How to be a not-bad person

Dear Blagosphere,

The world is a nasty place, filled with nasty people. I know almost all of my readers (i.e., you) very personally and can say with 100% certitude that none of you are incredible human beings. That’s okay — you don’t have to be!

If you find yourself being irrationally upset about this assertion, take a second to grow up. All set? Truth time: you’re not an incredible person. It’s not your fault. Words like “incredible” and “extreme” have been bastardized and diluted by companies like Mountain Dew and GNC. The definition of incredible: “so extraordinary as to seem impossible.” Historical Jesus doesn’t even live up to that standard (only magic Jesus from books does).

So far, so good. Now, what if I told you that you’re not even good? Well, that’s going too far! I know I’m a good person, you might say.

“morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious”

Are you that? I’ve never even met anyone who’s that. If you are that, congratulations on navigating the gray-area subjectivityscape that is “morality” to perfection. It’s not actually a thing, so rather than exploding my brain while trying to imagine you doing that, I’m just going to picture select scenes from Tron: Legacy in my brain to approximate your experience. Also, you’re a liar, so now you’re one of us “normies,” in which case, keep on reading.

So now that we’ve cleared up why incredibility and goodness, in the purest interpretations of those words, are impossible to achieve, my thesis: Be a not-bad person. Aiming low? You bet. But if there’s one thing the youth of today’s America could learn, it’s to aim lower. Reign that ego in. You’ve got absolutely nothing coming to you, and you’re probably not going to end up being Turtle from Entourage.

I digress … if I may summon Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative (or whatever version of it I remember from college), we should basically act in a way that we would will all others to act. So, acknowledging that even being good is way too fucking hard, let’s try to be not bad. If everyone was not bad, imagine how great the world would be? And it’s so simple: just don’t be an asshole. You know when you’re really being an asshole. Cut the shit, stop being an asshole.

In case you don’t know, here is a list of things you can start doing to be not bad/stop being an asshole, in no particular order:

  • Don’t yell from your car at someone riding a bike. Riding a bike sucks, man. It sucks harder when people are yelling at you from machines that are way more technologically advanced. Picture how Will Smith felt when those aliens dogfight-murdered Harry Connick Jr. with their awesome spaceships and he was stuck in that shitty jet. That movie is why the Pentagon budgeted the F-22 Raptor: fact.
  • Don’t ride your bike on car-roads, because then we have to drive really slow behind you until the road straightens out and there’s nobody coming in the other lane. This shit takes forever, and it’s nerve wracking because part of me really wants to hit you with my car, just to see how it would feel — maybe just to see if I could get away with it? Anyway, don’t put me through that, and it really fucks up summer traffic. So please, find a bike path or stick to back roads.
  • Stop telling me I look like a terrorist when I don’t shave. I get it. Also, that shit is racist. Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof Group? There’s actually a pretty good movie about it. Lots of nudity and gunfights, but it’s in German. Still, nudity and gunfights.
  • Don’t walk real slow in the gym on your way to the fountain when I’m stuck behind you, just because you’re jacked and you know I can’t do anything about it. Yeah, I know you’re cool. But I’m thirsty and I could have a fucking gun, man. You don’t know. I don’t have a gun.
  • Don’t genocide people.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Don’t drive really slow in the left lane. That’s what the right lane’s for. I will tailgate the shit out of you.
  • Try to see things from other people’s dumb perspectives.
  • Don’t let guys buy you drinks unless you actually like them. That’s called using people. If you let guys buy you drinks and you don’t even like them, you are using a human being so that you can get free drugs. (Alcohol is a drug.) This is kind of true for coffee too, depending on how expensive the coffee is.
  • Don’t be a dick to people, unless it’s actually funny. It doesn’t count if you just think it’s funny. That makes you a bigger asshole.
  • Don’t talk publicly about politics/religion/Apple products.
  • Like, kinda try to not be on your phone all the fucking time when you’re with people. Unless you’re just pretending to use your phone because the situation’s awkward, in which case I completely understand.

Alright, I’m done with this.

-X

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