25 August 2010

The list of complaints and grievances

What widely accepted practice, custom or societal norm do you regard as irrational, absurd, offensive, silly, nonsensical, counterproductive, or morally wrong?

Obviously, I look at organised religion as one of the first most significant contributors here. And nationalism.

But some of the responses given airtime so far were much smaller, and probably much easier to change despite their ingrained natures.

1) "God bless you". Yes. This must stop. It's a sneeze. We should not be thanking people for their contribution the air supply with more infectious germs and airborne particulates of mucus. People look at me funny when they sneeze and I ignore them already, as they expect some politeness. The politeness is that they cover their mouth with a cloth or the crook of their elbow or some such. I don't have to do anything polite there. Sorry. We don't have a publicly agreed upon notion to congratulate people on flatulence or profound belching abilities and so on. I don't see why we should be messing with people for sneezing. Perhaps we should have more jokes about sneezing and farting in combination and people would get the point.

2) Funerals. I think I understand conceptually that most people have a compelling need to say good bye to people when they are gone. I'm not fond of doing this when they are alive. I generally don't "have to", my brain is like a tape recorder when it wants to be, it's pretty easy to slip into a eidetic recall such that the absence is not so unbearable, and generally I don't see people very much anyway nor be aware that MY presence might be missed. So one can imagine how fond I am of needing goodbyes when other people become an inanimate piece of meat and bones sitting in a box dressed up...for whatever reason. Principally, it seems some sort of basic ceremony and a gathering of people who knew the person is fine. A party to celebrate the effect that person had makes sense. Personally seeing a person soon after the moment of their death was far more profound than seeing them later sitting in coffin pumped full of chemicals and dressed up. I expect seeing someone die would be even more so. Why we expend so much energy and money on boxes for our deceased compatriots is beyond my ability to comprehend. Just burn the remains like the Greeks or the Vikings did. The concept of creating things to just put them in the ground with a dead person also seems silly. I can respect an offering or a token of esteem, I think, with the idea that this was a person who impacted your life and you might want to surrender something of value to yourself to be sure that impact was respected by you. But spending money on a suit and a polished piece of wood with cushions inside... not so much a good idea. If we have to bury people, at least use a simple box of wood and don't screw with all the chemicals injected into the body and makeup and so on. They're dead. We should see them as dead and not as living, or ideally not at all (again, just burn the remains. Or feed it to wild animals in the Diogenes' instruction). It's far easier to find ways to remember them as they were when living and to "say goodbye" in some ceremony or through association with others if needs be than to expend a tremendous economic value on death.

3) Cursive hand writing. Why, in an age of computers, would anyone still need to learn script form handwriting? We're supposed to use it for signatures, I'm told, but I just use a scribble that looks like it has letters in it somewhere personally. "Is that your signature" is kind of a useless question for me to answer, they don't look alike. One could also ask what we're still signing with a pen, since we can pay bills with electronics. I might gather that studying calligraphy might be a useful mental framework, an appreciation for the art of words and writing perhaps. But here we could simply select more diverse fonts for our written compositions and allow those few people who want to specialize in this obscure love of writing in a visually artistic way to develop those fonts for us. Fortunately I was never graded on "handwriting". Mine is terrible.

4) Seven "deadly" words. Enough said. I do share some idea that these are lazy intellectual words at times. But fuck it. They do get the point across to people much easier. And I hardly see any need for shame at their use. Much of our (popular) humor is crude as it is with or without the inclusion of these sacred code words that dare not be uttered in polite company.

Update: Another good one shows up


And this would be another one...
Post a Comment