Good morning queefs. It’s Tuesday and I’m about to hit the farmers market and get me some fresh bacon and some blackberries and shit. Nothing punker than a few fresh berries, am I right folks? Fuck yeah. Maybe a homemade perogi or a fresh scone? Fuck yeah. Up the scones, brah. Anyway…
Our generation has this strange dyslexia when it comes to hardline emotions, specifically stubbornness and ‘integrity’. Now, these are different things in one hundred percent of situations, but you’d never know it to talk to anyone under the age of…no. You know what? I’m wrong. It’s not a generational thing. At the very least, it’s an American thing, but I suspect it’s just a human thing, and it is, to be sure, one of the worst personality traits in almost all humans. AND we all exhibit it at least a little. Is this too ethereal right now? Okay, here’s what I mean:
We’ve kind of romanticized this notion of the stubborn grump who won’t move when the hurricane blows ashore or won’t change his mind and bend with the times even though it seems like the obvious way to go, who knows what he knows and sticks with it to the bitter end. We’ve romanticized it because it’s an easy story to tell, and an easy way to inject emotion into a series of events.
Nothing like getting that feeling at the end of a movie, that “oh man, that dude was right all along! Those handsome strangers are actually soul sucking vampires!” or “Man, his adherence to the old school ways of doing things really showed these new jack dildos a thing or two about tried and true methodology!” (this is a common theme in films and, as we’ll see later in this essay, this general theme is the essence of history being rewritten by the losers).
Likewise, the tough-as-nails humanity that is manifest in being an old man riding out a storm because you ain’t a-leavin yer home is just the emotional hook that weathermen live for. It ain’t easy doing an emotional piece on the weather, kids.
The problem is, stubbornness isn’t inherently good at all. You don’t hear about the dozen old men who were too stubborn to move and so they were crushed beneath their taxidermied boar heads when their shacks collapsed, and frankly, the guy in the movie who didn’t trust the dark and mysterious strangers is the same guy who votes through Arizona immigration laws in real life. Real life is not simple, and there’s no way to go through it with firm, unbending parameters about what you’re gonna like or not like, and yet people foolishly think that this methodology is not only possible, but actually somehow praiseworthy, when it’s actually short sighted and dumb.
What’s the point in refusing to ask for help when you need it? Even kick ass dudes like Sherlock Holmes and Ted Theodore Logan have sidekicks to help out when shit gets hairy. Sure, doing shit yourself against insurmountable odds is cool, but getting help and still doing it beats the shit out of failing completely because you were too much of an asshole to ask for a hand. Hell, even when we’re not talking about insurmountable odds, stubbornness is still completely ridiculous.
I’ve got a buddy who has all sorts of hardline stances about life. For example, he hates coffee. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps he had some dumped on him as a kid or perhaps a highschool girlfriend broke his heart over coffee. He’s never said, (and honestly, I seriously doubt that even he knows why [I bet he’s got some prepackaged answer like ‘I just think it’s gross and I don’t like caffeine’ but that doesn’t even go halfway towards explaining his aversion]) but the results are ridiculous. He won’t so much as enter into a coffee shop under any circumstances. He distrusts the brew and its dealers to a point where if his choices were to eat lunch with his friends at a restaurant that had a full kitchen and table service, yet identified itself as a coffee place, or eat at a gas station or burger king alone, he’d pick the gas station or burger king every time (never mind that those places sell coffee too. It’s complicated). This is not speculation. I’ve seen it happen on several occasions
I know that a lot of people have this same problem with culture. People decry and dismiss something as ‘shitty’ because it fits into a genre that they don’t currently appreciate, and they completely quarantine themselves from all forms of said genre as a result of their dumb stubborn guidelines. This is actually quite common, and we all are guilty of this to an extent. The thought process is the following: “I’ve never heard any dance music that I like, therefore there’s no reason to listen to any more dance music, because my sampling has determined that it’s not for me. It’s all crappy.”
Consider how stupid this really is: This is akin to hating all Mexicans because Carlos in your 8th grade class was a nose picking pervert. The notion that you can reduce a whole category to your limited experience with it is absurd. It’s a snap judgment based on almost nothing. There are so many different people in this world and some of them probably make dance music that absolutely blows your mind (and some of them are probably Mexican). BUT, thanks to this dumb notion of stubbornness=integrity, people feel absolutely justified and even smug and superior trapping themselves in these stringent guidelines for what is and isn’t acceptable. (If this still seems a little disconnected, consider your most dismissive hipster friend hating on something if you need a quick illustration of this stubbornness being passed off as integrity)
Think about it, nothing has ever been accomplished by stubborn refusal to take in what’s going on and recapitulate the scope of one’s ideas. There’s a famous fable about this: John Henry and the steam engine. It’s not pretty, but life’s not pretty. Shit changes all the time and you can either change with it (even though change is terrifying and hard to deal with and it fucks up everything) or you can stay rooted in your convictions, ones you put in place when you were younger and dumber and had less information, and get left in the dirt.
Then you can complain about how it was better back in the day when people had conviction and all that, but you’ll only be talking to the rest of the losers who were too cowardly to change too. Because, folks, that IS loser talk. Anyone who longs for the old days is really saying this: “I fucked up. Now my life sucks because I’m a stubborn dumbass who didn’t change with the times, didn’t alter my world view and shit on everything that I felt was out of line. Now, the world has passed me by. My smarter friends are all successful and happy and I’m stuck here on these docks with you fucking losers. I miss the old days when the people I admired hadn’t yet figured out that they were better than me and moved on.”
Or they’re old and they can’t get boners anymore. But that’s a whole different story, folks.
Oh, and as a quick response to the Germans who have inexplicably galvanized around the idea of me hating Germans and Germany: I love Germany. I’ve had great times there, and I count a German born, German raised dude who lives in Berlin to be among my very favorite people on the earth. Likewise, my trusty interpreter toby is a first generation German American. I don’t think I’ve EVER had a bad time in Munchen. I like sausages and kraut and beer. There’s nothing wrong with Germany but the compliments…well, I guess while we’re on the subject, there is one other thing: Namely that you guys are pretty quick to whip out the criticism and negativity, but god forbid someone call you on it. Then it’s nothing but tears and hurt feelings. Jesus. You’re never gonna take over the world with that kind of pussified attitude. Seriously. Okay. that’s settled then? Good.