Tuesday, February 1, 2011

TMC Volume 2, Issue 5
Section II: I Built this Bunker for Kicks, not Bombs

I'm backposting today, so even though the timestamp on this entry is going to be on tuesday, I'm actually writing this today (Thursday). It's like that movie, Timecop.Or Deja Vu or something. Anything with time travel that only works in one direction.

I have the benefit of working with a boss who has the same religious beliefs as I do. While we certainly don't have the same work ethic (not that I do not strive for the same that she has, I am simply saying that I don't have it), it's quite the boon to have this other thing in common. It actually makes our interactions, conversations, and even disciplinary lectures more meaningful. Can you believe she still lectures people? I mean, just everybody. I'm not the only one she talks to as though I am completely ignorant of SO MANY facts about the world. It's in her nature to teach. Back on topic, I bring up this point only because it's relevant to what happened today (Tuesday).

I've been having a lot of issues with Cvo lately, as you may have guessed from my last rant about his generally lax attitude and unwashedness, (and no, I still refuse to believe he has some sort of Doug-esque Jim Jinkins fantasia of a closet that contains many perfect replicates of the same outfit. I'm certain he simply goes home, strips to bare ass, hangs all of his clothes in the sun in attempts to disinfect them, and crawls into a small room that is furnished only by a faucet and hole in the ground and cries himself to sleep after reading 3-4 science articles each night. Sucks for me on those days when there isn't enough sunshine.) As a result of my...issues...with him, my attitude has become increasingly bitter and difficult in regards to all my other tasks as well. Nasty, nasty business.

So my boss, in her consummate wisdom and pedantic tone, meets with me before the day begins to discuss these...issues. We speak in moderate tones, back and forth as we progress deeper and deeper into the situation. I slowly make it clear to her that I in fact do not like the way he operates. His mind can't accept certain answers. He questions the protocols that I've learned and followed with repeated success. He asks questions that can't be answered in a single sentence or in simple language that he can understand since I can't describe it in Chinese. He smells like he lives in a small room that is furnished only by a faucet and bottomless hole with the circumference of the average troglodyte's asshole.(ok so I didn't really say that last part). He rubs me the wrong way some times.

What's her answer? I'll give you a hint: it start with an H. I knew from the start. That's what makes listening to these lectures so much easier. I know the answer. Back in school it was like that too. I knew the answer. I just never spoke up. It's what made school simple. Knowing exactly what the teacher would say before she said it. The only problem (as it's a problem now, I find) is that it only applies to situations in which I have the same worldview as the other person. I can read your mind, as long as you're thinking what I'm thinking.

Apart from the non-sequitir comments about genetically enhanced brain-mice that you may conjure from that statement, my situation is as simple as that. I am supposed to read other people's minds. We all are, apparently. We expect others to, to a degree. And when they don't, especially after working with them for protracted periods of time or after knowing them and interacting with them, we only have two choices, either conform to their way of thinking when we are talking to them (accomodation) or simply ignore the fact that they act differently and relegate them to a place of non-personhood (assimilation). In that place, it's easy to objectify and even genuinely hate people, and to that end, in my mind, to essentially regard them as non-human.

I try my hardest to never resort to that place...it's a dark and unforgiving place. And it is a double-edged sword. The false elegance of that simple solution cuts both ways. Nietzsche wasn't a fool when he said "when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you". When we objectify others, whether in pain or pleasure, with deliberation or recklessness, we objectify ourselves as well. For every person who ends up in our gaping gravitic maw of non-humanness, a part of our mind is trapped there as well. And the more often we do it, the more often I do it, the more aware I am of my own dark nature, the more darkness I feel occupying my heart and soul. To the practiced objectifier, this feeling may be comforting, like the relief that comes from closing a strong steel door in the face of an oncoming horror. But to the uninitiated, it's a foreboding feeling that loses its sting only after years of acclimation.

And yet, even then, the chill of that cold steel door as it slams reassuringly shut eventually seeps deep, deep into the heart...