I've been conducting an experiment. I haven't watched television, especially the news, or listened to the radio or read a newspaper or surfed the Internet news for almost two weeks. Part of the reason is a long story, but part of it has been to see if the quality of my life would change at all. It has. I keep hearing people talk and talk and talk about things and I don't really know what they are talking about and I have no opinion and it's kind of interesting.
I've noticed that most people talk just to hear their own voices. I've heard people actually argue with themselves. I've listened to people who have opinions that render me incredulous. I've heard some comments about Tiger Woods that make it sound like his predicament is the most important thing that has happened in the last decade. Suddenly, everyone is an expert on health reform. People who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground have all of the answers. Well, that part is probably true. My own worthless opinion on that is that no one who has health insurance should even be debating it because they don't have any clue what it's like to not be able to go to the doctor, but then again, that's just my opinion, which I know is stupid. Don't worry, if you see me in public I will not express it. In fact, I think my new year's resolution (Hell, yeah — why not make one? Who cares if it lasts one day?) is going to be to never discuss anything with anyone ever again unless it is absolutely necessary — say, for work reasons or to tell the shrink that I'm having nightmares about white people again.
Oh, speaking of which, I lied. I did surf the Internet news for a few minutes this morning. A friend of mine sang at a Kwanzaa celebration the other day and I saw her name in my Google alert so I clicked on it to check her out. If you are ever bored and want to spend some time wondering what has happened to the human race, go to The Commercial Appeal's website and read the comments people post about virtually every topic the paper covers. This is no indictment of the paper itself, but if you have never gone to the site to read the comments you are missing out on a cultural phenomenon. Actually, it's the same thing at the Flyer. It's like a club of some kind. Everyone has some sort of stupid moniker and they all get up and tell each other good morning and then, apparently, sit at their computers all day commenting on each other's comments. It is great. The butchery of the English language is a little hard to handle, but once you get past it, even that is fascinating. I'm assuming that most of the people who comment on the site are adults and are not in mental institutions, because most mental institutions don't allow patients access to the Internet, but that's a tough assumption to make given the majority of the comments.
When I scrolled through the comments on the Kwanzaa article this morning, I was not disappointed. There were plenty of people who were "against" Kwanzaa, like it threatens their existence in some way. Some of the comment club members were angry because, in their opinion, it is a "made up" holiday. Some were angry because they think Kwanzaa is just another way to denigrate the Western way of life, the greatest society in all of history! Others were more blatantly racist, making fun of black people in general, which happens a LOT on there. And God forbid there is a story about poor people receiving any kind of benefits, like food and shelter. That's one of the hottest topics, because so many people think people who are poor are poor because they want to be. It is amazing how angry some people get when they find out that those who are less fortunate get things for free, sometimes, like food during the holidays. Where do you people think you would be if you lost your jobs and couldn't find another one? Where? I would really like to know. Actually, I'd love to see you exist for a month or two with no money and see how you like it.
It's the same crowd that likes to write letters to the editor because they can somehow feel that their opinion will help change the world. They are, for the most part, stupid. Yes, stupid. Some are not, but most of them are. And yeah, yeah, yeah — I can hear you now, saying the same thing about me and what I write here. For old time's sake, I don't care what you think because I don't even know you.
Well, they ain't never going my way.
One runs at midnight and the other one
Running just 'fore day. — Muddy Waters