The following is an exploration of some reasons that come to mind for my growing contempt for the general public, with headings for easy reading. I am sure you will find this far more entertaining than my typical writing.
Siding with the “Winners” (i.e. institutions, corporations)
People love to be on the winning team. Whenever you have a problem with an institution or corporation, you are to blame. For example, if a representative of the New York Times says he or she has canceled your subscription over the phone, yet you continue to receive toilet paper and the accompanying charges, that conversation obviously never took place and you are either lying or insane.
If you were drugged and raped by Bill Cosby, you are obviously just an attention whore.
When it comes to the police, chokeholds are always justified.
If you are terminated or fired from a job, it’s your own damn fault.
Quit whining. Shut up. Fuck you.
Betrayal of Trust for “Your Benefit”
Everyone knows to report to the authorities suicidal or self-injurious behavior disclosed in confidence. However, now this is believed to extend to whatever the hell one feels like. For example, it is completely acceptable to tell a close friend’s secrets to a new friend to help strengthen the new friendship. Triangles of secrecy and islands of ignorance can develop; friends can both know a secret about you and know you must not know they know. When the chain breaks, it’s your fault for being angry—you should be grateful a weight has been non-consensually lifted from your shoulders.
“The Problem Is You,” or, Victim Blaming
Whenever I complain about some injustice, however large or small, if anyone notices, it is to relish in pointing out the common denominator in my experiences. “Hey, did you ever stop to think that maybe you’re the fucking problem in all of these situations? You’re welcome!” People loooooove doing this. Pointing out someone is wrong. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Yet, when you do this to other people, you are just a bitter heckler. They always have a larger number of people on their side.
So, when you have a problem unsubscribing from the New York Times, it is not really a problem with the New York Times. It is a problem with you. You obviously simply don’t know how to unsubscribe from the venerable institution that is the New York Times. Then, later, when you find out a friend is having this problem too, no one cares. It is kind of like the conversation topic that changes before you get to contribute, because everyone else steamrolls you by talking over you, even though you know a lot about the topic and could contribute delightful anecdotes.
Contempt for Photography
As a hobbyist photographer, I occasionally take photos of events (and the people at them) without being paid or expecting anything in return. I often encounter people who are contemptuous of having their picture taken by me, and even threaten me after the fact with physical violence or legal action by Facebook text message. It is curious that Facebook Messenger is the medium of choice for threats. Then, people tell me I don’t know anything about photographers’ rights or copyright law, and cite their years of experience with modeling as evidence that they know the law better than me; principally, that I am not allowed to publish photos of people without their permission. It is extremely annoying that being woefully uninformed is positive correlated with arrogant self-assuredness—model release forms are unnecessary in many non-commercial contexts, and just because some photographers are using them in these contexts is no indication that I must do the same, but just that they are operating out of an abundance of caution beyond what is legally required (i.e. they are getting model release forms for photos taken in a public place and being published in an editorial context).
Leading by Fiat
Leading by fiat is the opposite of leading by example. Unsolicited advice from people who don’t or would not follow the same advice in their lives is one example. Being advised by people who are completely incompetent is particularly vexing. Consider the personal banker who is leasing a car and living with roommates and offers you advice on your spending and investments. Or the alcoholic parent who instructs his children never to be like him. Yet, being told I don’t have a right to speak about topics by people who are even more presumptuous than me makes me particularly contemptuous.
Reveling in Ignorance
“I’ve never heard of that!” is the be-all/end-all of a conversation. If someone has not heard of something, then it is automatically discredited. At the very least, you are ostracized for bringing it up. Stick to the boring, pointless topics people enjoy, such as gossip and sports.
Once you have given up calling yourself a Christian for a while, it becomes quite obvious that Jesus Christ would be appalled by the behaviors of the majority of people calling themselves Christians. Such a title is supposed to be a terrible burden of a life of want and sacrifice. Yet you see “Christians” who give none or very little of their time, money, or possessions to the poor. One can easily point out the expensive and grandiose structures created and maintained by many churches (with some exceptions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses). However, I find it far more enticing to discuss political inaction. Consider that Christians are largely supportive or silent regarding the atrocities being committed by the United States military and unconstitutional mercenary forces, such as the “laboratory” that is Iraq and the hundreds of thousands of children that have died as a result of U.S. sanctions and involvement. Instead, some vocal Christians are worried about gay marriage (which is in fact, a superior type of marriage, evidenced by it being exempt from tax disincentives that apply to traditional marriage, such as a decline in SSI income). Meanwhile, marriage is becoming largely irrelevant, with many Christians having “bastard” children or openly “living in sin.” In fact, in 2014, getting married cuts off a lot of opportunities and would be a really bad move for a lot of people.
The culture of evangelical Protestantism or non-denominational Christianity is quite annoying. It is a business with tax-exempt status that knows not to contradict the agenda of the government of the United States for fear of losing that tax-exempt status.
Stop Signs, Left Turns
It is extremely annoying getting to a 4-way stop sign and watching the wheels of a vehicle arriving from another direction to determine that the driver stopped after me, and then having that driver not only fail to yield the right of way, but also beeping his/her horn and obscenely gesturing at me for supposedly cutting him/her off. Then, when another driver puts me or my vehicle in physical danger, I sit there and take it because I don’t want to get ran off the road or shot. Somehow, the obnoxious drivers with their sports cars or oversized pickup trucks know they can walk all over me without fear of retaliatory road rage.
For some reason, special rules apply to people turning left. When no arrow is present, 1-2 cars are permitted to turn left on yellow or red as oncoming traffic stops. Drivers turning left are entitled to not wait through multiple traffic cycles, thus giving them the right of way for several seconds of the oncoming traffic’s green light (longer in Los Angeles). Drivers turning left on a red arrow believe they are actually performing a public service by preventing or reducing blockage of the thru lanes by the next cycle of drivers turning left.
Everyone loves using their left turn signal at an intersection with traffic lights but without left arrows or turn lanes, yielding the right of way to an oncoming driver without a turn signal, and then watching that driver proceed to turn left through intersection. This teaches us a valuable lesson—by leaving one’s turn signal off, you have the right to both go straight or turn left. An oncoming motorist foolish enough to display his or her left turn signal is required to yield to all oncoming motorists turning left without a turn signal.
Frivolous Spending, Entitlement
It’s no secret that the vast majority of Americans are financial morons. What is especially annoying is that so many of them believe they are financially intelligent. “Hey, I have food stamps—I take care of myself! I just can’t afford to give you gas money, but I am financially intelligent because I waited until you dropped me off to tell you that. If you get angry or say anything to my friends, you are really petty. While you were driving, I pointed out illegal maneuvers—which could prevent a ticket later—so in fact, you are in my debt and should be thanking me.”
Seeing people spend, save, or earn money frivolously is not what causes me to feel contempt. I hold them in contempt when they feel entitled to assume a position of superior expertise. You do not have the authority to educate me in finance if you make any of these mistakes:
* Pay usury interest rates.
* Pay 10% to have your coins counted by Coinstar.
* Do not recognize or understand the benefits of credit cards.
* Pay much more to defer payments, i.e. paying Florida property taxes in March when you could save 4% by paying them in November, paying your car insurance monthly when a large discount is available for paying it on a 6-month interval, etc.
* Buy Apple products to be trendy.
* Make dumb purchases of over-priced items for no good reason.
* Do not understand the time-value of money, i.e. passing up opportunities with a high ROI for opportunities with a stupidly low or negative ROI.
When a “friend” contacts me only when they need something from me, and then becomes incensed when I refuse to help—after a long history of helping said friend with nothing in return, it definitely contributes to my contemptuousness. See, I am well aware that it is wrong to help someone and expect anything in return unless consciously agreed to in advance. Accompanying feelings of resent are also hypocritical, because I agreed to help said person under my own free will. However, I am doubly aware that this cuts both ways—if someone else offers to help me, I don’t owe them a damn thing either (I am not so narcissistic as to claim to hold myself to higher standards than I hold other people). Further, if I refuse to help a friend, it is usually after a long history of being “abused” (which is actually a misnomer since it was under my own free will). Thus, I can legitimize the grandiose feelings of entitlement from the friend who has long benefited from a one-sided relationship (but is suddenly encountering resistance) as the catalyst for my contempt. Attempts at psychological coercion are evidence of these feelings of entitlement.
Thus, the one-sided relationship comes to an end when the loser has had enough. Ironically, the beneficiary typically believes the relationship was balanced or even biased in the former friend’s favor!
Their Word = Shit
Who is a person who does not keep their word? A liar. A cheat. A person without honor. Yet how many people keep their word in American culture? Consider the following scenarios:
* Person on Craigslist says they will show up at 2:00 PM to look at an item.
* Person does not show up.
* You call person at 2:30 PM.
* They say they can’t make it.
* A friend has agreed to go shopping with you.
* The friend cancels due to not feeling well.
* You then see the friend posting photos on Instagram at a nightclub.
* You are honest with a friend and trust that friend to be honest with you.
* The friend does not tell you something really important.
* You find out from someone else or by circumstance.
* The friend has the moral high ground because he/she didn’t tell you out of fear of hurting your feelings or was waiting for the ideal time to tell you.
* The friend delights in telling you he/she was protecting your feelings, hurting you far worse than simple honesty could ever have hurt.
* An acquaintance refuses to return emails, phone calls, or text messages after requesting your assistance, company, or services, thus maintaining plausible deniability regarding receipt of your messages. However, this acquaintance initially sought you out to take photos of her children or some other crap.
* A friend borrows an item from you.
* Friend disappears.
All of these scenarios have one thing in common: dishonor. Yet, if one wishes to have friends, it is very difficult to make friends in contemporary culture without tolerating at least some of these behaviors. Adopting these behaviors myself and expecting them from others is unsatisfying. Why is it that the only thing people respect is force?
“As an American, I have the right to free speech everywhere in America!”
NO, IDIOT. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.
For example, an owner of a business generally has the right to kick you out if he/she does not like what you are saying. Similarly, I have the right to kick you out of my house or delete your online comments or messages if I don’t like what you are saying. If you don’t like it, move to a public forum such as a street corner or public park.
YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS.