A-Hole In One

  If someone tells you they’re a selfish asshole. They ain’t lying. Retreat
while you still can. That is what they call, a red flag. You may smile or
snicker as they tell you, “No, really, I am an asshole.” Is it true? Yes,
undoubtedly yes. My first high school date, my first official boyfriend, and my
ex-husband all came with a built in
warning disclaimer of the
impending assholedom I would soon suffer if I continued to dole out gobs of my adoring
attention and energy to said self-proclaimed asshole. In each of these cases of
foreshadowed asshole’dness I naively insisted to myself that most people were
assholes, what else is new? I was raised by assholes and a few of my best friends were selfish assholes.
I had no idea I had a choice not to give myself over to an asshole. What then
is my definition of asshole?  As I am
sure my mother will be asking me shorty after reading this. My mom was angry at
the world, a world that wasn’t very kind to her since birth. She has a rough
story, as does my Dad.  They were raised
by assholes. We all have our stories. My parents did their best and worked very
hard to give my brother and myself all the material things they never had. To
do that, they were workaholics. None of us had close relationships or knew each
other very well. My mom was an asshole to my Dad. My Mom was an asshole to me. I
was an asshole to my brother and in return he was an asshole to me. We were
mostly miserable. Assholism runs deep. Our corporate consumer culture in these
United States breeds selfish selfie -assholes.

   I was truly spoiled, living
the born in the eighties “American Dream.”  “Supersize Me”, got nothing on my family. It wasn’t till I was going on nineteen years old that I realized fast food and processed food was unhealthy. I figured if my parents fed it to me and it was sold on every street corner, how could it be bad for me? Why would they sell it? I was raised
up on a steady diet of corporatized sludge both mentally and physically. One of the reasons I consider my parents assholes boils down to one word, sensitive. One of my “sensitivities” was being sick most of my childhood. I got really good at being sick. I got really good at being miserable. I was in pain, I was sick. I had severe stomach pain every day. I spent a lot of time in bathrooms. I had food allergies unknown until my twenties, and thanks to Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto I read a few years ago, it all made sense to me and I silently forgave my parents for not knowing we had been caught in a web of processed deceit executed by corporate governing powers that be. Since I can remember, I’ve always had opinions about how I felt. “Julie’s just sensitive.” Sensitive had become a word I loathed. I was emotional and very in touch with my physical body and nature and I felt all the imbalances. Keeping up with The “Space age” Jones’s in the 90’s, every day you needed
loads of convenience to under-nourish the family and loads of born again strangers to
watch your children while the parental units that couldn’t stand each other
went to a jobs they slaved at miles and miles and a bridge away. Nothing made
sense to me.  Anyhow, yadda yadda, could
have been worse, so, I grew up in a culture out of touch.  I could have been a child in The Democratic Republic
of Congo with a distended belly full of worms and no potable drinking water.
But no, I was living in sunny Northern California chewing Imodium A.D. and
O.D.ing on crack-corn punch Gatoraide at age ten so I would not shit my shorts
at soccer practice. I saw money as the root of all evil.

  Our society
is currently going through another age of “Enlightenment” of sorts. It seems fairly clear that most of us
realize how fucked up American corporatized capitalism is and some are making money blogging about it
(trying to tap that.) Almost nothing is taboo and all information is sent and received
within a blink of an eye. Traveling through time we see our reflections and
have enough convenience to be thinkers and tinkers, shifting and shaping time
as we see fit. Prime assholes. Globalfied ecommerce has hacked the humanity out
of us, but it has also enlightened the masses. One of the things that I’ve come
to terms with is the fact that we now have proof about so many things I and many others attuned finally get to
say, “I WAS RIGHT!” From how we learn Spanish in school to what is inside
a number a #2 on the value menu at McDonald’s, down to the horrid smell of
freshly spawned electronics out of a powder coated plastic sheath that I’ve always complained about and feared toxic. I could go on and on, but I digress.  Inflicted with self-diagnosed “Debbie
Downer-syndrome.” I spent years wanting to go back in time and take the blue
pill not the red. Feeling like I was the “crazy” one for being so “sensitive.” Hitting my adolescence I was a chubby privileged white girl
in the most diverse city in The U.S. with irritable bowels and mommy issues and
felt like Jesus watching my every move, perfect asshole bait. They flocked to
me. I was easy prey and a good victim. I was
bullied by enough. We all have our stories. But more importantly we all have
the opportunity to re-type and re-cast the story and not form the same circle
jerk of asshole dysfunction. You know when your parents say, “Just you wait, when you have kids someday, you’ll
understand.” It’s so true. When you become a parent it changes the entire way
you perceive your parents, for better and/or worse. All you can do as a parent
is try and do better than your parents. Mine did, and though at times I may not
seem it, I am none the less grateful for everything. Life was relatively gentle
on me and luckily people are persistently resilient beings. It’s all on how you
interpret and present your unique findings.

  So my web of assholedom is defined as such; a complex person
who goes to any means necessary to get what he/she wants, over inflated sense
of self,  rarely ever puts
others before him/herself, and projects all his/her complexities onto unwary bystanders through a
combination of deceit, control, and manipulation.  Most people are assholes. Being an asshole
pays handsomely. You have to be an asshole to survive our current state of
affairs. I was not good at being an asshole. But it does slip up every once in a
while when I feel threatened or broke.  That’s what it’s about; it’s a defense mechanism
to fear. Owning fear pays very well to the controlling factor. If you thought
the Nation’s war on drugs was profitable, the war on terror owns it. Fear, it’s
built in us as a survival mechanism.  I
have a respect for assholes. They know how to use fear to take what they want.  Guess that’s why I, like so many, fall for the
“bad guy trying to make good.” Respect may not be the right word, historically it eventually turns to repulsed. For the most part, I do wish at times I had a more devilish
conscience, but I am grateful I do not, for that comes with serious damage.  Assholes aren’t made in a vacuum. It is a
learned survival tool that normally clings to some sad stories. It’s also what
happens when people are raised as commodities to lube the global Soylent Green
exchange. Just like the Mr. Wing says at the end of Gremlins,  “Western society do to Mogwai what it has done to all of nature’s gifts.” Generations of Mogwai end up getting the hose and fed after
midnight.  Bottom line, I do my best to keep my asshole leak contained. Life
is fatal enough, you don’t need to perform the same acts of terror over and
over, end the vicious cycle.  Stop unleashing Gremlins into the world. Live the Golden Rule when you can. Just listen a
bit more, have a little more patience, and try and view things from a different
perspective. Do a little of that every day and maybe, just maybe, you’ll not
raise an asshole. Note to self, first step would be, stop fucking self-proclaimed
assholes. Just sayin.

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