Monday, April 11, 2011

In promotion of understanding (or why it's okay to shit on someone)


Goblins don't need to justify their cruel acts. They're evil creatures. These two lines toward the start of Troll 2 say something profound about human nature. I'll tie them in by the end of this writing. In the words of Hugh Grant after an arrest involving an aptly named, African-American prostitute named Pancake, I did a bad thing. It was the result of a plethora of other bad things, mind games, and misunderstandings. Sharing the bad thing is unnecessary, as doing so would only sate some needless curiosity and take away from any possible point. Said thing was perpetrated against a person and took place within a two-year timeframe. Let the record show any acts involving excrement were strictly figurative.

It's a fundamental law of the universe that every action will have an equal and opposing reaction. The form that reaction takes may be wildly different, though if thoroughly analyzed I'm sure a coherent pattern would emerge. It's a struggle to know what that action may be, and what part you play in it. People pass forth shapeless ideals such as "non-violence," but violence exists, it's not a matter to be decided. "Two wrongs don't make a right" is another good one. Tell it to Rosa Parks. Your best bet would be to wise up in effort to sharpen your instincts. Yet if a rational reason existed for mankind to take side with goodness over evil, that logic would've been fused into proverbs and spread like wildfire.

They say an eye for an eye, we both lose our sight
And two wrongs don't make a right
But when you been wrong and you know all along that it's just one life
At what point does one fight?


What is the right path to take when wronged? Are you guided by yourself, peers, law, or all three? Bertrand Russell once wrote, "One should respect public opinion as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny." The words may sound like the ramblings of a man bound to kill Abe Lincoln, but politicians too must believe this, since they're the ones who campaign under change most consistently. We've got to get used to the idea that the lines aren't clearly defined, yet also move in accordance with our actions. It's best described as a moving target. A boxer delivers a blow, then his enemy contorts, takes a new stance, calculates his best advantage, and returns the strike. The contenders tango on determinedly in a bout of spontaneous combat, yet harnessed within the realm of possibility and the rules of the ring. In a fight the laws of physics still apply, as do those of gravity. Both men are still grounded by weight, win/loss, and personal histories, enabling enough predictability for betting by gamblers. Rarely is a fight interfered by a man parachuting through the rafters or a fighter attempting to bite his opponent's ear. Perhaps only God knows the method to the madness.


The bad thing was preceded by a light-hearted thing turned passive-aggressive thing turned less-than-bad-but-still-bad thing. It found me wandering one evening, kicked from the comforting room of a residence to the streets. In temper I took off and explored a city somehow more pretty, now free of pedestrians and most life. Most lights were turned off, but you could still peer into the closed shops. One was a restaurant, with a yellow light toward the back allowing you to see the wooden chairs propped on tables. Most importantly, this establishment had a speaker outside playing jazz. The vibrant sound added a much-needed punctuation to the night. What a kind gesture by some business owner to leave good music on overnight for a stray wanderer. The streetlamps did their job and kept the city a pale brown. The government building looked appropriately gothic. The bus station stood well-lit and deserted, awaiting my presence for a plane ride an easy 24 hours later. Physically sick by way of a kiss and searching for someplace open, I returned to busier parts. Upon looking left at an empty street my eyes spotted a deer. There he was, lost, confused and stopped amidst a big empty city, looking my way and eerily mirroring my fate. After that strange gaze, I walked until finding a 24-hour coffee shop. Before entering I went around the block, cautiously allowing an outspoken, raving madman to pass. Luckily the place had an outlet on the wall. A cup of black coffee kept me up. Come morning my temporary homelessness continued, before eating, sitting at the park, reconciling, and riding a couple of buses. At around 12:30AM the next night I finally fell asleep on an underbooked flight. Waking hours later welcomed my ears to pain and hardness of hearing, and the plane landed to the sight of a pink, dawning Milwaukee.

The cause of said distress was a moderately attractive lass, at least by the standards of a depraved man. It feels good to be yelled at by a person who can retain your attraction despite a detestable change in demeanor. She was the classy type of dame who scolded my defense—not use—of the term "faggot," moments before putting on a shirt with a full body print of mass-murdering cult leader Jim Jones. Admittedly, I was an ass all seven parts to the hole, and her a four-letter word starting with c and not cute. Who wants to dwell a big deal on men that left certain person's bed the day before when? Or brood on what would've been? The gossip and surface curiosities of the tale I'm much less interested in. The heart of the plot makes for a simple and common story: reciprocal good intentions turn bad on the flip of a coin, with confusion and without real cause. That's camaraderie for you. Heads up.

There's a place where everyone can be happy.
It's the most beautiful place in the whole fucking world.
It's made of candy canes and planes and bright red choo-choo trains,
And the meanest little boys and the most innocent little girls.


Attempts at mending things were made for months with accommodations to the moon. Dammed by denied honesty—the only thing that would suffice—I sought it and got strung along for a ride. Persisting on matters led to a repetition of patterns and ended in an expression borderline sadistic and arguably just. Cruelty and coldness were thrown my way in the moments leading up, but this writing's focus is on realities rather than justifications. The bad deed conjured sadness not satisfaction—pleasure isn't a primary force in the expression equation, making a point is. A sane amount of delight was derived from this person's predictable puffing and wheezing, more canned, cute and transparent than an angry Animal Crossing character you haven't written in months. You know what the great part about writing is? It champions creative freedom. As such, I can pen in a baffling tangent about why Animal Crossing is a great game and it is acceptable behavior. That said, you basically live to garden, toil, and fish with humanoid animals, and are denied the chance to mate with the talking wolf of your desires. It's made good by the fact it's modern meditation for the ADHD generation. We can't be bothered in this day to take pride in menial labor unless a Japanese raccoon dog in an apron is instructing us. Now we may move on.

There's a laughable aspect to karma. The implied existential record-keeping goes only as far as to show there's a semblance of order, not a divine guide. There is no gloomy grim reaper or bringer of peace. What goes around comes around is a simple way of saying the pendulum will keep swinging until depleted of energy. What's more interesting is the fact that the nature we inhabit has laws, making us and our thinking minds a part of that process. All we know and don't know influence our actions and reactions. We play a part in the distribution of despair or of peace. It beckons the question of free will vs. being tied up by strings. It leads me to conclude either/or is not a significant issue.


It reminds me of the film Fitzcarraldo. In it, a man attempts to realize his dream of building an opera house in the jungle, but first he must move a steamboat over a mountain. More specifically, it reminds me of the greatest shot in cinema. Natives of the jungle have agreed to help move the ship. The cord has snapped sending the boat tumbling back and taking a couple lives with it. As the natives bicker over Fitzgerald's plan and decide his fate, he listens behind the hull. He senses their anguish and fury but can't comprehend the language. He's literally hidden behind his desires and dreams which have come with mortal consequence, and he can only stand ashamed, hand in his pocket, with hesitant mannerisms and head held down. Ultimately he's paralyzed in a world of wants, where every answer is a little right and a little wrong. He won't change his mind. He trusts his instincts to understand, and he does. But he's going on touchstones and they're not enough. He's less concerned with the loss of life than the loss of his dream.

What separates us from the goblins? These monstrous beings exist as symbols for the fallacy of pure evil. The simple reality is that they're fiction. If such creatures did exist, though, humans would retain the upper hand. What gives us life is the unique ability to justify our bad behavior. Which is to say there's so much variable that right is relative. And wrong, though it exists, is a little bit of every decision. Foremost, we must go on what our minds tell us. It's less a matter of okay and not okay, and more the reality that things happen and others don't. Though I walk, I will stumble. Give me criticism but no judgment. There are no things final. There are two lines not in Troll 2 that could cure wounds, but they'll be kept secret. I'm too lost and concerned with my own feeling and dreams.

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