Choosing Misery: The Culture of Victimhood and Ingratitude

Attention all armchair crusaders, warriors of the web, and victims of life, the universe, and everything:

Take a break from your e-rantings, your Twitter manifestos, and your Justrage railings. Stop screaming at your screens for a moment – they can wait, and the odds of them walking away are slim. Put down your Frappuccino, your Doritos, and your frozen pizza.

This is meant for you.

Not long ago, I happened upon an article on society’s newest scourge – one more aggressive than a microaggression, more fearsome than a raging Bull Connor, and more phallic than a good five-cent cigar – creeping sexism.

Terrified yet?  Collect your thoughts, change your underwear, and get back to your screens as soon as you can.

Beware of this great evil – one that would leave Brother Number One aghast and in tears.  Here is the root of our nation’s problems:

Referring to mixed-gender groups as “you guys.”

Yes, that’s it!  That’s what’s killing our economy, molesting our innocents, and driving us ever closer to the sulfurous abyss.

...Now, here is the real problem: that every self-righteous, mollycoddled twit with a keyboard considers it a duty to spew forth inane writings addressing the endless list of so-called social inequities.

I have been inspired to join the fray, only I won't be waging war against those standing in the way of universal equality and tolerance.  My war will be fought against the irate, status-updating, post-sharing keyboard warriors who perpetuate this culture of blind, banal fury because they are so desperate to feel alive and with purpose that they seek to create an adversary where none naturally exists.

Heavens, I am cruel, and the world has been cruel and unfair to us, hasn't it, my victimized friends?

Or has it?

Perhaps all of these causes that keep too many of us energized, falsely ennobled, and indignant; that appear to give us some greater sense of use and purpose (while conveniently requiring no sacrifice at all), allow us to ignore the facts that very few of us in this land of privilege face or have faced any real struggles, that our lives are hollow and lonely, and that millions of us contribute nothing to society but vitriol.

Consider, warriors, the tremendous value of critically examining our own minds and thought processes; of understanding how we may best contribute to the world; of knowing those around us (not just their screen names); of observing and learning from our environment; and of cultivating gratitude for the countless lives and millennia of sacrifice required to make our lives nearly effortless and more comfortable than those of kings in generations past.

Do you truly believe the smartphone or computer upon which you're reading this was invented by fairies?  Do you think your car is the handiwork of elves?  Do you believe that having food on demand, a house of forever moderate temperatures, and a life in which polio, smallpox, and tetanus are little more than diseases written about in history books is the natural order of things?

The technology before you is the result of lifetimes of hard work and innovation, and for every person who grew rich and successful from patents, royalties, or publications, a thousand great souls sacrificed themselves for all that we have today – their unrecognized and stolen creations and discoveries, even their noble failures, were all requisite for these lives of ease and self-indulgent pity.

Let all decent and thoughtful men and women stand together and shame those who undermine our collective sanity and peace of mind with their petty, trivial, and moronic causes.  Let all of us, the grateful ones, call this nonsense what it is: something upon which the useless and the vile fixate so that they may deceive themselves into believing that they serve some purpose in life beyond that of mechanical ducks – ingesting and excreting whatever is thrust before them.

I propose a movement that calls out, without hesitation or reservation, the arbitrary nature of these causes and recognizes that anyone who promotes the idea that we are all equal in every way is not only a fool, but a dangerous one.

We are not all equally failing, indifferent, dimwitted, or immoral, nor are we all equally talented, worthy of love and attention, successful, or productive.  Not everything is subjective.  Not everything is just an opinion.  To collectively believe otherwise is suicidal, and this thinking has directly contributed to the decline of our civilization, one in which far too many people are now appallingly ineffectual, apathetic, and unskilled.

The notion that all people, no matter what they do or don’t do, accomplish or don’t accomplish, are equal – no better or worse than anyone else – must be fought against.

We are fast becoming a nation of lazy, spoiled weaklings, incapable of introspection, a place where every legitimate accomplishment must be minimized and every failure must be excused, lest the egos of the Cheetos-munching e-masses be turned black and blue from the trauma of the truth.

I propose that we build a culture of deliberate thought and unbiased observation, where each and every person’s contribution is considered with care, regardless of age, sex, or race.  This is not equality – I despise the word equality.  It has come to mean nothing more than the flattening of our perceptions, the dismissal of our abilities to maturely reason and judge, and a willful ignorance of our variations in intellect, knowledge, skill, and moral fiber – real differences that constitute the only sort of diversity worth taking into account.  “Equality” as it is being thrust upon us by the champions of mediocrity is an insult to the memories and legacies of the true innovators – the heroes of discovery – that gave us computers, cars, unparalleled health and longevity, and perpetually full bellies.

These heroes were not the equals of their peers; they were their superiors, just as those who carry on this noble struggle today are our superiors.  To say otherwise is to lie perniciously.

Are you capable of surviving outside our bubble of engineered luxury?  How many of us can grow or hunt our own food, or can build shelters to protect ourselves from the elements?  How many of us possess the wherewithal and dedication to rear our own children?

Rather, we eat from refrigerators, live in prefabricated boxes, and dump our children in public schools.  We shuttle our spawn from one extracurricular activity to the next and otherwise avoid their dreaded company at all costs, while somehow still managing to feel as though we are involved, dedicated parents.  We are safe in the knowledge that the cereal they eat is fortified, the water they drink will not infect them with cholera, and their scrapes and broken bones will not turn gangrenous.

This is what we have been permitted to become, yet we rarely consider what allows us to survive in our current state of unfitness.  Nature extends only begrudgingly the modest kindness of a merciful death to the sick, the slow, or the lacking in initiative; however, we, even the most underwhelming of us, live in comfort.  Consider that.  Consider those who made it so.

Open your eyes, hearts, and minds, my friends.  Take a step back from all your pettiness, and try to take in the big picture.  This is not a global malady – it is a disease of excess.  Still, most of us “living” in the developed world aren't really living at all: we are too busy being hurt and offended for that.  We are sustained by a complex and artificial social and technological apparatus to which the vast majority of us have contributed nothing, yet the bulk of us appear far too obtuse, oblivious, or maliciously ignorant to be aware of as much.

Do you live in this world of fantasy?  Have you not stopped to consider the horrific suffering of those who lived before you and the hellish lives of far too many around the globe today?

Take stock of what you are and your real strengths and limitations – look at them unflinchingly.  Acknowledge your privilege and the profound obscenity of this psychosis of affluence and boredom.  Remember that we are not all equal – rejoice in that.  We owe our lives and our comfort to our betters.  Honor them and their sacrifices in all that you do and whenever you make use of the fruits of their genius.

Rid yourself of all your illusions and self-deceptions.  Do not obsess over slights and minor transgressions.  Enjoy the glorious inheritance of hard-won knowledge that you have been given – that we have all been given.  Use it wisely and with compassion.  Contribute to it if you can – there is great honor in trying to do so, even if you fail.  Do not partake of the bile and vomit.  Free yourself of the idiocy of the self-pitying do-nothings, the perpetual victims, and the ungrateful parasites.

Live free for your remaining time – and all of us have but a short time left, as we have from the day we were born.

Live free until you die.