Just the other day, while driving back from the market, I saw a van pulling out of a parking lot. It was a nondescript van, yet not so nondescript that I would assume that it was being driven by a 57 year old, slightly balding man with a mattress in the back who routinely keeps a pocketful of candy in case he runs into the local kids (if you see anyone like this, please alert the local authorities or Crime Watchers if you have one in your area). No, instead it was a mid to late 90’s spoiled cream colored kind of nondescript van driven by a woman who’d crossed the deserts of middle age on a horse with no name. The finish may have once been sleek and shiny but was now approaching a matte finish and had patches where it looked like it had contracted the fiberglass version of the mange. But it was the front tag that got me to stop and think and that led me, from that moment, to drafting this post.
The tag announced:
That one statement hit me like a sack of dead squirrels. So simple, yet so complex in its own, quasi-but-not-really-at-all meta-humor awfulness. Here was a person who drove around in a van that looked like it was ready to vomit itself inside out, who looked like she was holding on to the world with her fingernails and yet still felt like she knew enough to proclaim that everything in front of her was dumb and that we all needed to know this. In that moment, I realized something, something I think we could all benefit from knowing and that might actually help our world. In this way, 90’s van lady has become my teacher, my guru, my savior.
What I realized, what she taught me that day is simple and can be summed up as follows.
NOT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW YOUR WORTHLESS OPINION ON EVERYTHING.
I’m giddy each time I realize this powerful truth. And it is a truth, a truth we’ve forgotten. With Facebook, Twitter, blogs (like this one), we actually think that our opinions matter. Worse than that, we think, nay, we actually believe that people want to hear our opinions. All the time. Well, it’s high time we get back to reality and the reality is that no one gives a sideways shit about what you or I think about things and we don’t need to constantly be airing our sad, tired, uninformed opinions to the world.
Imagine the arrogant delusion we must live under in this society to think that now we even need vanity license plates that proclaim to the world that we think everything is dumb. To think that anyone cares, to think that we, stupid naked monkeys set for inexorable destruction at some point in the possibly near future, are so important that we should just vomit out every tedious, nonsensical, pointless thought that passes through our meat-chunks computer (brain).
But it’s okay now. 90’s Van Lady has shown us the way. With her broke down van of truth and enlightenment, we now can ascend to a higher plane. And how does one do that?
Simple, my slightly greasy adult-babies.
By not constantly assailing people with your fucking thoughts and opinions on everything. By leaving people alone and not forcing our view of existence on others. By realizing that, as my grandfather would say, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Would you go rubbing your asshole on some random person’s eyeballs? Why would you do something so hideous? You’re one of those people like the guy with the candy in his pockets from the beginning of this post if you’d do that. You should report yourself because every time you needlessly throw your uninformed opinions out there you are rubbing your winking brown eye in another person’s face.
By the way, I know I’m guilty of this too. Judge not lest ye be judged and all that. Just writing this blog is an act of rubbing myself all up on your face. I acknowledge it. But I also acknowledge that I might not be right. I also acknowledge that I’m not special and that you shouldn’t listen to me. In fact, go outside and get some vitamin D, you’re looking a bit pale (though that’s better than looking like a bucket).
All I’m saying is that maybe we need to stop yapping, maybe we should learn to listen a little bit more than we speak. Instead of saying, “This is my opinion and fuck you, you’re going to take it!” we should shut our mouth flaps and look around and, gosh this is a strange concept in this day and age, think and contemplate. Not just that, we should all take a good look at ourselves in the mirror and realize that we are not important, our opinions are not interesting, and that people will get on just fine without being hosed by the constant stream of toxic, fetid bullshit we spew in myriad forms throughout our lives. We have created a toxic stew of noise and inanity in our culture and we are both swimming in it and adding to it and at some point, after one final gulp to try to suck a bit more air into our flailing bodies, we’re going to suck a big lungful of the rancid shit down and that will be it.
Too many of us are high on self-importance, on the illusion that the world needs us and our opinions. Just like crack addicts, we seek to get that next high, that next opportunity to vomit our opinions everywhere, all over everyone in the desperate hope that we will find some validation for our existence in the stunned, quasi-concussed look of approval on a random stranger’s face. It all speaks to a seriously skewed perspective on reality that puts a premium on recognition and couldn’t care less about the quiet self reflection needed to even have an opinion worth sharing in the first place.
So let’s not keep adding to the shit-stew. Let’s realize that life isn’t like Twitter or Facebook and that we don’t have to rub our unwashed, brown, puckered opinion butts on people’s faces. Maybe we should just learn to be quiet, to think more, and to yap less.
But that’s just like, my unsubstantiated claim man.