Your first mistake is thinking that what you say matters. Which doesn’t mean that what you say doesn’t matter, but when you put yourself out there in a public forum such as, say, Thought Catalog and you’ve got all your pride invested in the opinion you’re speaking from the podium, you’re asking to have your self-worth challenged when people inevitably (and it is inevitable) tell you that you’re wrong, or out-of-hand, or totally misguided.
Girls with soft skin, dark hair, and slender bodies are God’s gift to man. All other girls are expendable. Do I mean that? Nah. But what part of that sentence got to you? It was “slender bodies” wasn’t it? Because what I really said was “skinny girls only” and that’s pretty fucked up. But what if I meant it? What if I came out here and said, skinny girls are the only important girls, and the rest of you can leave? Now I’m begging to be cursed off and shouted at and made to feel like a goon. Which is cool. It’s only a problem if I thought that what I said matters.
I can say whatever I want as long as I know that I’m not much more than a voice in the void. Black cars are fastest. Girls with tattoos on their backs have invariably had warm sperm shot onto their backs. Raccoons make fine house pets because trash is a renewable pet food resource. People who feed their pet raccoons out of old school metal trashcans are the only decent pet owners. Obviously none of that is true, but I have the privilege of saying it in a place where all of you can read it. The scary part happens when someone reads it and agrees with me, and they come along and tell me I’m right. Now I think what I say matters. Now my opinion of myself and of the world around me is intertwined with what I’m spouting.
Red wine makes your writing sell. Coffee always makes your pee smell like coffee. Cell phone salesmen are condescending assholes. Boil your old bathwater and recycle it into drinking water. The apocalypse is nigh. None of that is true until readers take it seriously, or until I take it seriously—then it might be true for me, or I’m insane. Either way I’m responsible for plucking it from the ether birthing it unto you.
So what if I said Conservatives are all racist, Liberals are communist hippies, and Mormons are the only ones the rest of us are going to be able to turn to when the sky starts raining fire, because everyone knows they’ve all got fallout shelters underneath their homes? There are people out there who believe those things, and worse yet, they think that it matters!
I’m not saying that people don’t matter. Everybody matters. And there are certainly people out there affecting positive change with their beliefs. In order for them to do their good work they need to talk and share with those who are likeminded and think that what they say matters, so, hooray! But there is too much toxic shit being spewed into our airwaves and transmitted to our homes, and there are too many people thinking that it matters, when it doesn’t matter to them. Ebola isn’t going to effect my day. Neither is the Sony hack. It’s not. (Actually, no, wait, fuck that—I wanted to see The Interview) But it could disrupt my day if I start to think it matters. I hope Ebola is cured and that no one else dies. But I myself am not in a position to do anything about it right now, and I don’t know anyone who’s got it. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care if Jeb Bush runs for president. I don’t care if this next election is a Bush/Clinton throw down. I’ll probably vote, but forgive me for saying that it doesn’t matter who gets elected. It doesn’t.
I really don’t know what I was getting at with all this, but I hope you read and enjoy it.
But even if you don’t… it doesn’t matter.