Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm a Real Jerk!

[There is still time to weigh in on your favorite, shall we say, "speculative fiction." Go here.]

A few housekeeping items....

Thursday Quiz I Winners:

With all answers correct, in order of entering their list:

1. Rebel

2. Jenny!

3. Rex Parker

College Football Result

OSU 24, Utah 7.
Michael 5000's teams: 1 - 0.

I'm a Real Jerk!

After the love-fest that was my "Ten Great Things About Me" post, I have been feeling the need -- as a responsible publisher of this online variety magazine -- to give a more "fair and balanced" picture of myself, michael5000. So, it's time now to give equal time to the dark side. Here's ten reasons why you, as a person of considerable virtue and discretion, shouldn't like me very much.

1. I never remember my parents' birthdays. What kind of jerk doesn't remember his parents' birthdays? After all they've done for me.

2. I don't give money to beggers. I've heard that charity is a virtue, but when someone who doesn't know me asks me for money, it just pisses me off. I don't even like it when you give them money. That encourages them!

3. I am against handicapped parking spaces. Did you even realize there were people as vile as me? Actually, I'm not against handicapped parking spaces per se; I'm against legally mandated handicapped parking spaces. I think it's super if the store wants to set spaces aside. But making it the law seems kind of like making it a legal requirement to spend an hour every day cheering up a senior citizen. It's requiring niceness by penalty of law, and that seems corrupt to me.

4. I am, in my heart of hearts, prejudiced against certain religious beliefs. It's none of my business, and nobody asked me, but anything involving, say, Jesus Christ coming to North America after his crucifixion to help the Native Americans get organized would strike me as pretty ridiculous. But nobody would believe anything like that. Would they?

5. I am, in my heart of hearts, prejudiced against certain political beliefs. Most people, consciously or unconsciously, discover the intellectual insights behind Libertarianism sometime in junior high school. Most people think through their inherent silliness before they graduate from high school.

6. Sometimes I'm a sarcastic bastard. Sometimes I'm a sarcastic bastard to my mom.

7. I don't really care all that much about cultural diversity. I'm kind of supposed to, since I'm a kinda/sorta social worker. But you know what? I could live in a neighborhood with 5000 Euro-descended Presbyterian-raised middle-class folks like myself, or in a neighborhood that represented the whole spectrum of human cultures, and it would be all the same to me. People is people.

8. I judge people, sometimes pretty harshly, for their taste in books, music, and movies. Even though I'm out of high school.

9. I say things for no other reason than to show how smart I am. When I was younger, I was really, really bad about this. Now I am merely pretty bad about it. But I still definitely like the sound of my own voice. I'm so bad I keep a blog.

10. I edited this list so I wouldn't seem as bad as I might have otherwise. I'm so craven that I can't even be completely candid about my negative side in a publically available document that anyone, including my parents and potential employers, can look at.

Disgusted with me now? I probably deserve it.

If anybody wants to make a meme out of this stupid concept, consider yourself tagged.


fingerstothebone said...

Time to pick a fight!

On no. 7, I notice that you present only 2 options -- diverse, or not diverse but everyone just like you. I love to point this out to you, but only someone in the racial and cultural majority would think of only these 2 options, and to think that it makes no difference because 'people is people'. Try not diverse but nobody is like you. You stick out like a sore thumb everywhere you go; they think you steal their pets to cook up for dinner; they think you cheat; or worse, they think you're dangerous; they think you're a drug dealer; you don't share any cultural references with anyone, you can't get the food you love; you're too ugly for words...the list goes on and on and on, I could be here all day and all night and next week too. Might be kind of exciting to start, but after a while, it gets pretty old.

Diversity trumps non-diversity anytime! Yay!

Michael5000 said...

@fingers: What do you expect from a jerk like me?

One often hears people who, to put it succinctly and crudely, "look like me," who disparage towns, neighborhoods, the City of Portland, etc., for their lack of diversity. I note that these same people often avidly seek out foreign places, the foreign-er the better, and hope to find there a homogenous, exotic culture with as few people around who "look like them" as possible. I guess it is this common inconsistancy between wanting some kind of idealized "intact" culture abroad and decrying it at home that bugs me a little.

It doesn't bug me very much, though.

Heh heh... "I love to point it out to you" is a great line. And you're right about the tunnel vision that focuses me on those two options, of course.

Anonymous said...

Another bone to pick. The problem with number 3: hanging out with a senior citizen is nice. Providing equal access and opportunites for all people is the right thing to do. It's not "Hey, wouldn't it be nice if this spot were wide enough to open my wheelchair lift, or close enough that I don't have to slowly traverse a quarter-mile of open parking lot in every driver's blind spot." Not to mention that it would be nice if businesses would paint large handicapped parking spots out of the kindness of their hearts (and sacrifice the total number of spots they can have), but for the same reason that Libertarianism doesn't work (imho)—because the 'invisible hand' doesn't actually keep the best interests of the people at the forefront—a law is required. It guarantees access for all. And that's nice.

Michael5000 said...

@mydog: What do you expect from a jerk like me?

Actually, that's a very nicely articulated argument. Props for using jerk quality #5 against jerk quality #3. I'll have to think about it. It will suck if you end up convincing me, because then I'll have to come up with another one to get to ten.

Rebel said...

First - YAY I got a gold star. I love gold stars.

Second - just being nit-picky but on point 9, technically you have 3 blogs. ;)

Unknown said...

@rebel: What do you expect from a jerk like me?

Oh, wait... aren't you going to try to change my mind about something?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Okay, now for your next post, let's see the ones that were too embarrassing to share.

Karin said...

So, you don't remember your parents' birthdays. You remembered their big anniversary and enlisted your friends to wish them a happy one! That was cool!

But what's with posting Mid-Day while I'm At Work and In Class and have no possible way to get in on the game while it's hot? Clearly you weren't thinking of me, were you?

Rex Parker said...

Well this list is MUCH more interesting... and entertaining.

Diversity for its own sake isn't worth much, though I'm always SO much happier to have a diverse group of students (whatever "diverse" happens to mean for that group) than a homogeneous one, if only to keep me from being bored to death. How many privileged white mall-loving B+ students from Long Island can one man be expected to endure in a lifetime, I ask you?

Your handicapped parking space aversion is the most hilariously insane. Even I, who constantly complain about humanity's utter laziness, can see the public health angle when it comes to allowing certain people easy access to stores. I do think that there are usually way too many handicapped spaces. I often think "are they expecting a wheelchair convention to descend on this place? WTF?"

Thank god for your succinct excoriation of Libertarianism. The worst part about Libertarians is that (usually) they are the most condescending f-ing pricks about their world view, e.g. "if only all you idiots were as smart as me, the world would be perfect." If you are not a precocious 9th grader, then your Libertarianism is a f-ing embarrassment to you and anyone who had anything to do with your education. Or perhaps you've never met actual people and see how they actually behave. Get out of your mother's basement, Nerdlinger! Put down the Ayn Rand and, I don't know, go spend time with an old person, for god's sake.

And I'm done.


Rebel said...

"Oh, wait... aren't you going to try to change my mind about something?"

If someone tells me they're a real jerk - I'm inclined to take their word for it. =P

Actually, I did want to add a comment regarding diversity. I think I get your point about "people are people"; just because someone is from a different cuture doesn't necessarily mean they are any more open minded than your typical white-bread WASP who's never lived more than 20 miles from where they were born. Every culture, race & ethnicity has good people and jerks. People are people.

But I've observed that large groups of racially/ religiously/ culturally homogenous people tend to come up with & stick with really stupid ideas. You need to be presented with new ideas, new ways of looking at problems, in order to challenge the ideas you take for granted as 'right' or 'normal'.

For example in the US, typically two people in one bed share one blanket, thus irritation / jokes about fighting for the covers, who steals covers etc. I mentioned this to a friend from Germany. She said that in Germany, they put two twin sized duvets on a bed for two people. That's their idea of 'normal'. Such a simple solution, and yet tons of people here have yet to figure it out!

Oh... and as someone who intends to go live abroad for a while, I wanted to say that I'm not looking for a homogenously exotic culture... I'm just looking for a different mix, and I want to have the experience where people like me exist in a different ratio to the other cultures than they do here.

Jenny! said...

Shouldn't the stars be red white and blue???

Your not the only jerk...I am too!

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Sweet list. And up to know I thought you were some kind of angel.