Save me from myself, please! As I descend into a possibly terminal state of Toxic Earnestness
Hello. My Name is David and I’m—earnest.
Thanks, David! booms the twelve-step Greek chorus.
I’m an earnest, virtue-signalling piece of old jute carpet woven by cheerful, appreciative, highly-skilled and adequately-paid native workers in a tropical paradise that hasn’t been invaded by white, oil-industry-beholden kakistocrats.
I can’t remember the last time I fulfilled my self-mandated mandate for this blog, viz: make shallow, no-effort fun about stuff no one gives a flying frig about, starting with, and possibly limiting itself to, my personal life.
As I write this, a mouse scurries from underneath the shoe rack and across the multicolored painted floor of the entrance to my apartment. I shout OH!, which is my older-gent version of a schoolgirl shriek, and the mouse, I assume as shocked to see me as I am him, scurries back to its lair, or whatever mission control is called in the mouse plan for human gaslighting and assimilation.
I don’t know if it’s worse to spot him or to realize that he’s probably been scurrying about every day for fourteen years without my spotting. Either way I will soon be camping out on the balcony, eating vegan food cooked over a tea light and seasoned with my tears of self-pity while I encase my body in black electrical tape.
And when I head to the kitchen to bake oatmeal cookies—which is the beginner version of take my book to Glad Day Books, the only remaining gay bookstore in possibly the world, which I am lucky enough to live two streets away from but haven’t approached with my book in two years—I interrupt a pair of cockroaches rehearsing their tight-rope walking act on the edge of the counter.
One of them, Gaston, for they have recently auditioned for Cirque du soleil, sports a handlebar moustache and is riding a unicycle, rather skillfully I have to admit; while his partner, Fifi, navigates the zucchini peelings and garlic skins with heel-to-toe poise and even a sexy sway of her thorax, while brandishing a parasol worthy of anything no longer permissible by Colette.
But enough of this frivolité, this flânnerie! Soon you will judge me shallow, too good-time-Charlie, when in fact I’m at the nadir of the scale that goes from Ooh! lala! at the top to Lacan deconstructs Crime and Punishment at approaching zero.
I’m newly-qualified Mister Suck Out All the Fun, garnished with stale, hard-as-stone glacé cherries. But who will believe me, who drags around a glee-filled menagerie; me, the Doctor Dolittle of diatomaceous earth?
To prove my earnest chops, I just published an eggshell -walking discussion of racism on Medium; a ramped-up but still hedged about with possibly and I suspect, weasel-worded version of the rant on this blog.
Now, please be aware that it’s quite possible no one will ever see it. This is the downside to posting anything on Medium that’s not a Pulitzer Prize-winning piece of investigative journalism from The Atlantic, or a raucous discussion of how Liz Warren is actually Lizard Warmonger, an alien tasked by her overlords to make sure millennials have something to whinge about that’s not just another version of they had to push the button on the microwave themselves. Anything between those two poles is either too good or not good enough.
Damn! And just when I’d settled on a lifetime of mediocrity!
To date, my piece has received one clap. Claps are the currency on Medium and they are not “likes.” Either the person doesn’t realize that you can give up to fifty claps if you like a piece, and can any of you take a hint, or they do realize and their one clap is like when you give a nickel to the server as a tip: just rubbing the poor schmuck’s face in the fact of her indifferent service.
Her indifferent service that is probably the result of her poor pay and working conditions so the chef-owner can drive his Aston Martin from Prospect Park back to his condo on the Upper East Side.
And you dare to give her a nickel? You probably masturbate while reading Mein Kampf under the glow of a Nazi lampshade, you hooligan!
To further promulgate my earnestness, I should also do a reading from my book on Facebook live. I could do a reading of my Canada Day ode, now that Canada Day is like a distant memory, and to up the stakes I could announce the reading with ten minutes’ notice so no one attends.
Honestly, I don’t know why I’m not Head of PR for the Decorative Gourds Panel or the Small Mammalian Pest Board. I probably just missed their frantic, competitive calls while my phone was accidentally set to “airplane mode” for six months.
Or should I go to Home Hardware and buy roach powder and steel wool so the roaches will dry up and be cut to smithereens inside and the mouse will die a similarly agonized, undeserved death when all he was trying to do was live his ordinary mouse life?
Eat random food, scurry, leave droppings, make rustling sounds inside the radiators, terrorize the big mouse who shouts OH. That is the typical mouse day-planner but I can’t just let him be.
And I know what you’re thinking: I cannot possibly fill my jug of altruism from this rusty, dribbling spigot of random wokeness. To gift my circle of influence with the full litre of feces-tainted run-off, I have taken on the education of my fellow white people, who I don’t even really like very much anymore.
In fact, after an eternity of Covid-19 seclusion watching white Americans declaring their freedom to be imbeciles, churning out the coronavirus and infecting all the smart people, plus a month of race riots while the same white Americans run over protestors with their Sherman tanks, I hate white people.
I hate white people.
White people look funny. All of their skin is blue and transparent, like foreskin, except when they “tan,” when it looks like pork cracklings that have been irradiated in a particle accelerator.
They put raisins in the potato salad, their children weigh seven hundred pounds by the time they achieve puberty and they wouldn’t know an opera by Richard Strauss from a pair of stone-washed denim pants that they iron. White people ruin everything they touch, starting with Arctic ice caps and ending up somewhere around dwindling zebra herds.
White people think they own the planet and they decide who’s human, which is white people. They deep fry their hair and put conditioner on the chicken, they say “y’all” in public like it’s a real word, until you want to projectile vomit onto their Pillsbury dinner rolls.
White people make anemic art that’s all about white Jesus. Who wouldn’t want to crucify white Jesus? Gimme some wood and some nails! Look out, white Jesus! King of the White People, you bloodless, welfare-grabbing hippy, you fragile, babbling white-tard! I will cheerfully pound the nails through your delicate white hands while whistling Dixie!
White people can’t see anything but white people so they bulldoze through life, theirs and yours, casting off candy bar wrappers that smother the rain forests; and when that’s accomplished they tunnel right through the Earth to the other side out of nothing more than hunger and boredom. The Earth is in danger of snapping in half and all just so white people can pollute the oceans, then farm fish.
It would hurt white people’s feelings to be honest and rip a fish off a hook, but they’ll hang a black man up on a hook and peel his black skin off, one inch at a time.
White people are liars who celebrate their lies. They tell you their shit smells like hybrid tea roses, so they can smear it over whatever they want you to read from the Book of the Month Club. Their sweat glands have atrophied, because for generations they have had others do their filthy work, and they lie when they profess their innocence.
White people’s hands are soft as newly-butchered veal and exude the sickly-sweet odor of indigenous corpses; their breath puffs out of their mouths in stale, harsh puffs redolent of the rum they traded for slaves.
White men have hairy, disordered scrotums and, hidden somewhere in their beer bellies, tiny dicks for producing brainless white babies they can ignore, and white women’s vaginas are like swollen toothpaste tubes squeezing out blue-eyed, mint-flavored white babies that don’t even deserve to be skewered on a pike-staff. I wouldn’t even offer them as hors d’oeuvres, three white babies on a plate with peanut sauce.
That’s what I think about white people these days.
Maybe it’s the Karens who did it to me. You know, entitled white ladies from the suburbs, the ones that sprang up after the war, exclusively for white people. Black people were specifically excluded. However, the Karens are not satisfied with that full, three-course meal, plus dessert and valet parking, of exclusivity. No. They need to know that the child’s plate with the fish fingers, and the gluten-free options, and the pizza with pineapple and a dipping sauce, that they have first dibs on all of those as well.
So they pack their fat asses into their Gap jeans and stick a hand-embroidered sign over their tits that reads, “Don’t Bust My Freedom” or “It’s the Chinese Whom Did It,” because the Chinese people are the same as the Chinese government, just like Trump’s imbecility and lack of empathy is every single last American, right?
They appropriate the right not only to celebrate their tacky taste in architecture, thankfully hidden behind a concrete barrier, but their self-imposed idiocy. They reserve the right to catch the virus, and to spread it, and do you know why?
Karen lives close to a hospital, Karen has a car. Karen has someone to help with her kids were she to get sick. Karen has a big house that’s not crowded. Karen lives near a park, in a safe area. Karen has private healthcare. Karen is healthier generally. She eats well. She doesn’t worry about being hungry, she doesn’t go to a food bank.
Black people are the anti-Karens: frontliners in many essential jobs, having on average lower income, on average more likely to be unemployed and therefore with no health care. They do not have choices. Black people cannot make themselves into idiots in a game of one-upmanship. Compared to Karen, their lives are about surviving.
They are what the Karens need to measure themselves against. Karen can flaunt the fact that she has the “right,” that is to say, the choice, to decide her own level of risk. And she can reassure herself that, whatever else happens in her life, she is not black. The planets are in the correct orbits.
And they take their matching children on a walk. If the kids are lucky they’ll get to carry the assault weapon, an absolute necessity in case a mob of two black people walks by, paying no attention to them and singing Amazing Grace.
Don’t rain on Karen’s parade, because her common sense dried up with her ovaries, so now she’s just a tomatillo husk of hard, sour resentment. There isn’t enough shark collagen on the planet to plaster over those worry lines caused by black people existing.
Do you worry that there are women called Karen who aren’t useless wastes of white skin in a Range Rover? Here’s the deal:
- Karen: if you’re a Karen who doesn’t match the characteristics of Karen, we’re confident you’ll survive.
- Karen: If you’re a white woman calling someone Karen, look in the mirror.
- Karen: If you’re a black person calling someone Karen, you will probably help someone, just not Karen.
- Karen: Fun fact: Men can be Karen!
Male Karens are the guys who want Straight Pride, crave pity as murderous incels, or scorn the idea of gender non-conformity when they hang around locker rooms.
Which makes it all the more puzzling when he sneaks out of the house every Friday night while his wife is at Waxing Academy so he can get pegged by, in his sad but revealing terminology, a “chick-with-a-dick.” The heart wants what it wants, and it shall have….!
I want to go to Medium and see if anyone has commented on my piece about racism. But I so very much want to be the perfect ally that I’m stressed that I got the tone wrong, or that I’m patently virtue signaling. A black person could justifiably take me to task on my white privilege in grandstanding about racism when I haven’t had the experience.
I have had the experience of being called fag, but that is not the equivalent of being murdered in the streets. Though some gay people have been murdered in the streets.
(To be honest, I’m terrified that I will discover, to my permanent disgrace and permanent banishment, that I entered a hypnagogic state and sleep-wrote something salacious about “BBC” just before I face-planted on my keyboard.
(This is not something white guys get to say about black guys, if there was any doubt in your mind while cruising on Grindr. Something to do with, I dunno, reducing black men to a racist-sexual stereotype? Who knew!)
And I’m dreading some emotional exchange with white guys who are livid that I would presume to educate them, a challenge I have yet to really come to grips with, because angry white men already know everything, and never shut the fuck up about it in case they lose the focus for ten seconds.
But surely it’s possible to win hearts and minds with the truth? And if it’s not possible, what are we doing this for?
You see what I mean: I make a perfectly valid point, I sense your sympathetic response, then—I end a sentence with a preposition!
My piece on Medium, maybe even this blog, is like farting in an elevator, then running out. It’s a futile prank, because the elevator’s empty.
But I, at least, will have a bloody good white-guy laugh about it.