The Trick is Just Making Yourself

24 02 2006

“Welcome, everyone”, the man spoke to the crowd. “This new day, from which…” was overheard by the audience as they settled into their seats. Children were lighting sparklers near the stage, distracting the people. He continued on, “We are all failures. Note my friend here, a popular young man”, turning to his friend. “He, to me, is no more than a self-conscious, insular, weak, and dull drunk. They standing over there, they have their failures too”. The crowd sat at attention, their eyes fixed forward. “Don’t give me that sullen expression. You are no longer children. I should not have to be apologetic when I criticize you. I will not list out my personal faults and shortcomings so that you can have comfort in that. Today is your day; your day to pause from smoking, drinking, cheating, and getting laid to think about your life. What purpose do you have? Give me a good reason why I shouldn’t just kill us all?” The crowd was aghast. The older ones were angry, culling into small infant-like cliques plotting how best to get revenge. The younger ones were perplexed; where had their kind and gentle introvert gone?

Pausing to let the audience take it in, he spoke: “For one glorious day, I don’t want to coddle my fellow man. Don’t turn my words into pious religious spite, ignorant psychobabble, or mindless rage. This is a well-calculated attack on your individual motives, your character. You are all failed men and women. Divided between rich and poor, you mock each other. Divided between apathy and the willingness to cheat, we cheat ourselves out of any successes. Divided between those who steal and those who fight, we ignore the law. Even better, we’ve got lawyers to clean our slates. And doctors and teams of psychologists to heal the wounds, and more construction to increase our production.” The self-destruction of the man was almost complete. The machine had set their designs. “If you dare to walk away from this day, having not thought about yourselves under the critical lens of your own conscience – assuming you’ve all got one, then I will know that I have failed this occasion. I will also learn the truth; human beings will kill for their right to believe they are innocent.”

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