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Oh go away., November 17th, 1996 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

the soapbox @ benturner.com
archived soapbox: November 17th, 1996
"Oh go away." [permalink]
    keywords: personality, popularity, introversion, people, social, society, talking, mankind
    soapbox #: 59
    written: November 17th, 1996
    words: 857

"Oh go away.", an Essay

I've made references to it. I've skirted around it instead of saying it. I claim no originality to believing in it. I hate people.

I have to be careful what I say this week, or else my mom will call me like some of the other Web essayists' moms do when their children write very anti-peopleish things. I love learning about people, through linguistics, psychology, philosophy, and so forth. It's just interacting with people that I can't stand.

If I had it my way, I'd never have to see any people unless I was friends or family with them. I wouldn't have to deal with peoples' stupidities, endless comments, superfluous questions, or bad personal hygiene. Although I don't remember it, I'm sure I've had a dream where I just go around town to all the best restaurants and stores, and no one else is around. Imagine that! You have the freedom to really look around and indulge in the atmosphere of the place. It's hard to do that with other people around unless you don't mind people looking at you funny.

Take a step back from your different opinions and consider how much fun it would be to go to an empty grocery store, or to go to a department store and try as many clothes on as you want. You could sit on the furniture in that section of the store and you could run around like a madman. You could squeeze the fruit and not be over age 65, or you could sit around and read all the magazines in the periodical section without having to move for other people. You could try on undergarments and not have to buy them afterwards. No one would see it, and nothing would be harmed. Imagine living in a world stripped of social courtesy.

Unfortunately, I wake up from these dreams, and I get up, take a shower, and go eat with a whole bunch of annoying college freshmen. There's an Indian junior whose voice carries his ignorant opinions across the whole cafeteria like the bad stench eminating from some grease vat in the back somewhere. There are dozens of shrilly, high-pitched girlies who run around, evading big stupid jocks. You're just lucky you're merely reading this, not experiencing it. I go to class and am surrounded by drugged out fratboys and perfumed sorobitches who think anything worthwhile is something to put off until graduate school. At least the professors are refreshingly fascinating.

I don't attribute my aversion for people to anything like lack of social skills, introvertedness, or insecurity. I just feel like I'm trying to go to sleep after a few nights of staying up, and my eye burns and blinks and twitches reflexively for hours and hours. It just bothers me and it won't go away. I'd prefer to be by myself, so I can expose myself to what I want to. Kind of like how you chose to read this article. That's how I prefer to operate. With choice and freedom.

I hate people who jabber a lot. I hate people who bother me when it's clear I don't want to talk. I hate those Christian radicals who rant and rave about society from the steps of the West Mall. I hate students who think the 'Net is for compugeeks. I hate people who make your business their business. I hate those I-turned-lesbian-and-then-turned-back-so-I-could-be-with-my-daddy-wink-wink people who are glorified on TV. I hate public relations people.

The list could go on and on, of course, but I'll just generalize the group as 'people'. Much easier that way.

The people I don't hate are those who take the time to be reasonably decent, those who separate themselves from the annoying conglomeration of pseudo-folks described before. I have my family, and I have my friends (those who haven't backstabbed me or shunned me, of course). They do those little things like listen, invite, and give. But at the same time, they force nothing upon me. I like that.

I like that so much that that's how I treat people I meet. I don't force anything on them. I don't try to, anyway. I don't push people into uncomfortable situations and I don't follow unless invited. And you know what? That doesn't work. Certainly not with most women I meet. Filters out the bad ones, I suppose, and leaves me with those whom I'm interested in right now. Men have to be the aggressors still, and I refuse to play that game. I wish not to become just like the rest 'because that's the way it is'.

...and that's the way it is...

And that's the way it is with me. Give me a book by Noam Chomsky on the Language Acquisition Device, give me a book by my famous grandfather about anthropology, give me an insightful article about people and their idiosyncrasies by Pandora, but don't invite me to a party where I'm surrounded shoulder to shoulder with sweaty, annoying people.


 
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