February 2, 2005

From Gerald R. Lucas


I used to think I was a misanthropist, but I've realized lately that I'm truly a philanthropist. I don't hate people; I love them too much. But, as we are all aware of the cliché: love hurts. Love stings, smarts, and rips your guts apart. I know, I know, Shakespeare stated that love is a constant, something that never changes, like a star to the sailing ship, but—while I'm loathe to disagree with the bard—love is fickle and finite and fuck you! When's the last time you told someone who you didn't care about to go fuck himself? Even if you didn't care about the person, he or she offended something you do hold close to your heart, otherwise you'd remain cool and disconnected. Start needling around in there, and it hurts. That's what love does: it rubs around your tenderest parts, making them feel good perhaps, but also rubbing them raw. There's nothing constant here. I am like too much fucking love.

You see, only people that you hate do you allow to pass through this life without challenge, blissful, forlorn, zombie-like. We know what trouble that word can cause. Letting people go, safe and comfortable in ignorance they wear like an old sweater, shows at least an indifference, not even worth a spit.

Only when you love them will you smack them on the head and wake them from their dreams. This is the job of an educator: to love. Love is not accepting, saying whatever to the wind as it tickles your short hairs. Love is a challenge shouted to the cold sky, to imperturbable faces that look at you in haughty judgment and stark disapproval. Love flips them the finger and flashes a naked bum as it skitters off to cause some more trouble. Love is the flippant finger that prods and pokes, not the gentle hand that caresses agreement.

I tried to be subtle, but apparently subtlety is as effective as assigning a Donne poem to a fourth-grade class with recess on their minds. Patience was not a confession, an epiphany, nor an apology. I am a fucker because I love. I don't give a shit if people agree with me, of if I “win.” Patience was an exercise, a reflection at best. Patience was an example of love, something we all need to do. I appreciate all the support I received that encouraged me to be a better person, but patience was just as much for you as it was for me, perhaps more. If all you got out of that was wow, j has realized x and y about himself, so maybe he'll start to go to church or be nice to everyone or whatever then you missed the point entirely.

We all must practice Patience. It allows us to ask the hardest question we can imagine: What kind of idea am I? This is a question of love—of loving yourself. It's easy to be critical of others—man we all do that so fucking well. It's an entirely different to put our own complacency to the test. What religion am I? Is this really a valid question? Why, so you can put the generalization engine to work on me? What political party am I? Do I have to be a member—sign up your name, we'd like to feel your acceptable, logical, responsible, practical—in order for you to comfortably place me in some media-fashioned pigeonhole? I am love that fucks with you.

This is the nature of my philanthropy. This is the nature of my pedagogy. This is the nature of my introspection. What makes me feel like a misanthrope is loving too much. Perhaps is about knowing when love is not required? Is acceptance part of love? Sure. There are times when we just need to accept certain little nuggets and shut the fuck up. Maybe this is called trust? Love is like family: you often can't pick who loves you nor who you love. The next time you think you hate someone or have all the answers, just smile at your own blissful ignorance, and consider before you open your mouth.

Message to self: shut the fuck up around those too thick to ever understand. Perhaps this is a desire to be more of a misanthrope? Perhaps the thickies need a bit of indifference?