Playin’ The Game

Minneapolis, MN
Tuesday, 28 August 2001

[originally posted on the old TCPunk message board, v.1.0]

Here are some other topics that really ticked me off at one time or another …

I’m going to have to put this one in a personal context, because: a) I don’t feel capable of speaking for anyone else in terms of what’s “right”, and b) I think I can explain this better from how these thoughts have existed in my own life.

When I was a 12-year old wannabe activist, one of the things that upset me more than anything, was my mother telling me that I was going to have to learn how to play the game, like everyone else, if I wanted to make it in the world. I still feel that way, over thirty years later. I don’t play games, and I don’t think they’re necessary. My mother’s words rang true enough; I haven’t “made it” in the world, at least not in the conventional sense, but that would never have worked for me anyway.

Being rather outspoken has continually pissed people off around me, since I was a kid, which is funny, considering I’ve always been pretty shy. Still, when you gotta ask questions, or call something the way you see it, you just do what you have to do. I’ve never conformed to traditional societal expectations, and I haven’t conformed to the pat “alternatives” either. This means I’m not very cool in either camp. So what? Ironically, both sides don’t like me for almost exactly the same reasons: because of my education (not classifiably intellectual enough for the straight conservatives, too “deep” for the so-called liberals), my appearance (not clean-cut enough, vs. not punk enough), things like that. So much for being honest and setting an example for anyone.

In our society, regardless of where you stand, all other sides and points of view can and do make it their business to find fault with you. People celebrate you only when you seem to be representing them, but it’s because it makes them feel good, it’s not about what you are actually doing for yourself. There are too many people into manipulating others, and it’s just plain evil, through and through.

If you can’t deal with other people the way they are, just leave them alone. There’s no reason to try and change anyone, and if you benefit by doing so, you’re pretty despicable in my book. Since human beings have decided that they’re a better brand of animal than the rest of the food chain, it’s kind of sad how we still tend to behave so territorially, and validate our own existence through whatever we can inflict on others, just for the sake of demonstrating our own superiority.

No, I’m not saying “you” like it’s you I’m talking to. It’s just the proverbial, conversational “you”.

A final thought: although I stated that I don’t feel capable of speaking for anyone else as to what might be “right” for them, I still maintain nonetheless that they owe it to everyone else to let on if they’re playing a game that will affect you. I’ve seen plenty of people not do this, and it just ends up hurting people, and I have yet to think of a good reason for doing that.

© J.Free / The New Puritan ReView; 2001; 2022