Saturday, January 5, 2019

Manhood (Part Two)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't yet, aka the Stickies) to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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                                  Who The Hell Is This Guy?

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars 
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse  
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader

"Nearly half of the American population is eagerly anticipating the end of the world. This dewey-eyed nihilism provides absolutely no incentive to build a sustainable civilization. Many of these people are lunatics, but they are not the lunatic fringe."   -Sam Harris  

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,

Sorry, I've got to continue my letter to Anomy.

Dear Anomy,

In part one I discussed the fact that I came up in a much more structured environment than you. What I was getting at was, well, I'm trying to answer a question.

"He's been walking along the edge of the cliff for a while now, which is normal and to be expected. Was he consciously waiting to turn 18 so he could jump off with minimal familial restraints and legal complications?"

Before I go on let me acknowledge that your situation undoubtedly seems much worse to us than it does to you. In spite of a normal amount of insecurities -- acknowledged or otherwise -- paradoxically, it's also normal for you to feel like you're bulletproof, ten feet tall, and you have all the time in the world.

We (you know who we are) felt that way too; we learned many lessons the hard way. Knowing that, since we love you and worry about you, we fear you might make even bigger mistakes than we did, perhaps one that you can't come back from. A second cousin of yours who has been locked away for a very long time comes immediately to mind.

I know, I know... we can't help it, we're grups, we worry. But no one would've predicted that what happened to him, would happen to him.

Monkeys & Cliffs
A while back, when you were enduring/surviving middle school I repeatedly pointed out to you that H. sapiens are (hopefully) high functioning primates. This was to teach you why -- since you were part of a troop of young, male H. sapiens, whose brains wouldn't mature (maybe...) for another decade or so and factoring in the power of DNA and testosterone -- you were witnessing insanity on a daily basis. Ooh-ooh, ah-ah! as the evil step-twins used to say.

For the record, I never said that that's as good as it gets.

I pointed out that in high school there would be glimmers of hope. That after that the glimmer would get brighter and that by the time you, and most of your contemporaries, reached the age of 25 or so you would find yourself living in a different word.

That the secret, at that point, was to keep piling up wisdom points as you aged, and to never stop. To keep evolving and never become a frozen caricature of a younger version of yourself, a disturbingly common fate for many.

"Wait a sec' I don't remember you saying most of that I..."

That's because I devilishly came at you mostly indirectly, and tried to teach by example as much as possible, the best way to try and teach almost anyone almost anything about this sort of thing.

The bad news is my devious plan seems to have failed.

Your position is that the world is being run by dumb monkeys and that at least you have the wisdom to acknowledge this and have decided to leap off the cliff and be done with it. What's worth striving for in a world of dumb, often evil, monkeys? The smart money's on "Eat, drink (smoke weed), and be merry, for tomorrow we die."

Everyone suffers a series of kicks in the crotch in the course of their gradual transformation from innocent child to a grup that has to live in the real world. You started early, when your Nana died -- and you're smarter and more sensitive than you realize and/or let on.

Cases in point: the average child doesn't get seriously pissed off because his loved ones have been lying to him when he finds out there's no Santa.

Particularly the kid, not long before that, who looked at me like I was a moron when I asked if he enjoyed shaking the Easter Bunny's hand and said, "That wasn't the Easter Bunny, that was just some guy in a suit, I could feel his fingers through the costume." Just sayin'.

Yes, there's no shortage of dumb and evil monkeys in the world but you're overreacting to discovering that fact. You're using it as an excuse to embrace cynicism, worse yet, nihilism, a potentially fatal cultural virus that's currently considered cool and has gained control of the DNA of our -- everything's entertainment and the circus is always on -- society.

Wikipedia: "Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value."

Trust me on this, self-medicating won't kill this bug. My next letter will tell you what does. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day. 
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©2018 Mark Mehlmauer

[I haven't got around to figuring out the official way to do this yet... but as of 12.15.18 I'm offering up my humble scribbles under a Creative Commons License. That is to say, Anyone may republish my columns anywhere -- as long as they don't alter them and as long as they credit me (Mark Mehlmauer) as the [I haven't got around to figuring out the official way to do this yet... but as of 1 author, and, link to my website, The Flyoverland Crank.

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