Stop complaining because life is good? Fuck you, bitch, I can call Reno whine one one right now

A woman I had been chatting with in a restaurant lobby for all of ten minutes told me that she was writing a book on that subject and should be on the lookout for it. Not the fuck-off-you-censorious-asshat part, mind you, but the part about the mellow that one dare not harsh. True story. I met this bitch in the lobby of the Black Bear Diner on South Virginia in Reno. I assumed that I was going to get A’Advantage dining miles for my trouble; instead, I got an after-dinner lecture about the fundamental wrongness of complaining when shit is not groovy because shit is, but of course, always groovy. Not her words, to be sure, but very much her sentiment.

I’d reproduce what she said verbatim if I could, but I can’t. Her comments were too fucking bizarre to follow. She tapped a vein of stupid that I flat couldn’t grok. It was worse than listening to the floridly psychotic. Tremorously rocking back and forth on a park bench and muttering “fucky fucky fucky”? Probably an appropriate response to something or other, although God alone knows what. “Smashed in his knees with a two-by-four! Smashed in his knees with a sledgeHAMMER!” is a straightforward tale of violence, and a warning to passersby of the imminent danger of kneecap stigmata upon visitors to the storyteller’s world. “Believe it or not, he IS my fucking savior! Don’t test HIM, pussy!” is bad theology, but there’s worse in American Christianity. (In fairness, this fellow may have just been an asshole.)  All of these are a far cry from “life is good, don’t complain.” I felt like an unctuous piece of shit for mumbling my assent to this bitch’s censorious dipshittery, but there was no good response. It was either remaining pleasant and providing her with the moral hazard she so desired, or objecting and looking like some kind of borderline nutcase or treacherous chameleon.

And I could not have fucking imagined that I’d get blindsided by the likes of that bitch. She seemed reasonable enough at first, a bit overly talkative and dippy, perhaps, but I had hypomanically run my own damn mouth about everything under the sun in Germany, of all places, to the point of spewing seltzer water out my nose during a laughing fit within six hours of clearing immigration, so I was in no position to complain about this woman being too labile. She’d make an excellent ugly American on a visit to the Continent, too, and for all I know she’s probably annoyed her own cohort of Europeans, but for most of our conversation she was nothing worse than a wee bit obnoxious. I was once on a flight from Warsaw to Chicago (I know, Wow Much Travels) with a missionary from Tennessee who kept telling a Polish immigrant Benny Hinn lookalike general contractor from the outer Chicagoland suburbs “ah hear yah!”, when the contractor wasn’t demonstrating his own acculturation by angrily berating the flight attendants, in Polish and English, for not letting him and his wife sit in some crew seats by the window (“Can I see the regulation please!”). My point is that the bitch in Reno wasn’t as bad as either of these fuckers, until she was suddenly much worse.

At that point, her comments were idiosyncratically American in about the same way that the Nazi fervor of the early thirties was idiosyncratically German. Yes, I said that; Hitler was no fan of unabashed free expression by dissidents, either. Granted, the stakes were lower; “being out of work is not an example of life being good” isn’t quite “you know, mein Fuhrer, this concentration camp stuff is bullshit.” Then again, my country’s government uses remote-control bombers to immolate Middle Eastern wedding parties, so Jeremiah Wright wasn’t exactly out of his mind in the matter of God damn America.

As I mentioned briefly, this kooky bitch in Reno said that she was publishing a book about the goodness of life and the wrongness of complaining about the goodness and so forth. I had several reactions to this at once. Holy shit, would anybody actually buy something like that? My God, I think people will buy that. I hope nobody buys her book because she deserves to fail. Realistically, I think, the book will bomb. Would you buy a memoir-cum-brightside screed by a retired gymnastics instructor from Reno? Do you know anyone who would buy a memoir-cum-brightside screed by a retired gymnastics instructor from Reno? I know people who would and at times do buy some dog-ass Christian social control literature, but I don’t think any of them would buy anything by some nobody I once met in a diner on South Virginia. I mean, I’m probably more prominent than she is. I get two or three dozen hits a day on the Dubai Porta Potty essay, whose very existence would horrify my friend from the diner; I hope it does. I have followers in Canada–well, follower in Canada, at least. I know people who know Dana Rohrabacher and Kevin Faulconer, which means nothing but is a nice way to falsely insinuate that I’m a contender and shit. At a different restaurant, I once listened to a maniac carry on about how his brother had been roommates with Jackson Brown and also with Jackson Brown’s brother. Same dude went up on stage with Bruce Hornsby at the Britt Amphitheater. (The waiter later told me, “He’s been telling the same fucking stories for thirty years!”) I may not know people, but I know people who know people.

I know some natural stoics, too. One might think that the lady in Reno is trying to encourage stoicism in the face of adversity or a diminishing of histrionics, but she’s advancing something very different and much worse. The natural stoics I know don’t tell people to shut up and not complain about things that they find worthy of complaint. They aren’t interested in chilling dissent. One of them is a close friend of mine who seems quite comfortable listening to me complain about all sorts of shit for hours at a time. Another is a cradle Protestant who I’ve long thought would make a great Catholic priest, which a mutual cradle Catholic friend of ours seconded (she’s the one who first called him a stoic). My paternal grandmother was a natural stoic. The chick from Orange County who first told me about the flavor saver (compelling me to check with the internet and discover that, Lord have mercy, it’s exactly the flavor I feared it was) is a natural stoic who reminds me a lot of my late grandmother, of all people. Grandma never said anything off-color around us at all, but like this chick from OC, she was one of the most gracious people I’ve ever known; that they would remind me of one another is an inscrutable irony only if you’re a good superficial American, like our friend from Reno.

Who is Catholic, by the way. I think I heard that right in the midst of her carrying-on. Some parishes are infested with people like her, allowing them to dominate everyone else and suck all the oxygen out of the environment. Had there been a few more of them at the parish where I went through RCIA, or had they been louder, I would have dropped out, maybe even run for the hills. A schismatically oriented church would never harbor her kind in the same congregation as a Jesuit. Pull a Catholic out of a hat, and you could get Jerry Brown, or you could get Pope Francis, or you could get a censorious Fox and Friends retiree from Reno who wants you to shut up about things that aren’t peachy keen and limit your comments to what Hugh Hefner’s sometime-fiancee Crystal Harris calls “fun stuff.” She may be writing a book on the subject. She probably edits the parish newsletter, since the Jesuits have better things to do with their time, like govern California.

(Correction: lapsed Jesuits. John “Bye Bye” McLaughlin is one, too. Because Jesuit seminary dropouts fucking rule, is why.)

There may be stuff in your life, or in your country’s politics, that aren’t totally good simply because God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. It may be a good idea to complain about these things instead of shutting up because some Crystal Harris or some dipshit motivational author in Reno would rather talk about something more pleasant. Not everything in life is fun stuff. If you’re as intelligent as Hugh Hefner, you may have reason to express misgivings about spending your golden years with someone as dimwitted as Crystal Harris and the tragic waste you’ve made of your dotage, a waste that no pair of tits is hot enough to transcend. If you went to the Gulf to get shit on by some old Arab pervert after stuffing a live salmon up his ass, you may come home wondering what the hell just happened and wanting to talk it over with someone who is willing to listen to horrific stories of the brokenness of mankind. Sure, you will have brought it on yourself, and done so for a lucrative fee, but still, not all is well in Arabia, my God, Lawrence, it is not. And these monsters are allies cherished above rubies by every high official in Washington. If you had to listen to some censorious aging has-been wax eloquent about her Second Act (TM; I think CBS Sunday Morning has rights to it, because Boomers) as an author and why nobody should complain about anything because it’s all cool, ain’t it, Pangloss (I’d bet any item in the Starbucks cold case that homegirl cannot recall one plot element from Candide), you definitely have cause to bitch about it on the internet, even if it won’t get a tenth the traffic of that sick-ass meta-analysis of highbrow Arab sexual perversion. On the internet, snitches do not get stitches. Maybe they do in the ghetto, or at Dachau, or at Gitmo (if we’re gonna party like it’s 1929), but no whinging dipshit in Reno has shit on me.

Love it or leave it? Fuck off. More like use it or lose it, “it” being free speech. Yeah, I could have called my congressman about TPP fast track authority in less time than it took me to write this screed, but our friend in Reno makes Kim Kardashian look like a civic actor and Kanye West look like a mensch. Besides, no normal American is expected to show those two any respect. They’re obviously clowns. They’re too blatantly narcissistic to be respectable. Some kooky bitch getting up in your face in the lobby of a diner, and a diner that doesn’t even offer A’Advantage miles at that, and expecting praise for her efforts to shame other people out of seeking redress for their grievances because it upsets her, is much more pernicious. That, not some asshat who steals the microphone from Taylor Swift, is the sort of person whose attitudes can sink a republic.

Fun stuff, Mr. Hefner. Morning in America, and would that we had merely a president gone senile, not a whole fucking society.

Fun stuff. Ain’t we got it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s