Full disclosure: I am seriously fucked up, too, but that’s neither here nor there, because this article is not about me. It’s about you. The issue is this: You may view yourself as a really, really good person, someone who tries to do the right thing, cares about other people, thinks about your choices and how they impact others… But no matter how hard you try, you are doing something—and likely more than one thing—that would cause me to make the determination that you are a total asswipe.
Here’s a for-instance: Do you drive a car? Do you? Driving a car makes you a bad person. (Full disclosure: I drive a car.) It doesn’t matter if you live somewhere with shitty public transportation. It doesn’t matter if your schedule conflicts with whatever modes of public transportation are available. And please don’t tell me you’re underpaid and can’t afford to live in the area in which your job is located. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. If you drive a car, you are emitting greenhouse gases, using up natural resources, contributing to the iniquities of global oil politics, and on and on. There is no excuse under our slowly dying sun that justifies your driving a car. So don’t even try to explain. Not listening! Lalalala!
If you send your child(ren) to private school, I don’t even need to explain why you’re a shitty person. This article lays it all out for me. But while I’m at it, I might as well add my two cents: If you, like me, have chosen a private school for your kid, you are, whether you realize it or not, deliberately and systematically undermining this country’s public-school system. You might as well join the Tea Party, carry racist signs, and become a freakin’ white supremacist (whether or not you’re white). You are a bad, bad person and deserve for horrible things to happen to you.
I hope I’ve made my point by now. It doesn’t matter how much money you contribute to charity, what you do for a living, or whether or not you volunteer your time to benefit humanity. Kindnesses you show strangers and/or the ones you love, sacrifices you make for your job or the good of others, regular contributions to your local NPR station? None of those count.
Inevitably, something you do, even once in a while, causes you to suck. It could be that you don’t recycle everything that’s recyclable. Maybe you occasionally siphon off work office supplies for personal use. You might not stop fully at a stop sign, telling yourself it’s no big deal, while you’re really endangering children and small animals. Or maybe you jack up the volume of your music, whether at home or in your car, thereby irritating those around you and adding unnecessarily and selfishly to the stress and suffering in the world. I’ll bet, at the very least, you occasionally take out a bad mood on others, neglect to say hello to acquaintances, lash out at those you love, don’t bother flushing a public toilet, miss the trash can when you’re a hurry and don’t stop to pick up after yourself, pick your nose while driving, use foul language, or—possibly worst of all—buy something at WalMart.
Admit it. You suck. Badly. And the sad news is that there is really nothing you can do about it, either, except to turn your attention to someone else and judge them in turn. Go ahead: it’ll make you feel a whole lot better…
Photos, top to bottom: © Erik Reis; © Frantisek Chmura; © Sanjay Deva. All from Dreamstime.com