I Do Everything I'm Not S'posed To Do
Monday, August 6, 2007
On purpose, even.
I smoke. I drink. I'm "fat" (from now on, I'm going to be using quotes around that word, because I think it's penultimately subjective, but according to the Holy BMI, I am F.A.T.). I don't "exercise" (likewise, "exercise" will be in quotes hereinafter, because I don't consider gardening, teaching, the ability to lift heavy objects, or sex as "exercise" -- even though these activities, for me, frequently involve heavy lifting, pushing, sweating, panting, pushing, groaning, grinding, thrusting . . . oh, you get the picture).
I curse. I blaspheme. I lose my temper. I whine.
I am a big old homo. I have consumed nearly every illegal drug that exists at one time or another.
I choose not to send birthday and christmas cards to my family of origin.
I let my leg hair and armpit hair grow without harvesting it.
I allowed my kids to watch TV, and play video games when they were growing up. I watch TV and play video games myself to this very day.
Clearly, I must be a menace to society.
I am a statistical anomaly -- according to "conventional wisdom", I should be, at the very least, rampantly unhealthy and unhappy, and at the most, dead -- but I'm none of these.
So much of status quo media and advertising seems to be concentrated on nailing down some formula for "health" (completely subjective), or some bomb-proof prescription for "happiness" (completely subjective), or the demarkation of some standard of "normalcy" (not even subjective -- non-existant -- normal never existed, and never will!) -- that it seems to me that many people that I know spend a great deal of time trying to figure out where they are on some farcical (and ever-shifting) scale of healthy/happy/normal, rather than spending much, if any, time figuring out where they actually are.
I was born in the 50's, an era which had its happy/healthy/normal prescription pretty much sewed up -- all you had to do was a) graduate from high school and possibly college, b) marry someone of the opposite gender, c) squirt out a couple of babies (if you were female) or get a job (if you were a male), d) buy a house, e) sell your soul to your employer for 40 years or so, then f) retire and prepare for your ultimate fate (nursing home, followed by Death).
Easy, right? And Oh-So-Satisfying!
Except it wasn't. Not for anyone that I have ever known, even amongst the biggest dispensers of this prescription -- my parents' generation.
For me, the prescription broke down when I realized that I was queer, and that Step B was going to be a bit tricky for me. Once I figured out that I hadn't, and probably never would attain Step B, and I was still healthy and happy, while my sister, who had followed the prescription to a "T" seemed both unhealthy and unhappy, I really started taking a second look at that prescription. That was back in the 70's.
What is shocking to me is how many smart, educated young people these days seem convinced that the 1950's protocol of School, Mate, Babies/Job, House, Retirement is actually viable. Even though it didn't really work for their parents, or their grand-parents. I'm struck by how many young parents I hear repeating the same old cants of "Well, you don't know how hard it is to stay home with the kids all day!/Well you don't know how hard it is to go out and work all day!" -- I mean, hasn't this been done to death, already?
I'm struck by how many parents who are my age or slightly younger, who snuck out to smoke pot, drop acid, and/or drink alcohol as teenagers are absolutely shocked and outraged when their now-teen-aged children do the same thing. ('Cuz, like, their own parents shock and outrage was such an effective antidote, and kept them from doing these things, right?)
It's just weird to me.
That's why I no longer follow the prescription that Mr. Socio-Cultural Wizard handed me in 1956, and I'm pretty wary any time I see some new prescription that guarantees health, happiness, and normalcy.
In the 1960's, everyone knew that margarine was "healthier" for you than butter. Except now it's not, because trans-fats will KILL you, and everyone knows that. In the 1960's, everyone knew that you needed to eat meat every day to get all your protein needs met. Except now you don't, because meat will KILL you, and everyone knows that. Except the Atkins people, who know that meat will not kill you, but Carbohydrates will KILL you. In the 1960's everyone knew that drinking 3 glasses of milk every day was an important part of the "nutrition pyramid". Except now, it isn't, because milk has fat, which will KILL you. Or maybe it is, because it has calcium, which will help keep you from being KILLED. Or maybe it isn't, because you're allergic to bovine dairy products, and your gut will swell up, which will KILL you.
One of the wonderful things about getting a bit older is this: You get to watch a lot of "science" tell you a lot of things about what will KILL you, and you get to look around for yourself and notice who's actually dead, and who is actually not dead.
Personally, I think the number one thing that will KILL you is being dead while you're still alive -- paying so much attention to crap that doesn't really fucking matter that you have no attention left for the things that do matter, or plastering your consciousness-windows with so much bullshit "science" (which in most cases is funded by food and drug companies with something to sell) that you can no longer see clearly into the world that you inhabit.
Facts: I'm a "fat", healthy, dyke, who enjoys tobacco, alcohol, red meat, video games, and television. I also read voraciously, breathe and get around just fine, thank you, have work that I enjoy and that people are happy to pay me to perform, and most importantly, am vibrantly alive, and "happier" than probably 90% of the people that I know or know of. Like I said, I'm a statistical anomaly.
I credit this to the moment I stopped paying attention to that man behind the curtain -- you know -- the one who was supposed to make everything all better?
That is all.
Posted byPortlyDyke at 1:24 AM