Friday, July 30
wherein i swear a lot
I played Ultimate last night, as per Thursday usual. Spent the better part of the game thinking maybe I ought to just give up the sport, walk away and let my body return, as it so clearly longs to, to a state of near-total uselessness. Every dropped disc, stupid throw, and incompetent reading of field position felt like something was whispering at me -- Why don't you know better by now? -- building up to a scream -- What the fuck are you doing?
Eventually I realized that I was letting the random, shit-talking arrogance of one person play hell with my game and my general mental state, and things started to improve. I stopped making quite so many stupid mistakes. By the final point I had shaken off most of the self-loathing, or at least forced it back into the darker corners of my brain. I knew that I would keep playing, and that if I was tired of sucking - well, probably I would just try to get better. Weird that this game can mess with my head so much? Maybe.
I think rage and bitter recrimination, self-directed or otherwise, are habit forming drugs.
I was watching the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention the other night. Bill O'Reilly and his ludicrously titled "no spin zone". I kept thinking You completely loathsome fuck. I wanted to hurt something in response. Something self-assured and wealthy and destructive and hideously complacent. I could see the entire impervious wall of self-reinforcing radical-conservative-whatever-it-is bullshit right there in O'Reilly's fatuous, self-satisfied face, and I wanted to smash it.
And about then I had the minor epiphany that I just wasn't having any fun at all. And I really started thinking about this. It's not any fun hating people like Bill O'Reilly or Ann Coulter or James Dobson. It's really not. The rage is addictive, but it's completely unfulfilling. All it does is eat away at the channels of your reason and empathy, feeding the sick machine that sustains these people - your hatred is infinitely preferable to your indifference, vastly more nourishing.
I turned the TV off.