Archive for May, 2013

I have no idea why this is happening. I mean, I am sure it’s a kidney stone type thing. But lately I’ve been plagued by the feeling that wasps are flying around inside my left kidney. I keep getting random sharp stinging twinges. It’s different than other times and types of kidney stone pain. Whenever it happens I’m alternately annoyed by the pain and intrigued by what could be causing it.

That’s the fun part about being sick for me. (I mean that in actuality, not sarcastically.) I enjoy pondering how the various breakages that occur in my system provide information on how the system functions. Ninety percent of the time a new pain is kind of like a new puzzle in some sort of video game. How did that start happening and what does it mean?

Now that I type this out I realise it makes me sound seriously hypchondriacal. That’s an accusation that bothers me deeply, but I hear it often; I’ve even heard it from people who say they’re my friends.* People who aren’t often ill or troubled by physical problems often think that those who are must be faking it or exaggerating for effect; malingering their way through life to avoid problems. It’s a common misperception, but one that bothers me a great deal–perhaps a great deal more than it should.

When my husband was in China for ten days I rose to the occasion to the best of my ability. We had friends come in to help, but there are just some things that a person with a not-entirely-housebroken-yet puppy and an elderly, incontinent dog just doesn’t feel comfortable asking other people to do. I suppose I maybe should have done; babysitters change diapers on human babies. I just felt like the dogs were my responsibility. I took them on and it’s not right to bail once it becomes icky or the slightest bit difficult. So I gutted it out for a week and a half. I’m glad I did because it reassured me that I’m not the malingerer I sometimes worry folks may think I am.

Still and all, as fun as this whole exercise in therapeutic writing has been, I still have a wasp-y kidney and it’s getting on my nerves.

*One of these days I’m going to have to write a blog entry focusing on the reasons why some people see “friendship” as an open door to abuse you emotionally.

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I’m not entirely sure whom I blame. Some days I think the fault lies with Television Without Pity, Fark, Reddit, and other websites. Other times I have to admit to myself that my beloved MST3K & RiffTrax are probably a large source of the problem. No matter the origins, we’ve reached a place in our cultural zeitgeist where what passes for “humour” is actually nothing more than the cruel mocking of another person.

In high school it was fun to mock movies. My friends and I did that for a pastime. “No, you stupid cheerleader! Don’t go into the garage alone! That’s where the killer is!” Then MST3K came along and made a living out of making fun of stupid movies. The jokes were often highly intelligent and had a bemused tone. But all in all when you got right down to it the humour was essentially just laughing at the stupidity of movie characters.

Nowadays, though, blog articles such as this one are common place.

When you’re a couple and you make the choice not to have kids, you don’t get it. You’re a DINK (pardon the double entendre).

“Funny” Articles like this one have made the rounds so often it’s shown up on my Facebook News Feed more than ten times in the last two years.

[10 Worst People You See At Every Summer Music Festival] 7. Girls in leggings. We can only imagine what kind of swamp-ass nightmare is festering beneath that Spandex cameltoe.

And of course there are websites I won’t even link to which mock the people who shop at Wal-Mart (Oh, Look at how fat they are! Look at how weird their clothes are! Poverty is hysterical!), endless conversations mocking the Honey Boo-Boo family for being fat and poor (I’m sensing a trend) and entire blogs devoted to mocking whatever person the blogger needs to feel superior to. Sometimes the victims are sorority girls, sometimes Fundamental Christians… pick one. If I list them all I’ll burn through my 500 words without even touching on the thesis of this post.

That thesis is, simply, as stated in the title, being mean isn’t humourous. Yes, people say stupid things out of ignorance or lazy mental habit. People wear odd looking clothes for reasons often known only to them. But I’m just so tired of this school of thought reigning supreme now, this idea that casual cruelty is clever. Why do we think highlighting the frailties or even simple differences of other human beings is an okay thing? Is it because on the Internet we have become so used to going to “real people” for entertainment that we forget that the folks in YouTube videos and shopping at thrift stores are not characters in a movie called Everyday Life?

For whatever reason I’m just over it. I really am. I’m ready for humour to be something I can laugh at without hurting another person. Because even if they don’t know you’re laughing at them, that spirit of cruelty hangs in the air. It hardens you, callouses your soul. I’d like for us all to stop being casual bullies for the purposes of our own amusement.

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