It’s not every day that I start a blog with a Wittgenstein quote, but then again it’s not every day that I read something that truly resonates with me to the degree that I simply cannot help but share it with as many people as I possibly can. Sometimes, some things are just too noteworthy to let go.
Before you go running for he closest lolcat image archive, don’t get your panties in a bunch; tis isn’t going to be about early 20th century philosophers. I had a hard enough time wrapping my head around those bunch, and I’m technically an academic – some people are just better at arguing about nothing, and I’m not one of those people (regardless of what my fiancée might tell you). No, the Wittgenstein quote is in reference to The Last Psychiatrist, a particularly incisive blog that I was linked to yesterday by a friend and fellow colleague.
Now, this particular Last Psychiatrist article (it’s long, but it’s absolutely riveting – and not just because the lead-in is about a female comic getting finger-banged by a New York City cabbie) lays bare the kind of mental processes that lead people to go full retard repeatedly like that and make the kinds of decisions that return to haunt you in the middle of the night. What’s truly interesting is that the author – an anonymous psychiatric professional known only to readers as “Alone” – says that constantly asking why we keep doing all this stupid shit isn’t really all that interesting a question.
We keep letting the cabbie finger us, Alone says (and I’m paraphrasing), because we’ve been conditioned to believe that feeling terrible about ourselves is better than taking mental action to effect real change in our lives. We spend so much time wailing and gnashing our teeth whenever we do something completely fucktarded that it becomes our focus, which leads to nothing but more of the same the next time we make a mistake. Meanwhile, making mistakes is human – nobody is perfect, and trying to attain perfection, while perhaps held up to us as a lofty and admirable goal by our bosses, our teachers, and our parents, is seen as even better than feeling terrible about what you’ve done, so we’re set up to try to be perfect, inevitably fail, and then obsess about this failure for the rest of our lives… until we make another mistake and add something else to obsess over to the pile.
Alone says in the article that we armor ourselves against change by choosing self-loathing, which leads us to things such as self-destructive behavior to try to alleviate the misery we all feel (like drinking until you’re almost in a coma and then letting an Afghan national that you’ve only known for about 45 seconds go two knuckles deep so he can dig for change in your pink velvet sausage wallet. It seems almost idiotic in its simplicity, doesn’t it? You’re a miserable cunt because it’s the path of least resistance, and unless you make a conscious choice to actually stop sabotaging yourself and fix whatever the fuck is wrong with you, you’re going to remain a miserable cunt. This means both treating the symptoms of your problem and also the root cause – if, like me, you’ve always struggled with your weight, it’s all too easy to look at yourself in the mirror, immediately feel like shit because you don’t like what you see, and then stick your head in the freezer and eat two whole fucking pints of Americone Dream, including the packaging and the spoon, even though you should go for a walk or do some jumping jacks instead. Luckily I’ve reached the point where my sense of “fuck it, I’m not going to die of congestive heart failure at the age of 40” usually overpowers that little whiny voice in my head that screams “why meeeeee” while I shovel Oreos into my mouth whenever I can’t squeeze into the booth at Friendly’s.
Of course, Alone touches on these topics – and many more related ones – in much better detail and with a facility of language that makes me envious of his ability to analyze and interpret his theories and observations. If you have a few minutes, do yourself a favor and read his article – and if you don’t have the time, make some. Trust me: if you can pick up what he’s laying down, maybe you won’t have to keep worrying about having foreign fingers brusquely inserted in your vagina. Or whichever of your holes you prefer to be violated by strangers.