And yet, it is banal.

Just wanting people to do the thing you told them to.

You know that flashy clothes aren’t necessarily distracting in the classroom or encouraging of disrespect for adults.

You know that not placing certain things somewhere on your skull doesn’t cause random unhinged behavior or create vanity for one’s appearance.

You know that uniforms for certain jobs are a little bit over the top.

But to not enforce them would feel insulting.

To the desire to keep things orderly.

To the need to call attention to disrespect.

To the part of you that wishes for that strange mysterious something…

which causes intelligent persons to conduct themselves well.

The spice nags at you and it feels like….

common sense flowing out of your body,

into the skies.

Have you ever been in a situation where you told on somebody,

or acted stuck-up toward somebody,

or borderline persecuted somebody,

as they did something which felt like…

their own ugly version of “good vibes” and “common sense”?

It would be dishonest to insist that you never have.

You must perform this exercise for me.

If you want the world to change.

I will give you an example.

Online games where people get reported for what they say in chats.

Obviously, it’s not foolish or egregious to report somebody for saying something obscenely hateful.

But there are still times you have to navigate the spectrum of rudeness.

There are messages somebody could send you which don’t quite quality as rage-fueled obscenity.

Slang words, funny insults, wacky exaggerations.

Gameplay style mockeries, character selection mockeries, username mockeries.

Little outbursts that embody the banal kind of resentment one feels when playing a video game against or alongside someone else.

The sensation that this is part of a game and not real life seems to massage one’s deepest forms of anger, and yet, makes one comfortable enough to unleash that well-honed vitriol.

It’s not quite so different when it comes to dress codes,

or other formalities and gimmicks that make up your idea of public decency.

Witnessing somebody throw away the attire imposed onto them

is like watching someone refuse to simply play by the rules.

Or play in a defiant way that seems to defy the whole point of having them.

(Like running away too much, or team up too much, or distracting someone on the couch!)

It’s so easy, to simply conform to something as humble as how to dress up.

And to not do that feels quite high effort, quite huge hearted.

You feel like you can feel exactly what the rebel is up to

when they act so fucking casual and quirky.

Perhaps you’ve spent much time thinking about how to make a world where parents don’t force a child to look a certain way.

Perhaps you’ve also been hypnotized by how banal and humble it feels to expose someone’s terrible-feeling vibes when they were only….

just kind of venting and being silly and passive aggressive with you.

You feel you are the one who can sense it.

The warm and pleasant sensations behind the behaviors and demeanors you utterly loathe.

That you are on the right side of that intolerably spicy vibe.

That you are a humble and calm step above what it means to be an “asshole”.

What a powerfully serene feeling to act upon. What a state to invoke yourself within.

You must learn to be disenchanted by it.

You could learn to get satisfaction from telling on the villain in a single player story, but it never feels like enough to simply simulate good-feeling social actions.

Though perhaps if you can understand why that’s never enough,

and the way in which you crave a more raw feeling comeuppance against real, actual people,

you can use games where you DO get to taunt others IN THE GAME

rather than in the chatroom

by just dancing and shit

as a much better way

to quell the need to embarrass someone

for doing anything at all.

It’s hard to resist the urge to call attention to mockery in its most sly feeling form.

It feels like seeing someone dress up as a jester and playing pranks on people

and doing absolutely nothing about that.

How very fucking pure of heart it is to fight someone when showing off a defiant look.

“Purity of heart” is the thing those without such obligations are closer to actually defeating once and for all.

“Purity of heart” is something best left to roam free in virtual arenas.

“Common sense” is that which needs to be restrained.

“Nice vibes” are the hardest thing to bind in chains.

But I intend on making it happen.

I intend at winning that game.

Spicy Gamer Vibes and the Banality of Karen – Level 10 : Controversial Scientists have the Humble Audacity of Tier Lists (a maddeningly hopeful climax)

I took a class called “Scientific Issues” back when I was in college. It was a philosophy course, I guess.

It was pretty engaging. There was some weird logic stuff about “ravenswans”. Debates about “direct observations” with microscopes or glasses. And some general talk about people getting bad vibes from heliocentrism.

Perhaps if we had actually read the whole book, I might have read about other things like “what counts as playing God” or “the relationship between science and racism” or “the ethics of experimentation” or “figuring out what counts as a renewable fucking resource”.

You could really go on for a long fucking time about scientific issues. But it almost seems like the deeper we plumb the natural world to find its rules, the same controversies arise.

Scientists do their best to reveal what’s in nature, while also pursuing some abstract need to win against the bad vibes in the universe. They combine technical work and interpersonal efforts and dream of the world improving.

What a spicy fucking vibe.

Scientists are okay with the potential calamities brought by advancements in weaponry and resource gathering, while coming up with contingencies to keep things from getting too wacky.

How fucking balanced, how fucking adult, how totally fucking sweet.

The game never ends, until we poison the globe or all fuse together in a computer or the nukes come down or we find a new planet.

Even then, though, it feels like nothing would change that much. It all comes down to one person following their heart.

It’s all about being okay with making a bit of trouble to solve a problem. It’s all about being willing to disrupt peacefulness for the sake of new stability.

It’s all about willing to provoke discomfort and anxiety in others and even yourself, for the sake of making the world feel beautifully more exciting than it used to be. It’s all about that sense that your “heart’ has found a way to grow and blossom, isn’t it?

And being sure you can tell the difference between an out of control, goofy fucking bastard, and you, isn’t it? Scientists and uh, propagators of it know they are a little bit like the mad science stereotype.

But if your theories are fresh, you intentions are mostly moral, and you can appreciate the beauty of things changing imperfectly, you DEFINITELY feel like a valuable fucking human being when you publish a hypothesis.

You can separate yourself from the “mad science” by supercharging a sense of “good vibes” into your work. And you’ll live your whole life entirely convinced you can sense exactly what emotions are flooding the chests of everyone who doubts your brilliance.

The game doesn’t seem to end. So how about a gaming-based metaphor? To keep your feelings under control. To help minimize the likelihood of scientific abuse by a tiny amount.

Do you know about tier lists in fighting games? Sometime after 2001, people started trying to organize fighting game characters into categories of how generally good they are. (you know, fighting games, the ones where two players battle each other in a plain space with characters with lots of cool moves….)

It was nifty, it was weird, it was fascinating, it was just plain cool. And when you look at it from a distance, it’s a whole fucking lot like science. It’s such a similar fucking vibe.

Using knowledge and experience gained in tens of thousands of matches in professional settings to create something concrete and reliable. A great way to help the community understand the potential in the characters created in the game. Something to pine over when going from casual to hardcore. And certainly, something to debate over and make jokes about relentlessly.

I think that’s why the tier list meme format has become popular. It lends itself to objection rather straightforwardly. Tier lists are like grand scientific theories that ache to be disagreed with.

It’s a spicy real fucking vibe, isn’t it?

And wherever there’s a spicy vibe, there is someone opposed to it. And on both sides, one perceives the other as the “Karen” of the situation. Someone being obnoxious for its own sake, confrontational for its own sake, being extravagant and conceited for its own sake.

You might not remember it if you’re young, but blatant objection to the very notion of “tier lists” was a very popular vibe over 10 years ago. Not believing in tiers, thinking tiers hurt games, seeing tiers as disrespectful of game developers, and being disgusted by the audacity of restricting and altering a game’s communal experience in such a way.

These opinions are still kind of prevalent. They should be, of course. To be critical of the way tier lists affect a game’s community, and their inherent imperfections as a guide for a game, even to the point of strong disgust, is the type of thing that helps keep humanity in check when trying to transcend its limitations.

But one thing I’ve noticed has faded away a bit. And I’m glad it has, actually. It reminds me of people finally conceding on the theory of evolution. And not getting bad fucking vibes from the theory of survival of the fittest anymore.

The thing I’ve seen fade away is the perception that tier lists mainly exist out of a fanboy-istic affection for “the good characters” in fighting games, and a bully-like disgust for “the bad characters” in fighting games.

The best evidence for this is YouTube videos about character tiers in something like Street Fighter that provide a balanced take upon characters of various tiers. They poke fun at the audacity of tier making, and at what tiers reveal about what’s really in a game.

They build up and lampoon characters of various tiers. They have a lot of fun with the pop-cultural essence of trying to make tiers at all. And they don’t discredit the ambitions of fighting game communities at all.

To me, this approach to tier lists remind me an actually fair and balanced approach to a scientific issue. And it gives me significant faith in humanity’s desire to sort things the hell out in this world, while sorting out that very desire to be the one sorting things out!

It’s almost like the way you “square” or “cube” a form of measurement, to measure a shape. Despite what you may think, despite of your rage, despite of your jokes about other human beings, the truth remains this, in the heart of any adult-

“I want to be the one who has the proper amount of control over people who think they have the proper amount of control over other people”.

My generation has been memeing about tiers for so long, that we are now capable of actually wrapping our heads around the nuances of both promoting and defying the tier lists in fighting games!

Is that not what makes our hearts feel full when watching a documentary about Bowser in Melee?

I could do a lot of complaining about what I see as bad vibes and a lack of emotional development in the scientific communities of psychology, environmentalism, and telecommunication.

But I would rather not denigrate. I would rather people acknowledge how severely- and how justifiably- most other people feel that they are the ones that can taste the nuances behind an issue!

I would like to reveal- I would like to explain- I would like to teach- how to understand and recognize how a person feels when they feel- overloaded by nuance!

I recently went to a library and read a book explaining calculus through comics. I didn’t quite understand it perfectly, but perhaps it can best be explained as this- calculus is something that gives you the ability to see how something changes on a deeper level than simply increasing or decreasing, moving in one direction or another, or having merely shifted around in many ways. It helps you go past your perceived limits of describing the ways things happen, which can be measured mathematically.

It’s in that moment I could of course sense the feelings happening in the hearts of people discovering such a field of math for the first time. One’s sensation of the universe within seeming to expand, of the perceiving mind appearing to brighten, of the purity of desire seeming to take its most fancy of shapes.

The emotions involved in bashing or mocking “tier lists” or adoring and admiring “tier lists” are really not so different. They are not even different from aspiring to have a balanced approach on the very matter.

On all three sides, there is a sense of having a “smart heart”. Of being not quite what people say you are. Of knowing what it means to be troublesome, inefficient, and chaotic, for all the right fucking reasons.

And most essentially, most incredibly, most vividly, the sensation inside a person hard to criticize, who fits the bill of whatever bitter insults you can possibly conjure,

is this-

What resides in the heart of the person who is getting called a “Karen”.

“I have literally just changed my own self to adapt to a difficult situation,

and yet you’re here mocking my personality?”

That’s all it is, isn’t it?

It’s like something out of calculus.

The explanation for why we erupt at each other.

The denigration of someone already willing to play hard at being a person.

The thing about games and hobbies is that they allow you to feel poorly about yourself and do something about it.

They help you feel like you’re invoking the strength you lacked just minutes or seconds ago.

Yes, that’s it isn’t it?

To shift, to adjust, to adapt, the will, to fight, to dream, and act, and carve those actions upon the everlasting flow of space and time, and see a condescending smirk,

that’s where the pain in your head comes that tells you that not acting upon your convictions would be something even worse than evil or cruelty.

So, what other solution is there, than to exercise that tendency to be offended to your core, along with how to to relieve it,

than on the surface of a game board,

and promise quietly

to only be so vicious

within the role

you’re playing in that game?

Well now, it’s time to shelve the verbose talk for another day.

As I continue to dream to be the one who actually makes it happen- who actually allows people to control their public and private behavior without anyone indulging the joy of sullying the freedom to dream.

Perhaps this is what my suggestion is-

to reiterate for all of you-

the purity and joy of heart when playing games

is almost equal to the purity and joy and heart when acting upon one’s convictions among other humans.

So then, find a game that satisfies in the same way, and use it to make the world a whole lot less complicated.

And create a relationship between the you that “plays hard at games” and “acts tough with people”.

If you need examples for that…I shall continue to deliver!

But for now, today’s lesson-

trying to make sense of others is not something to be ashamed of,

but it is also a boundless typhoon of human difficulty.

Find a place to unleash those storms, even if they feel like a rush flower petals with no inherent danger.

That is the solution to all of this awful adult behavior.

I promise, it’s the only thing we have yet to try, and must.

Finding a way to satisfy the need to strike deeply back at others, through knowing what makes games gratifying, even for the most adult of us.

If someone were to do that, actually fucking do that, would they be SSS tier?

Would it make scientists cry in awe at what they didn’t do?

Spicy Gamer Vibes and the Banality of Karen – Level 9 : Pro Athletes have the Holistic Indignation of Hardcore Gamers

Which of these people irritate you more?

The football player who shoves the camera man,
or the guy who slams his controller into the ground?

For me, the football player is the obvious answer,
but I wouldn’t blame anyone for disagreeing with me.

I wouldn’t fault anyone for feeling more disgust for the gamer than the athlete.

I wouldn’t hate anyone for feeling as though the athlete,
the guy pushing his bodily abilities to their limits
and having to uphold an image of competent manliness
and taking part in an art beloved by hundreds of millions

was more justified having a harder time keeping it together

than the guy who was whacking his fingers on a stick
who fulfilling the dorkiest form of self-actualization,
who was playing a game in a way barely intended by anyone
who was likely never going to be seen as desirable for his pastime.

Obviously, my heart goes out more to the gamer who appreciates Nintendo.

Obviously, I feel sickened by jocks who love to intimidate.

But in the moment where self-control seems to collapse,
when one’s heart overflows with aggravation,
when circumstances fill you with shame,
and where good tactics get brutally mocked,

both people feel rather holistic, don’t they?
There’s definitely a “vibe” worth dissecting on both sides, isn’t there?
Surely you’re in agreement.

Neither of these people are having the same exact flavor of tantrum. Neither feel pride the same way, test themselves the same way, build up confidence in the same way, overcome shame in the same way.

But you could describe both people as having trouble managing the heat inside their own heart. The fire like energy deep within that wants so badly for everything to come together.

The barely tolerable spice that a person needs to survive the toughest enemies.

Whether you’re a gamer or an athlete of any level of seriousness, you all want your self to come together.

You put effort into being patient, being risky, being innovative.

Being awkward, being freaky, being what people are unlikely to validate, but might.

You never feel more like you when all the effort you put in to just be the fucking winner at something you love is on display.

When that breaks apart, you can feel yourself turning into the image of what you don’t want to be:

a high-effort loser in public.

A lot of people think hardcore gamers are irritating, elitist and childlike.
They seem to embrace unattractive traits to be part of something better than adult life. They build each other up while disagreeing about their basic gaming tastes.

A lot of people think full time athletes are transcendentally toxic, selfish, and insincere.
They seem to embrace aggravating behavior to be part of something superior to creativity.
They treat themselves as a higher class of human while holding bitter tribal rivalries.

But this is the common denominator between fighting gamers and outfield players:

Both of are masters of bearing the weight of their own desire to win.
Both get satisfaction from fulfilling their own maddening need for victory.
Both would prefer people look up to them for managing their own selves
on a path to satisfaction and success.

Both aspire not to be the type of person who breaks down in frustration,
especially when others are watching,
and both put effort into identifying who fails the hardest at that.

And both are just as likely to say that something is “just a game” as much as they are apt to feel unbridled fury when somebody else says the same.

The conclusion of this post is this:

whenever you see someone put shocking amounts of emotional energy into making fun of or demeaning a certain hobby or activity or lifestyle,
that person’s heart is still saying

“I am trying to be the opposite of a cringe-worthy human stereotype”.

“I am trying to play hard at life without embarrassing myself”

“I want to taste what it’s like to be strong but also stable”

“I want to be in overwhelming situations where I make it out beautifully”.

“I want to identify and deconstruct what it is that makes us humans act ugly”.

“I want to come out on top the right way, whatever that is”

Your heart remains very, very positive feeling, even when you show aggression after defeat.

You don’t feel like the loser, you don’t feel like the fool, you don’t feel pathetic.

You feel like you’re just being a person who want to invoke and savor their inner strength.

If you are the stereotype, you are a stereotype with no name.

You are the problem everyone is without wanting to be.

You have the vibe, the friction, the tension, the self-awareness, the capability of decency, everything impossible to guard against.

If so, let me be the secret dodge, the armor cracker,

against the indignation that feels ridiculously appropriate.

The prodigy of countering that which feels like merely “having heart”.

The down+B for everything “Karen”.

Spicy Gamer Vibes and the Banality of Karen – Level 8 : Phone Scammers Wear The Funny Mask of Another Character Class

Have you watched any “scammer revenge” videos recently? They’re very satisfying. Cool people doing weird things to trick the digital swindlers. And yet, I seriously doubt those videos will deter scammers as a whole.

People desperate for a job, often thousands of miles away, aren’t going to feel guilty about lying to some strangers. But I think it would be wrong to describe them as simply greedy or shameless.

After all, they need pride and resolve to survive the trickiest of situations. In essence, it’s a lot like normal, legal customer service, isn’t it? With all the math and money, and friendliness and seal-dealing?

So, where do you get your strength from? Your sense of of purpose? The feeling that this work is special enough to really put your all into? That magic that allows a team of scammers or anyone to hold their heads up high and do their best?

Consider the following metaphor. Have you played Team Fortress 2? I haven’t gotten around to it yet. But I do know that two teams, RED and BLU, engage in a particularly quirky form of first-person warfare until somebody is decided the winner.

One the “character classes” in that game, rather than being focused on strength like The Heavy, or healing like The Medic, is an infiltrator called The Spy. And spies appear as members of the other team to……the other team. And this is all part of the goal of relaying information to the spy’s actual team and for assassinating enemies unexpectedly.

Though an actual fan of the game could tell you more about it, I imagine it makes for an incredibly engaging variety of gameplay scenarios. To hide one’s face like that, to take risks like that, to work around suspects of you like that, and to find comfort in a job well done while completely oblivious people dream of exposing everything you’re up to….all while testing your mouse and keyboard skills to the max…none of it is even remotely crazy.

You could tell a real-world scammer that they’re being evil, or inconsiderate, or trashy, or childlike, by choosing to trick people on the other side of the phone. You could really exhaust yourself thinking about how anyone gets to that point. Is it peer pressure, is it a lack of conscience, is it sadism, or is it throwing away your morality? You could ask them all those things…you could even convince someone to decry the path of the scammer….but it will never have felt weird or foolish for them to have done the deed in the first place.

Looking back, they might regret their actions, but adjusting their tone, speaking falsely, and accessing things that don’t belong to you….still will have felt like sane, normal, exciting, refreshing forms of behavior.

Asking someone to actually really hate wearing a disguise and lying out their teeth is like telling someone not to get a drop of pleasure from being a deceiver within a game.

Instead of complaining about the amount of deception and deceit going on among people, we should be finding a way to exercise our need to be so shrewd and sneaky among others.

Because you need to fake things a bit to survive social situations, don’t you? You can’t not be a bit of a liar, right? So why not do it in exactly the most appropriate context?

That’s how things always end up. So then the solution is obvious: feed the need to outwit and manipulate others that festers inside of your heart.

I’ve used Zoroark’s Illusion ability in the turn-based battles of Pokemon to trick people into using attacks that don’t affect it, or switching their Pokemon in panic when Zoroark possessed no ability to harm that enemy. I’ve felt my heart soar in those types of moments.

I’ve used Maestra of the Masquerade in Hearthstone to pretend to be a Mage while playing as a Rogue for a few turns. It is kind of a paper-thin strategy, since the point of it is to fulfill a gimmicky cost-reduction effect more than it is to trick the enemy. But knowing that someone would prepare their opening hand to fight a Druid or such instead of a Rogue also makes my heart feel very proud indeed.

And then there’s One Night Ultimate Werewolf My least favorite bar game. Where you have to act like you’re not a werewolf at an actual table with people.

Oh, and Among Us! Why wouldn’t that game be so popular?

It’s a funny thing, to wear the fragile mask of somebody you are not and may not even want to actually be.

It’s a silly thing, to watch people behave differently depending on a hidden face or disguised voice.

And the anti-scammer guy on YouTube knows this more than anyone.

He is hunting the hunter, he is wearing the mask of the prey in order to fulfill a sense of justice.

And he can make people panic and cry who never thought they’d be so blatantly and easily caught in the act.

But he’s not some kind of higher being getting a “one-up” on human behavior.

The scammer knows exactly how much the scammer-hunter’s heart flutters with anticipation, and that we longs to savor the scammer’s very trepidation.

And the scammer thinks, a heart filled with empathy, “I am here to pay the bills, not put on theatrics. While you choose to put on theatrics as a means of paying the bills because you’re so good at it!”

“You act like you’re exposing the worst of mankind when you’ve got just the same cheeky smile on your face. I get you, I fucking get you, so let’s fucking go at it!”

Like they don’t have SOME game plan for when somebody fights back? Of course they do.

On a cosmic level, it’s just spy versus spy, isn’t it?

How could you tell a spy they don’t have a heart overflowing with human greatness?

With self-control, with problem solving, with disdain for mere comfort?

I could never tear down the ego of a spy for hire.

It would be positively Karen-like to denigrate the spice within a person’s very bold heart.

I could only tell them they’re invoking their inner power to the highest degree possible,

and that is why things remain




Like a ridiculously intricate battle of clones.

Spicy Gamer Vibes and the Banality of Karen – Level 7 : Exploitative Explorers are like Goofy Glitch Hunters

They’re not teaching about Christopher Columbus like they used to. It’s a good thing, right? Talking about what people actually did, both intentional and not, rather than embellishing it under tactless grandiosity.

Perhaps you’re among the types overjoyed to see holidays changed to honor the people exploited by conquistadors and the like. Perhaps it makes you feel upset to see certain people cling to honoring Columbus in spite of good arguments against him.

Perhaps the only good explanation is that respecting his “achievement” is merely a good vibe in spite of all your distaste for him. A good vibe, much like the type hobbyists feel when experimenting and debating upon how to craft new things and cure their boredom.

An essential part of “speedrunning” is people working together to figure out new techniques to beat a game more quickly. Different types of tricks and exploits get categorized according to the whims of the online community.

But on the whole, when somebody finds a new movement technique, or way of quickly vanquishing an enemy, or a means by which to escape the areas in which you’re meant to play, there is excitement, there is celebration, there is fascination, there is a humble joy.

The charming person in the image I’ve shown you never intended to go out of bounds while playing Metal Gear Solid. Bobawitch never intended to make “the Boba Skip”. She even humbly offered to call it “Kevin” and leave her online moniker utterly irrelevant.

Think back to Columbus, and the cruelty of civilization-ravagers throughout so many places and times. The laughable failures, the calamities spread, the legacies of torment that thankfully have somehow lead to a marginally less vile world order.

Behind all of it is usually just some guy who wanted to make a name for himself. Or who wanted to stop being poor. Or wanted to feel alive again. Or got totally lost. Or needed to escape his homeland. Or was following orders. Or ached for a small taste of purpose.

It’s that “good vibe”, that “sense of worthwhile action”, that “love of doing what few dare to try” which people get inside their hearts upon hearing about “Columbus Day” and talking about “sailing the ocean blue in 1492”.

That very mild and yet fierce sensation that comes with witnessing someone chase their dreams recklessly and ridiculously is what we all adore. And you’re under the impression you can tell the difference between the disgusting and the benevolent versions of it.

But everyone is already aware there’s something kind of nasty about such high effort things. Hardcore speedrunners and glitch hunters know they’re tinkering with finished products, defiling a software developer’s intentions. and committing phony exploration.

You can get riled up with rage about it. Respectfully debate about it. Eloquently speak about it. Ludicrously meme about. But in the end, trying to make fun of Christopher will always feel like a pretty “Karen” thing to do when talking about history and culture.

Even if people know barging into uncharted territory and asking to speak to the local village chief is objectively far more “Karen”.

The world is stuck in place until we all get

what makes us feel like

we are merely trying to have a heart worth savoring.

Spicy Gamer Vibes and the Banality of Karen – Level 6 : Teachers Love Pop Quizzes like a Random Damage Extravaganza

Some people say pop quizzes are abusive. They say they don’t have much of a positive effect. They say, it’s self-indulgent to surprise your students. They say, it’s sickening to mess around like that. They say, you should make things more fair for your class.

I don’t really disagree. But I wouldn’t get my mind blown by the action. The choice to make things so fucking frustratingly random, is it really something worth pumping your heart full of rage over?

There are lots of games, video and otherwise, where you may employ strong luck-based effects. Collectible card games often have incredibly high-risk, high-reward cards that can fuck over either player at any point. Damage all over the place, entire hands discarded, hands stuff full, board states changed completely, a clown fiesta of fate.

If those cards become strong in the meta-game, it’s best to play around those cards, if you can. Keeping your hand not too full or empty, being ready to destroy enemies that wouldn’t normally be summoned, cards that can cancel the activation of those cards, or reap some other advantage after the hurricane of luck is done.

Slamming a sudden challenge on a student’s desk like a random test is, despite its egregiousness, quite the character builder, since the real world can be so random. And an employee, excuse me, a professor, should find fulfillment in casting that randomness onto the battlefield that is a classroom.

And yet, in some ways, it’s less dignified than the examples I provided, isn’t it? Because in those, the person doing has to take risks of their own, right? The teacher barely does, they have no quiz to pass.

Oftentimes, the gamer has to make other sacrifices to make the randomness activate, even then, it can go very, very poorly for said player. Yogg-Saron has been known to eat himself despite its summoner playing so many spells in a state of hope and praise.

Well then, let me explain. Where the teacher gets his or her very spicy vibe. Why they feel like more than someone merely savoring the ecstasy of subjecting their subjects to the fires of fate.

It’s because students getting upset at you, or all getting grades worse than you expected or desired, or your very classroom becoming a shitty place for you to want to walk into as a teacher as a result…..are risks that you take.

Those risks are what truly make you feel hot inside. Knowing that you are playing hard with people makes you hot inside. It’s so fucking human.

Teachers, no matter how unpleasant, are aware that playing around with students’ hearts in the context of exams or assignments or participation or anything….can be turned back onto them.

Even maybe to the point of the teacher’s own pride and dignity being hurt more than a bit.

Depending on how the students act, a teacher can really get their ego burned the fuck out.

In a classroom, especially a school for children and teens, the students are the adversary.

And nothing generates good vibes like being in the presence of people who must play according to your rules. When you know your rules aren’t perfect or reliable.

And the students treat you like a villain who knows only to control others!

They don’t get you at all! You are a player! Not a ruler! The job is the game you play, for fuck’s sake!

How very spicy, how holistic, how enriching, how enchanting, to be a frustrating teacher on purpose.

To savor the randomness in this world, to use it to advance yourself, and others, without any guarantees.

It’s not worth feeling too much rage when somebody else does so.

What’s more worthwhile is not getting so high yourself, when real people suffer anxiety and regret and misery and anguish for such very perfect and delicious reason as being mediocre at your games.

I would prefer we contain that shit within that which is called a game explicitly and universally.

Is that a decent dream?

To make people fall out of love with their good fucking vibes?

For people to not be hypnotized and charmed

by the lovely banality of doing Karen-like things?

And know exactly what playing hard feels like?