The hardest part of being a person is grappling with the constant disappointment. Yeah, it’s pessimistic, but you know what “they” say: if you’re not pessimistic, you’re not paying attention. Or you’re amped up on probiotics. Or both – who knows? Who cares? With all this disappointment whirling around, it’s hard to know what to care about or care what you know about.
I feel like it all boils down to one stupid syllogism, a term aptly named because any one thing that can be used to describe everything is either too simple or too vague to possibly be taken seriously. But the heretofore irregardless logically reasoned facts can more or less be summarized as:
Everything is disappointing sometimes
Disappointing things always make life suck
Everything sometimes sucks and it always will.
Which SUCKS. And I’m stupid tired of sucking, and being suckered, and suckering. Maybe I could have chosen a better verb (gerund – UGH) but everything honestly sucks, even when it doesn’t. So who cares about the verbs I use?
Now, I’m old enough to be aware that Life isn’t Fair and You Can’t Have the Good without the Bad, but those are better invoked as fundamental flaws in the way humans approach living than as adages that your weird aunt comments on your “OMG FML BLAH BLAH BOO” Facebook post.
Let’s take on the first bad adage: life’s inherent unfairness. This relies on a couple of premises:
- Life owes you something
- The something that life owes you is equal to the something that life owes other people
Therefore: you should get the somethings (or equivalent somethings) that others get, because that’s what you want, and if you want it then you should have it.
But GUESS what: “life” is little more than some randomly firing synapses (or something like that) that’ve somehow made you self aware and, through that awareness, presented you with a Reality. Mine is different from yours, and yours is different from hers, and hers is different from mine. Etcetera etcetera. Anyhow, the world fulfilled all that it “owes” me by existing in the first place, and it only exists because I’m aware of it. Technically, then, we’re “even.”
So: “life” isn’t what’s unfair. “Life” doesn’t owe me shit. I owe me shit. And I’m the one being unfair.
What about bad adage #2, regarding the relationship between good and bad – can I effectively deconstruct that bad Larry, too? Sure. Syllogistic logic solves everything. Or at least explains it. Or at least explains these very few, very specific things.
See? Syllogisms galore.
Good without the bad: possible? No. Worth even thinking about? Not even. “Good” is subjective jargon spewed by religious zealots and really bad preschool teachers. “Bad” is a Michael Jackson song, and nothing more. If something doesn’t directly benefit me, or if something doesn’t immediately make sense to me, or even if something harms – or, hell, ends – me, it’s because that’s what that thing did. There’s an impossibility to the determination of the “goodness” or “badness” of a thing. How can any thing (or event, or person, etcetera etcetera) be anything other than what it literally is? And is anything literally anything at all? And why even think about it, when it has nothing to do with me? If I get hit by a car, it doesn’t matter whether I stepped into the street or the car skidded onto the curb. My legs are still broken. It’s the reality that now exists. Good? Bad? Who cares. My legs are broken. I have other things to focus on.
Thinking about good and bad in correlation is like viewing richness as something that can only exist if there’s a certain amount of poorness somewhere. You know, “everyone can’t reach the top of the ladder,” and other weak metaphors for society/life. But why is it a ladder, and not a building? Everyone can reach the top of a building, with enough elevators and floor space. Or, build a bigger floor.
So, sure: you can’t have the good without the bad, but you also can’t have the mergram without the poktan, if I decide those things exist and are opposites.
Before I conclude, it’s important that I acknowledge that some realities are too disappointing to not be named “bad”: a young black boy pointlessly shot by poorly trained police who’ve never been taught how to confront their own fear and bias is arguably BAD. But more importantly, it’s a fact of the reality that we’re all working together to currently create and live in. We can’t change the facts, but we can change the reality.
And once again, it all comes down to one silly little gism (ha):
We all create our own reality
Some people are consistently disappointing at that whole “creating reality” thing
Reality is sometimes disappointing.
It’s also all we’ve got.
Maybe we should all stop focusing on how bad and disappointing IT may or may not be, and start considering how bad and disappointing WE may or may not be.
AND THEN JUST STOP BEING SO DISAPPOINTING ALL THE TIME.