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July 20th, 2006

Idle Chat: Heart Care Bear

This is a common chat experience I dread:

hey hey
you just get home?
what you doin'?
just sitting here, listening to music
...(errie silence pervades the screen)
i was thinkin' about heading out...
where to?
maybe run.  it's bootiful out
my knees kill me running
ahh, that's right.  i forgot
...(errie silence returns)
what you gonna do later on?
i dunno, prob' watch a movie, see what's up
well i gotta run, bye
UGH.  Is this the usual? 

I hate such chat conversations because they leave me feeling like there was something else going on that I was not good enough to enjoy.   My point is a complaint, namely, that whenever I am thrilled  to do something with someone, they drag me down with extended excuses.  My point is not, and I cannot express this more clearly, that we should disrespect online friends, disregard their emotions, or merely use people.  Rather, I agree with my (ex-)friend Adam the Redhead that we must reject social norms, whereby normal does not mean a revolt against the positions of people, rather an abolishment of interaction explicitly used to ensure you get the best deal for the night!  I am probably insulting my friend Matt on this point, but I have changed my mind on his economic interpretation of socialization.  Matt's ingenius interpretation, as far as I understand, is to make multiple plans: a primary and at least one secondary plan for the evening, with different friends.  This social system insures you against cancellations or excuses, and it ensures that you are going to be doing something that evening with the best of someones.  Such an economic application of socialization, as described by this multiple-plan system, cannot coexist with living in the moment!  Instead of wading out multiple invites or awaiting the possibility of someone else coming along to offer a better excursion, just fuckin' DO IT!  This is what living in the moment means: irrational ignorance of anything beyond the future ... and any mistakes from the past.  If one has a myriad of other things to do, chores and what nots -- or in my case, recharging in the privacy of my room --, then frankly say, "I need to stay home".  This frankness is the proper social grace because it frees the person; they can get on with their life.

So here's my ideal chat.  You'll laugh, but with Heart Care Bear -- who I would always tease but we would never cross that line -- I would actually have fun:
OMG!  hey buttercups!
:)  what you upto snookums?
oh, you know, just got home from the work-a-thon
mmhmm.  me too.  so I need to unwind you?
you mean you need to wind me up ;P
hehe.  Energizer bunny.  so let's go running...
alrighty, i just gotta change.
me too.  what you wanna do after?
grab some dinner.  what you craving?
thai for sure.  you got the stuff at your place?
yep, bought groceries yesterday. 
be there in abit.
I sound hippie for sure, but Heart Care Bear and I are gonna have fun!  Nah nah, boo boo!
For some time I kept private my realization that the individualistic revolution is suffocating me.  This revolt promised freedom from group think by proclaiming the individual divine and that my divinity would attain ultimate self-fulfillment.  Now I find that its machina demands allegiance and insidiously operates only for itself, and possibly, graciously considers my interests only while I conform.

Rather than freeing me, individualism sends its Ego-bots to critize a Hollywood movie that I happened to like, chastize my purchase of a food processed by a subsidiary of Warmonger Corp., forewarn that, by not laughing at every joke made at Bush's expense, I passively support imperialism.  Egoists informed me that altruism is, in fact -- beyond all skepticism --, a dilusion, and they scoffed at popular ideas that I attributed to them.  Their acceptance of the independent movie, a micro-brewery downtown, the small-town coffee shoppe, the anarchist state, and other products of the revolution were in no way reflections of a group's will.  Sundance is not like Hollywood, they claim; 42nd Street Bar is not like Busch, Crossroads is not like Starbucks, the island nation is not like the US, they say; all these ego-centric establishments are free from peer pressure and organized bureaucracy.  Persistently these revolutionaries took exception to my generalization that their rebellion is fighting something that contains selves, and that I remain perplexed as to how an egoist, who holds that only their self is important  -- or moreso, a solpsist -- can fight a thing comprised of more than one person -- or something other than theirself.  Brushing aside my confusion, the Ego-bots persisted; zealously promulgating that Buddhism is still like Christianity because only the absence of organization allows the self to flourish. 

Thus, I find this individualist revolution just as hypocritical as the fundamental Christian conservatives from whom I am emancipated and many of the egoists were ejected.   Perhaps my brain was so washed by these Christians that I cannot comprehend the paramount preoccupation with something less than the general welfare; for Mama raised me to do things for others and -- how awfully group-centric -- I found this benefiting Hospice, my Mom, and me!  I treasonsly hord other delusional ideas from the Ego-bots, like my existence depending upon them and many others. 

So let me be clear: I am crazy, not delusional, therefore I do not defend all types of altruism, nor do I offend all types of egoism.  For example, ethical egoism sounds feasible, as does the altruistic notion of "disinterested love".  And yes, I have watched (the Hollywood! *gasp*) film V for Vendetta and read Nineteen Eighty-four.  But I proclaim something similar to the Musketeer's motto:

I fear neither you, nor the group, nor myself! 
I am myself, you are yourself, we are ourselves.
Through you is me, through me, you.  Through us, we see ourselves.

x-posted to philosophy

A few quotes from Wikipedia:

[self-interest], therefore, is no part of morality. Indeed, it is exactly its opposite. (Thomas Jefferson)
a rational egoist calculates the advantage to himself in all situations. (Peter Self, <- most appropriate name, aye?)