Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's not me, it's you

Sometimes, you just have a bad day. Sometimes, you work a 16-hour day, find out an old flame is openly fucking a co-worker, get turned down by a new flame, get harassed for money by your bank, get harassed for money by your insurance company, get harassed by strangers, get harassed by former co-workers who have no brains, and fail to get a job even though you kicked ass in the interview. Actually, that was two days for me, but who's counting? I still feel like shit.

Hey, at least I can comfort myself with the fact I live in a land where competent people are in charge, there is reasoned and passionate debate about issues that matter, and everyone has unfettered access to food, housing and medical care. What's that? None of these things are happening? Well, what is going on?

I have a word for it: insanity. Bill Maher alluded Friday on his HBO show to a study by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which found that 20 percent of people age 18 to 25 believe in no god, representing a nearly twofold increase in the past 20 years. Maher said that even though 20 percent is still a minority, it is larger than the number of several politically significant groups, and those who thought the Iraq war was a bad idea were once a minority, too, and history is full of examples of minorities that grew into consensus. Perhaps, as Maher surmises, we atheists aren't the "crazy ones." Everyone else is.

Perhaps it isn't my lack of religion alone that makes me different and apart from the ruling majority. I'm beginning to think we have a zeitgeist of insanity. That is to say, most people are crazy. Psychologically unbalanced. Messed up. A bit gone in the head. However you want to put it. And in order to succeed in a system designed for the insane, it behooves you to be insane.

Only I'm not. I'm a functioning, capable, intelligent human being with education, experience, references, charm and good looks. (If I may say so myself). Only in a skewed world would someone like me repeatedly meet overwhelming resistance to his efforts to achieve basic life goals. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to earth off-kilter.

And in case you're wondering, no, I'm not joining the legions of the wackos just to fit in and get ahead. I really have no interest in this grand asylum bash the majority of this country seems to be planning, and if I you're asking me to act like a fool, there's something I learned about in the fifth grade called dignity. I refuse to degrade myself just for the privilege of riding the short bus with everyone else. If I have to, I'll walk, even in the rain.

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