I am not a mean person. I know this and have known this for as long as I can remember. I am aware that many people, my friends for instance, have heard the tales, whispered in hushed tones, about the things I’ve done and said to people and they tell me that I am mean. “He does mean things,” they say. The irony is they usually think it is funny unless the comment or action is directed at them. Hypocrisy is an interesting thing.
I think that part of the reason our world is so fucked up right now has more to do with the politically correct zealots who are trying there best to berate any individuality or eccentricity from the general population. The environment is such that you can’t dislike someone for fear of being labeled a bigot, homophobe, misogynist, or elitist. I never hide my distaste for other people and I think I’m healthier for it. Some of you might want to do the very things I’ve done at times, but some misguided sense of right and wrong leads you down a different path. For me, these morality plays rarely stop me from doing or saying something that needs to be done or said.
Some of the things I’ve said and done can be attributed to youthful ignorance (or exhuberance depending on which TV psychologist you choose to subscribe to), but I can safely say that I have always sought a specific reaction. Seeking a reaction is the difference between doing something because you’re stupid (the jury is still out with me) or because you’re making a statement (judging from my life and the people I’ve pissed off, I have had quite a lot to say in 33 years.
-I told a woman at Starbuck’s that she looked like a cross between Whoopie Goldberg and Predator (she was rude to the barista).
-I told my younger brother that we traded him to the Jehovah Witness’s next door for a stack of Watchtower Magazines. I even packed his bag.
-When my mother’s sister called me a “son of a bitch” in front of my mother and some of her family, I simply said, “Since birth.”
-I once asked an overweight man who was holding up the line at an ATM if he was opening up an account. When he got snippy over my comment, I explained that no matter how many times he put his card into the slot, cheeseburgers would never tumble out.
-When my brother’s wife told me she suspected he was cheating on her, I told her I could see why he might want to.
-I told my college writing teacher that his opinion mattered to me only as far as my grades went since his opinion as a writer needed to be tempered with the understanding that “those who can, do… and those who can’t, teach.”
Am I mean? I personally don’t think so. Sometimes I say things because they are true, more often because they need to be said. I’m an overtly honest man in a world that rewards anyone who feeds their fantasies. I guess that’s why I’m a big fan of Aldous Huxley who once said, “You shall know the truth & the truth shall make you mad.” No, I’m not mean… I just call ’em like I see ’em.