Archive for September, 2008

“I wouldn’t apologise to you if you were the last person left on earth, the earth was on fire, I was starving, and you had magical fire extinguisher breath and sleeves that shot out crisps“

A friend of mine once pointed out to me that no-one ever really wants two mutually exclusive things. At first this struck me as ridiculous, humans are foolish creatures who constantly want contradictory things to happen. They want to live at home in comfort but they want to move out and be independent, they want to stay with their girlfriend but they want to sleep with another woman, they want to change jobs but they don’t want upheaval, and so on. But when I actually thought about it, I realised that he was right.

There is always something you want more. The true conflict of two desires is very rare if it happens at all. Deep down everybody knows what they want most. The problem is that people have trouble figuring it out because they layer their own thoughts in so much horse shit. Because sometimes knowing what you really want involves acknowledging that you really are a lazy bastard/inconsiderate prick/fucking asshole. You don’t love your girlfriend and want to cheat on her anyway. What you love is the image of yourself as someone who wouldn’t dump a person you care about because of your driving need to do the nasty with her sister.

People invent incredibly elaborate excuses sometimes for doing the things they want to do. I’ve been as guilty of this as anyone in the past, probably more so than most, so I know what I’m talking about. One of the most precious things people have is their self-image, and the farther it is from reality the more vulnerable that person is to the moral dilemmas caused by conflicting desires. Important note people – “Because I want to” is a really good fucking reason to do anything as long as you can accept the consequences of your actions. If fewer people lied to themselves I am convinced the world would be a better and potentially far more interesting place.

Not that succumbing to every urge you have on a daily basis somehow makes you true to yourself. But admitting that you have them does, and knowing the reason is better again. In theory, if being a good person really matters to you, that will outweigh the shitty fancying-your-mate’s-girlfriend or setting-the-cat-on-fire urges, because you can acknowledge them, understand them and compare motives. The reason why so many people can’t make up their fucking minds is that they don’t really know what they think about most things. The mental disease of moral relativity is, amongst other things, deeply confusing.

Suppressing your dark horrible thoughts just leads either to future trips to a shrink or future loss of control, not acknowledging you even have an urge makes you more susceptible to it, not less. So have that fantasy about your significant other’s sibling/cousin/dog/bicycle. Coldly evaluate how long it takes a kitten to combust. Just know why you _can_ think it, and _don’t_ do it.