On One Hand

May 30, 2004

Slut Baby

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:43 am

So today I saw this baby, it couldn’t have been more than six or seven months old, totally molest this woman. I’m not sure if the woman carrying the baby was its mother or somebody else, but in any case, she should have been offended. Right there in public, while I and others were watching, the slut baby leans down and bites the woman’s breast through her shirt. The baby bit right where the woman’s nipple should be under her clothes, leaving a little wet spot on the gray cloth as he continued to fondle her with his tiny hands, trying to lift up her shirt or get under her bra. The baby had this malicious, wanton, and dare I say even hungry look on his face, and was clearly smiling as the woman uncomfortably pushed his head away from her body and switched the arm she was carrying him with.
I can’t really pass judgment on the baby for being a pervert, since obviously this means that he is being sexually molested by someone, which would not be his fault. Where else could a baby have learned to do a thing like what I saw him do? It’s such a sad story. I wouldn’t put it past this kid to urinate into the air whenever someone is changing his diaper too, since he’s already gone so far as to grope somebody with his mouth. I bet he even plays with himself. If my own baby showed itself to be this much of a pervert, I wouldn’t know what to do. The first thing I know I would do is call the police immediately, and make sure that the babysitter, the neighbors, any uncles or aunts that may have had contact with the baby, and even my in-laws are thoroughly investigated. Next I would call a therapist and get the kid into counseling. If at such a tender age the kid is already going after grown women, who knows what he’ll get into later. Who knows what kind of freaky behavior will go on when my slut baby reaches puberty?! As for the kid I saw today, I know for sure he’s gonna end up in some sort of correctional facility or asylum. What is with all this horrendous moral decay we have been going down throughout the country for years now! This is yet another sign of the times, proof that our country is sinking fast into liscentiousness and depravity.

May 29, 2004

Writing

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:14 am

If I write enough, some of it is bound to be good. I’ll record my thoughts, ideas, expressions and emotions on .txt documents and save them on my computer to be used as both a resource for future writings and as finished material in itself. The way that I see writing is that it is not only as a form of communication but also as an art form, as in the case any novel, poem, story, prose, article, or play that is read for the experience and entertainment of the piece in itself or seen to have some meaningful or rhetorical value. An article of writing, as the expression of emotion and thought, is just as much art as a painting or sculpture. And as is true with all art, the one quality that determines how good writing is lies in whether or not other people find themselves wanting to experience it. So the question is, how can I make my ill-articulated thoughts and mood swings into something that another person can benefit from? How can I state my attitudes or experiences in such a way that readers will find them worthwhile? Does good writing lie in the piece itself or in the name of the person who wrote it? Is this something that people would find themselves wanting to read? If I wrote something that I think is good, how do I know if it is truly good or if I only think its good because the content is pertinent to me? And if I find out that many people do like something I wrote, does it mean its worth being published; would people pay to get a copy? For most of these questions, a “yes” answer may be a long way off. Its something I hope to achieve in the future, since if I really want to have a career in writing then all these things will necessary.
What I need right now is hard critics. I need someone to be honest with me and tell me straight up where I need to work. When I write something, I want to know what the piece has and what the piece is lacking, or what my writing in general has and what my writing in general is lacking. Is it that the content was meaningless to a bystander, as in no one who wasn’t there cares what I did saturday evening, or is it that I had a great story but articulated it poorly? Did I put a satirical tone on something that would be more meaningful left in its blunt reality or did I whine and bitch a little too much when I talked about being lonely? I need to get better at writing at a rapid clip if I want to be at the point where I can start being published in a few years, and only honest criticism will let me know what I appear like from another person’s perspective.
So back to my plan of writing everything down. Is good writing hit and miss or does it lie in the skills and knowledge of the writer? If the former is true, writing everything down can become fruitful when I happen to have a good day. If the latter is more likely the case, writing everything down will give me material to come back later and retrospectively modify into better writing. Either way, I’m resolving to practice more and see where it takes me.

May 27, 2004

Thought Chain 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:53 am

Thought Chain 1

Its a little cold in here.
Maybe I should put something on.
The open window is letting the cool air in,
but perhaps I like the fresh air more than I mind the chill.
I got used to being cold last winter
when aimless walks through frigid air
were used to numb my anxiety and pain.
I was being fucked over by a guy,
Some asshole who, in retrospect, I realize,
didn’t deserve my time.
But he had problems of his own,
and since he articulated them better than I could mine,
I stupidly agreed that his came first.
We would wander, together, sometimes,
beside the busy streets downtown,
talking about our plans for the future
and all the people we’d loved before.
We’d name friends we carelessly fell for last June,
when the lazy days were marked by summer flings,
disappointing in the end,
but in the end, I’d say,
well worth the experience.
Experience is of the essence,
as experience, for now, is what I lack;
innocence and naivety, as I am told,
is my distinguishing trait, my appeal;
a dangerous feature in a world
where the predator types are the ones
most likely to go for that.
I suppose I should step out on a limb
more often, play dirty, be a slut,
and hit below the belt, to lose my innocence,
as purity will more often than not
come out looking like an inhibition.
I don’t want to seem jaded by the world,
since hope is the one thing I’ve always had in abundance,
but perhaps it should, for once, be someone else’s turn
to take the high road, do the right thing,
and suffer the nasty consequences.
Last summer I, much like today,
spent a lot of time dreaming.
Hoping that my willingness to love would be rewarded,
and that the stars would align themselves in my favor.
The stars are, right now, supposedly for me,
with the sun in gemini: my sign, the twins.
The savvy socialites seem to represent, ironically,
everything that I lack at the moment.
But I haven’t lost hope, my ever refuge,
as in gemini the sun will remain for a few weeks yet,
and bring with it the summer months and summer pursuits
of love and lust and long days, (long nights)
with which to use myself to some positive end.
And summer will bring more nights like tonight,
where I stay up ’till dawn,
alone with my thoughts and my reason
sitting on the edge of the bed in blue boxer shorts
and a guitar rested quietly on my lap
just for the familiar feel of it,
the cool night air blowing around me, refreshing the room,
clearing my mind and spirit anew as it pours in
chilly through the open window.

May 26, 2004

bipolar

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:16 am

I have a friend who is about to be evicted from his apartment because he hasn’t been paying rent, his cell phone has already been shut off because he hasn’t paid for it and he’s about to lose his cable for not paying the bill. He is thousands of dollars in debt and not likely to catch up anytime soon, but he’s only 18 years old and not in school. In the face of all this, he just quit his job because they wouldn’t give him the raise he wanted, and he doesn’t think he’ll be able to get a new job right away. When I heard he had quit his job, I was flabbergasted. “You’re supposed to get a new job BEFORE you quit the old one!” I told him. “What the heck were you thinking, quitting your job when you’re already in this much trouble!?” Apparently he wasn’t thinking, and seemed to still not completely understand my point even after an articulated criticism of his actions. Then I found out that his cell phone was in someone else’s name, so he was messing up someone else’s credit as much as his own. I had to bring that up to him, hoping he would feel guilty about it, because he didn’t seem to really understand how credit works and I hoped I could provoke him to never let anything like this happen to him again.

I had just refused to agree go to the courthouse with him the next day because he lives so far away from me and because the courthouse is not only a long drive from his apartment, its also in the opposite direction than I am from him. I felt bad for criticizing him about quitting his job, even though I think he needs to hear it, and gave him a big hug before I left that I think he didn’t really want to accept. Then I got in the car to go home.

While I was driving home, the depression hit me. Things seemed to be going well for me, so there wasn’t really much reason to be upset, but the sense of despair and the tightness in my chest slowly but inevitably crept up on me as I was driving home. I got that feeling where I felt like I was crying but my chest wasn’t heaving and my eyes were still dry; in actuality I haven’t cried in over seven years. All the problems in my life came to mind but I wasn’t sure why I suddenly cared so much about them now while most of the time I can get by happily on tackling one issue at a time.

I can’t get a job because of this damn anxiety disorder, and I can’t approach new guys very easily for the same reason. My parents are absolutely dissatisfied with me in so many ways and make it impossible for me to see family as the grounding, if-everyone-else-fails-you-at-least-you-have-your-parents source of security I like to see them as. They won’t treat me like an adult but expect me to bear the responsibilities of one, they hate my “gay” lifestyle and don’t realize that the fact that I stay out late has absolutely nothing to do with being gay and everything to do with being nineteen years old in this decade. I usually brush off their condescending disapprovals and you-should-have-done-it-this-ways, but deep inside I know that their comments and judgments damage my emotional well being. Everything my parents say to me is negative, and when I point it out, they attribute it to the fact that their parents never taught them to give compliments or some shit like that or that I’m just being childish. I can’t even complain about my parents to friends because then my friends just hate my parents or decide that they’re assholes which is not what I need or want at all. Friends seem to cling to me not for who I am but for what I can do for them, and even though everyone seems to think I’m hot, I can’t find a single person this side of sanity who I like who would even consider having any kind of romantic relationship with me. The unstable ones want things I can’t offer and the stable ones won’t give me the patience I need to catch up. But most of all, I can’t get a job, a God damned job that even stupid people manage to get which is all that makes you what you’re worth in this before-I-decide-I-like-you,-what-can-you-do-for-ME society. I just want someone to look me in the eye and say “Matt, I love you,” and mean it and not be saying it because I need it or because they think it would make me feel better, and not be saying it because of what I can do for them but, rather, for who I am. There are a few people who I can honestly say that I love, not in a romantic sense but in a love that is much more abstract and genuine than that, not in an attachment sense but in a sense of pure and simple acceptance, and I’m so glad that these people exist but life keeps seeming to take us in different directions. And I’ve noticed that when I hug I consciously pull my aura away from the person I am trying to get closer to, because I feel that if I let it go into them and let our energies mix then I’ll lose myself in them, they’ll take all my energy and my self and not give anything in return and a part of me will gone from me forever.

And then while I’m despairing by thinking all these depressing thoughts and wishing the annoying song on the radio could be something by an Independent artist or, at the very least, Alanis Morrisette, I remember that the sun is in gemini and this is my time of year. Suddenly the exact Alanis Morrisette song I was thinking of comes on the radio and the streetlights that whiz by the car as I drive down the dark street blend into the music like they were arranged that way by some divine plan, like God is saying hello to me and and telling me it will all work out in the long run if I have patience and determination. I realize again that if my life was perfect, it would become stagnant and meaningless, which would defeat the purpose of life, and the best eternity is a never-ending journey rather than a never-ending rest in stagnancy at the so-called destination. I remember that everyone, at an intrinsic level, just wants love, and that giving it to a selfish person is just as valuable as getting it from a generous one. I remember that we are all little pieces of God exploring Himself, and everything is and will always be perfectly okay and perfectly wonderful. It was all triggered by a good song on the radio, since music seems to be able to slap me back to consciousness and is the only thing that ever makes me feel quite that way. Music makes me high but in a way that is so much better than pot; it’s the perfect energy because your brain magnifies it and changes it and lets you hear it in your own way; it sparks something powerful inside yourself rather than altering your thoughts to depend on something that comes from outside you like a drug that makes you feel better by inhibiting your rationale.

In the morning I need to call up my friends so that they can feel appreciated by me, so that I can, in turn, feel useful. I can get over the fact that people do dumb things and focus on how puppy-dog cute he is when he wants my attention and doesn’t demand anything else. And most importantly, I can find a caring friend who will give me a good 20-minute hug that I really need right now and I’ll see if I can’t feel myself open up all the way this time rather than giving him a little but keeping most of my energy to myself. And that’s what our souls are, really; just energy, not a body or a brain or a finite being so much as a substance that transcends all life and order to unite us under the fundamental reality that we are all really just the same stuff at our most real level. So maybe tomorrow I’ll be a little less philosophical and more proactive, and hopefully I’ll be able to get through the day in a decent fashion, not like myself but like a decent normal person would.

May 25, 2004

Calories

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:41 am

The power is out. It went out unexpectedly while I was talking to some friends online, and since I have a laptop that is battery powered, the computer stayed on and connected to the Internet as all the lights in the house suddenly dimmed and went black. I only have two hours of battery before before the computer shuts down, but I’ll sign off sooner because the more I use the battery, the faster it will finally wear out.
When the computer loses its power source, it goes dead in two hours. When your brain loses its power source, it goes dead in fifteen seconds, maybe less. (How long does it take you to die when someone cuts off your head or slits your throat?) That’s because your brain itself has no batteries; the battery power is stored throughout the rest of your body. When your body as a whole loses its food source, you still have thirty or so days before you die, longer if you don’t move at all, which means that a human body is the best battery on earth (most likely there is some type of animal or plant that would win but I’m not going there). The most amazing thing about a living body is that when it runs out of carbohydrates and fat to burn, it actually switches to burning protein as it begins to dissolve and eat itself. Your computer could never do that. Your car would never burn the vinyl seats as fuel when it runs out of gas. Let it run out of gas and the whole thing immediately goes cold.
Think about how efficient your body really is – you get all your energy from food, which originally absorbed it’s energy from sunlight shining onto the leaves of a plant that only utilizes a fraction of the total energy that radiates down onto it. Two thousand calories a day, which is more than enough for a healthy body to run smoothly, can fit into, what, a single stick of butter? Open up your refrigerator and read the nutrition information on different food items to find out how little mass of food 2000 calories can actually fit into. Maybe I’ll say that the 2000 calories is from seven pounds of tomatoes (tomatoes have about 300 calories per pound), which are mostly water anyway, or four quarter-pounders from McDonalds (quarter-pounders, small as they are, are 500 calories each). Concentrate the tomatoes into pure carbohydrates and take all the fiber out (fiber isn’t absorbed so it is useless as energy for your body) and you have a very small mass of food. By burning this tiny bit of food as fuel, you can move the entire mass of your body for tens of miles each day, you can lift hundreds of pounds of weight over and over again, and all the while you produce a constant supply of heat (a lot of heat, almost 100 degrees, all the time, which leaves your body very quickly when it’s cold out) and a constant stream of energy to keep your brain running. All this energy originally came from light shining in from the sun, while an area less than the size an acre can produce enough food to keep a human being going full time on a vegetarian diet. (If the person eats a lot of meat then the efficiency goes way down, since a cow produces 1 pound of beef at slaughter for every 13 pounds of grain it is fed.)
Now take that same amount of fuel you used to run your body for a day, either the four hamburgers or the seven pounds of tomatoes, and put it into your car. It won’t even get you around the block. Burn the dried tomatoes in a campfire and it all goes up in a few seconds as heat and light, and it will hardly make your room warm. Put it into your computer and it might keep it running for a day, even though the computer weighs one twentieth what you weigh and doesn’t even move whereas your body is moving all the time, even when you are sitting still. I’m not sure what the rhetorical value in all this is, but maybe I could try to walk more and drive less or something.

May 23, 2004

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:15 pm

I am feeling artsy tonight. We’ll see if it lasts long enough for me to produce anything. Probably not. Maybe I’ll go for a midnight walk tonight and see if I can draw on anything to inspire me.

I got drunk over at a friend’s house last night, but sobered up disappointingly quickly. I didn’t sleep much that night for various reasons, and spent the next day extremely lethargic, weak, and dehydrated, and took a quick nap in the afternoon that turned into an extended sleep period that will doubtlessly mess up my schedule for days. The good thing about last night is, I got something I can write about later, which I can’t mention now but will probably mention in the distant future. And I made some real friends out of former Internet friends, which is also good.

The sun is in Gemini. I should be doing well for myself now since it is supposedly my most successful astrological month, and indeed I have been getting out more than I usually do, so if that’s what you call success I’m doing alright. If I could just get a job then everything would be great. I submitted an application at Dillard’s, but to be perfectly honest I kind of hope they won’t hire me because I don’t really want to work in a place like that. I don’t feel like I could do it. I don’t know where I would want to work though, and I really need a job, so I’ll take what I can get. I have some anxiety issues to work through that make it harder for me than it is for most people to get a job, and once I get one I that my issues will, for the most part, get better.

May 16, 2004

Cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:32 am

After running for a long time on a relative emotional high, I hit a sort of low today, and I hope I have developed enough skills of late to cope with this and make it go away as soon as possible.

I started off coping with that familiar tightness in my chest by making a few classic mistakes. First, I smoked a cigarette. Yes, I know that its more dangerous to smoke when you’re upset or stressed out than it is to smoke any other time, but smoking does something for me that helps me get over the pain that other people cause me. Smoking a cigarette is like saying to myself, “I realize that this makes me gross, but it’s OK; I don’t need to kiss anyone tonight. I am in control of myself, I am doing something by myself for no productive purpose, because for once I can live in the moment and do something I enjoy NOW with total disregard for the consequences it may have in the future. I am not cuddling with a cute boy and am not anywhere close to having a boyfriend, yet I can still enjoy this as a perfect moment, where my cigarette and I are friends. I am fine alone, I am whole alone, and when I ask someone to join me, it will be because want someone to join me, not because I need someone to join me.” Its kind of a cute lie, but is indeed a lie, since I desperately need connections with other people and am doing a piss poor job of convincing myself that I don’t. I tell myself that all I need is the cigarette, and it makes me feel better about my situation, especially as the dizzy rush of the nicotine blocks out all of my problems that I don’t want to deal with. If I started smoking frequently, I would then be hooked, which would completely defeat the purpose of what I am trying to accomplish by smoking, so I will certainly take every precaution as to not become addicted.

I took a safety pin and made a few pink scratches on my side, since summer is here and the short-sleeved shirts I always wear render forearms useless for that purpose. I didn’t do any damage serious enough to break the skin. I am not a cutter, and I am psychologically unable to intentionally cause harm to myself. (Though when I’m upset I do get somewhat reckless and find myself jogging through fields with sharp sticks and thorny bushes, climbing trees or jumping over fences and getting a little beat up in the process, or punching friends on the arm playfully, hoping I can make them punch me back harder.) I’m not sure why I did this to myself today. Its not like I find the little lines that the needle leaves behind to be attractive or desirable. I run the needle over myself and nothing happens at first, and after a few minutes the safety-pin’s former path turns pink. The line goes away after a day or so, leaving no relic. Sometimes I like writing words or sentences on myself in the same way that I draw the little lines. I like how its invisible at first and only shows up later, like disappearing ink in reverse. As a parallel to my relationship with cigarettes, drawing on my skin with needles is like making something that only I and no one else will see, which somehow helps me become more stable in myself when I feel that I have just been hurt by someone else. All these things do a great job of distracting me from the source of my pain, but don’t do anything to actually solve the problem and make the pain go away. Only time does that. Thinking about the pain and considering what caused the pain only makes it worse, because thinking about it only makes me realize how lonely and isolated I am and how angry I am at this other person for making me feel that way. Talking about my pain used to help, but now I realize that opening up only builds a connection with yet another person who will, in turn, hurt me later on down the road, just like the person who has just hurt me now. And it comes across as talking shit, which is always bad. Besides, the first person I want to talk to when something hurts me is the person I feel close to, who is almost always the very person who is the subject of my problem, who has now cut communication with me off. Talking to him only makes me feel ashamed for being so clingy or needy, which is usually what turned him off to me in the first place, and bringing up little things only annoys him further. Talking never really helped me feel more secure about myself. I need to find a new strategy for dealing with these painful feelings.

On a side note, about a year ago there was a little hard spot in my chest about a centimeter above my right nipple, like a pea under the skin. Worried that I could have some rare form of male juvenile breast cancer or any kind of tumor, I did a search online on male breast cancer, and based on the collective information I gathered from several websites, I would say that there is pretty much no chance that I could have cancer. I was later informed by a doctor that the object was not cancer and not dangerous. The tumor-esque object grew and shrank several times over the year, and gradually descended to a location right under the nipple rather than above it. Now its a little bigger (about the size of a small grape) and is slightly visible as a bulge under the skin, which is reason enough that I want it gone. I’m a little worried about it, though not very, and I think I’ll go to a doctor soon to have it looked at and hopefully removed. It’s starting to get sore, which motivates me to subconsciously rub and poke at it alot, which comes across to other people as extremely creepy.

May 13, 2004

Dance of the Spoons

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:36 am

Is there a God? I’m free on Tuesday. Why can’t I cry? I think I look better in black. Woah, what eyes; Is that your home phone number or a cell? For years, this has been the nature of my thoughts. Unchained, questioning, histrionic. Some say I could do better if I focused it all on one thing. I say it’s focused now – not on purpose, but on meaning. Life is like a shiny spoon, reflecting a crude distortion of the witness to foster a perplexing disapproval of the buck-toothed grinning stranger on the convex side. Flip it around and you’ve got the same thing, only in inverse, upside-down, the complete opposite of what you saw before, yet you still don’t like it. Is he a republican? Is she a democrat? Am I selfish? Do you care? Together are we cute? Average? Is the Universe open or closed? It’s all the same, all inexorably dependent on nothing more than which side of the spoon you’re looking at. All is subject to whim, to chance, to luck, to virtue, which is life; the impotent and the omnipotent are one in the never-ending dance of the spoons.

May 12, 2004

Bird

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:23 pm

As I was driving up my street toward home I noticed a gray lump in the middle of the road. At first I thought it was a rock, but then I saw it move. I looked closer to see that it was a bird, a little sparrow, that had been injured and was struggling to get back in the air. After I parked the car at home, I ran back down the street to see what was wrong with the bird.

When I spotted the sparrow again, it was in a slightly different place, but it wasn’t moving. On the bird’s body there was a bloody area stretching from just behind one eye to about midway down the neck, but for the most part the bird was whole and intact. As most road injuries go, this bird had pretty much zero chance of survival. Still, I couldn’t just leave it there to shiver in the rain or be tortured to death by some hungry magpie or cat. Not completely sure what to do, I reached down to pick the bird up as it fluttered its wings to get away from me. Unable to right itself, the sparrow couldn’t get more than an inch off the ground. I picked it up and noticed that it was breathing hard, chirping softly, certainly terrified of me as I tried to help it. Suddenly it flicked its wings again and fell out of my hands to the ground, where it gave a loud double chirp and stopped moving completely. I’m pretty sure its neck broke when it fell.

I don’t know what it is about me, whether its a serious disorder or just my own irrationality, but I get very upset when I see things die when they don’t have to. I get upset when I see school-age boys pulling the legs off a grasshopper one by one, and wonder where the hell those kids got the idea that that kind of shit is okay. I get upset when I see people get shot in movies with absolutely no rhetorical value, as if we are supposed to get some sort of perverse entertainment out of the blood. I get upset when my dad flushes crickets down the toilet because he’s too lazy to put them outside, and when he puts potted indoor plants on the deck in the winter when he doesn’t want them anymore, and I come home to find the green leaves of the once healthy plant soggy and limp in the morning sun like cooked spinach. I know its crazy, and I’m not sure if its an unusual form of schizophrenia or OCD, but I get upset about things like that. Sometimes I’ll feel a nervous twitch in my chest, and turn around to see that somebody pulled a few green twigs of a tree as they walked by and dropped the leaves to the ground. I don’t understand it; dear God this thing is a tree, not a dog or a cat, not a human being. I can’t prevent this living thing’s pain from becoming my own pain, no matter how abstract the sentience of the living thing may be. Sometimes I wish I could separate myself from the life of things around me, but sometimes I’m glad that I can’t.

I picked up the bird again, careful not to nudge its head that was already twisted at an awkward angle, and carried its warm body, unmoving, barely still breathing, home. I grabbed some paper towels with which to wrap the the sparrow up and put the body on a table in my room. If it’s going to die, which I think it already has by now, it can at least do it in a warm room without the molestation of the black cat that gazed intently at the gray lump in my hands all the way home until finally I reached the door and brought the bird inside. After putting the sparrow in a safe place, I washed the blood off of my hands, shut my door to keep the dog out, and left the bird alone so as to not scare it any more than it already is.

So the sparrow is definitely dead now. It’s already stiff and it didn’t take more than a few minutes for its tiny body to lose heat at become noticeably cold. I think I’ll just set the body back outside; it doesn’t matter anymore if the cats get it. I’m hoping that I hear the tiny birds in the birdhouse in the back yard start chirping soon; they’re sparrows, they’re far too young to make it on their own, and there aren’t many sparrows in the neighborhood.

May 11, 2004

Evil

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 6:50 pm

I don’t believe in evil. “Evil” is a word people use to write off a problem they don’t want to understand. If a person does a bad thing and people don’t want to understand the processes that caused that person to do the bad thing, they will call the perpetrator “evil,” implying that the act is well beyond understanding. The word “evil” is the escape from cognitive dissonance at a societal level. But nothing is actually beyond understanding – regardless of how bad the things that people do really are, people that do very bad things have a reason for doing what they do; it’s not just because they are an intrinsically bad person or “evil.”

When President Bush calls the terrorists “evildoers” and writes off all threats to U.S. power as “evil,” he avoids addressing the real problem in the Middle East. He does this so that he can bomb the fuck out of their homes and organizations without asking why the heck they all got so mad at us in the first place. He doesn’t want to ask why they got so mad because he knows the answer might have something to do with the United States overstepping itself again and again and manipulating foreign economies for the betterment of itself and detriment of the locals. Of course terrorists are bad, and of course anti-Americanism (at least in its violent forms) is irrational and overblown. However, there are reasons why they got the way that they are, and knowing the exact reason makes it much easier for all of us to stop terrorism at its source. Because really, eliminating Al Quaida alone is not going to stop Hesbollah, and dismantling every terrorist network that exists is not going to stop new new networks from forming or stop people from taking the initiative on their own. Calling people “evil” sets us on a vicious cycle that never ends, refusing to address real problems for political and idealistic reasons to embark on a logical fallacy that only perpetuates the cycle of violence.

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