Monthly Archives: November 2022

Art of Being Mean (excerpt from upcoming book, Good Fucking Manners)

Link to book description and intro:  New etiquette book available for pre-order

This book will be for sale in store sometime in January 2023.

Chapter 10

It’s okay to be mean, really.  Even Jesus Christ was a mean motherfucker when people fucked with his shit, flipping tables and all.  From the book of Matthew 21:12-13:

(12)And Jesus entered the temple[a] and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. (13) He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

That’s right, anyone who thinks Jesus was a nice dude not only hasn’t read the Bible, but probably thinks Pedro the priest doesn’t jerk off to biddibongbiddibing.

It’s human nature to be mean, though some are naturally meaner than others.  Those are details best left for another treatment, let’s start with the premise that there are good and bad ways to be mean.  You can be mean in a way that’s bad for your mental health, for instance.  Which implies that there are ways to be mean that’s healthy for you.  You can also be gratuitously mean.  You may not be mean enough, or at least not mean in an effective way.  And you can be mean in a way that’ll attract those who can make your life better, and drive away those who’ll make you miserable.  In summary, the art of being mean is worth thinking about.  So let’s examine how most people are mean in Anglo cultures (eg. US, UK, Canada) since I’m writing for the Anglo audience.

Sarcasm 

Anglo cultures (eg. US, UK, Canada) love sarcasm.  It’s everywhere and most are proud to be sarcastic.  Here’s the dictionary definition of sarcasm:

the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Here’s the Wiki definition:

a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt

Here’s the Greek etymology of sarcasm:

Greek sarkasmos “sarcasm,” from sarkazein “to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer,”

Which means most Americans, without realizing it, are bitter people who prefer to express contempt in a joking manner so as to not take ownership for feeling and expressing it.  And people wonder why middle-class America is the most medicated demographic in the world.  When people dress feelings they’re uncomfortable with — hate and anger — as “harmless, sassy wit,” they become emotionally corrupt. One can’t be nice AND sarcastic, just as one can’t be a nice rapist.  Pick one or the other, one can’t have it both ways.  Trying to have it both ways is how batshit crazy begins.

And just how mean does one need to be?  Usually, not mean enough to warrant using sarcasm to express what’s bothering you, the razor blades sarcasm brings to most fights are gratuitous and excessive.  Check out this opening line from an Emily Warren music video:

Good news Riley, looks like you’re going to be working the entire weekend

That’s a typical sarcastic remark Americans make. How is that funny?  It isn’t funny to Riley, who was looking forward to having the weekend off. Maybe it’s funny to those who really really hate Riley and wish the worst for her? Is the speaker marveling at his own so-called wit, at Riley’s expense?  Wouldn’t it be kinder if he’d said this instead:

Riley, I’m sorry.  I know you were looking forward to taking this weekend off, but we really need you to work this weekend. I’ll make it up to you.

Point is, a lot of people make sarcastic remarks when it’s inappropriate to do so.  This creates negativity that’s somehow packaged as funny to those who delight in other people’s follies and misfortunes.

If the intention is to be bitter and mean, then fine, continue with the sarcasm.  But don’t tell everyone how nice you are because that’s about as honest as American foreign policy.  Save the sarcasm for when you’re really really pissed, like ready to choke that person out pissed.  Here’s how Jesus used sarcasm to taunt a mob that wanted to stone him:

They picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” – John 10:31–32

Ouch. Here’s another example of sarcasm used appropriately, someone asked Moses if he was fucking up after he led his wandering Jews out of Egypt:

Was there a lack of graves in Egypt, that you took us away to die in the wilderness?” Exodus 14:11

Another example from Hamlet Act 1, Scene 2, in which Hamlet gets pissed about his mom marrying his uncle way too soon after his father has died:

“Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral bak’d meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.”

In the above three examples, sarcasm is used only in dire situations and its purpose isn’t to joke around, it’s to elucidate what’s really happening. To use sarcasm to joke about everyday situations is to use it inappropriately, with disastrous consequences.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling contempt and taunting another person. Even Jesus felt contempt toward the Pharisees and had sharp words for them.  It’s the dishonesty about one’s intentions and sense of self that’s toxic.  If you’re going to be mean, be unabashedly mean and take responsibility for it instead of dressing it up as a joke.  This is how Tucker Max, New York Times bestselling author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and Assholes Finish First, introduces himself:

My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.

Which he is, read his books if you don’t believe me. But at least he’s not emotionally corrupt and batshit crazy because he’s *honest* about his meanness.  And his meanness has a point – he’s calling out posers, self-righteous dipshits, really.  His meanness is a gratifying counterpoint to the humorless, passive-aggressive narratives that losers chirp around to virtue signal their moral superiority when in fact, they are cruel, vile, and incompetent.  Tucker Max is mean and he makes the world a better place.

“Dangerous Faggot” Milo Yiannapoulos also lauds the virtues of being mean, to be a “virtuous troll” as he calls it.  For him, the game of political and moral discourse is no different from a game of football – to not be mean is to forfeit the game.  One must speak with teeth instead of being muzzled by political correctness.  That’s because:

The progressive Left is dedicated to the annihilation of America and every surviving libertarian and conservative person in it. The Left’s gratuitous vandalism of American institutions and its hostility to the principles that have made this country great cannot be fought with essays in magazines. The Left can only win by forcing us onto the uneven playing field of political correctness. I choose war.

Play the fucking game right – land your punches — or go home, okay?  That means avoiding euphemisms and describing what you see with succinct precision.

How to mean the correct way

First, take responsibility for being mean, what’s the point of hiding that you’re a mean person?  In other words and again, be honest, be authentic and sincere.  When you announce your intention to be mean instead of hiding it in a pile of fake good intentions and lame jokes, you’ll feel better about yourself, and your meanness might make the world a better place.  I mean, do you want to live intentionally or not?  Because if you’re not living intentionally, then you’ll have no idea when you’re being mean.  You’ll be mean *while* you think you’re the nicest person in the whole wide world, perhaps because your job title or degree (BS in Social Fucking Justice!) says so.  That’s the most treacherous type of meanness because it’s driven by hubris and detachment from social reality.

Paul Graham, the billionaire co-founder of the start-up accelerator, Y-Combinator, once tweeted, “The most surprising thing I’ve learned from being involved with nonprofits is that they are a magnet for sociopaths. One’s naive reaction is “Why would nonprofits attract them? Nonprofits do good!” But the defining quality of nonprofits is to make no profit, not to do good.”  Those with good manners virtue signal, those with good fucking manners get shit done.

Euphemisms
They’re a waste of time, dangerous lies really.  But Anglos love them because they think it makes them high sounding, as if their shit don’t stink.  Example: in Chinese, the restroom is “stinky room.”  In Anglo nations, the “stinky place” is the “restroom,” reality scrubbed clean.  Think about that.

Other examples: secretary has morphed to “administrative assistant” to “project coordinator.”  “Janitors” became “custodians” and now “custodial engineers.” You think the title change confers upon them more respect or does the pretentiousness of it all make them more look pathetic, even though I doubt many of them requested the title changes.  Then there’s self-aggrandizement, where people start some bullshit business, no employees of office, and call themselves a “CEO.”  In the American socio-cultural world, Black people went from “nigger” to “negro” to “African American” in less than 100 years with nothing to show for it, unemployment rate for Blacks has consistently been double the rate for Whites since they started to keep track of that data in 1950, regardless of who is in office.  What are fat people called now?  How about those pronouns, are they a source of freedom or dysfunction?  People wonder why so many Americans suffer from identity crisis and are thus the most medicated demographic in history.

Still don’t think euphemisms are dangerous lies?  How about “quantitative easing” for “printing a shitload of money to fund stupid shit”?  “Friendly fire” for “deadly accidents in the name of war.”  “Collateral damage” when a bomb misses and takes out a village of civilians.  A friend of mine who works for a major weapons manufacturer is required to call the bombs he designs “ordnances”?

The flip side of softening the blow of reality is to exaggerate the trials and tribulations of those you don’t like. In the West, the Tiananmen Protests became the “Tiananmen Massacre,” blending elements of truth – deadly city-wide riots and a large student protest – to create a helluva story since discredited by WikiLeaks[1] and Western journalists such as Gregory Clark.[2] Russian invasion of Ukraine as “unprovoked,” even though Pat Buchanan and University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer have warned about US aggression toward Russia since the late 1990s.  The moral certitude and self-righteousness of the Anglo mainstream is breathtaking.  George Orwell on the source of this madness:

Our language becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.[3]

Euphemisms make people stupid and emotionally lame.  So stop using them if you want to have good fucking manners.  Dipshits will call you mean, which you are.  George Orwell, one more time:

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s desired aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms.

Be mean by being honest, transparent, and concise.  And save the sarcasm for when you’re justifiably

[1] Link to Wikileaks regarding Tiananmen Square is broken (interesting).  So, try https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8555142/Wikileaks-no-bloodshed-inside-Tiananmen-Square-cables-claim.html

[2] https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2008/07/21/commentary/birth-of-a-massacre-myth/

[3] https://saharareporters.com/2010/11/25/george-orwell-%E2%80%93-politics-and-english-language#:~:text=The%20decline%20of%20a%20language,us%20to%20have%20foolish%20thoughts.

 

 

Closed from Nov. 21 to end of year. REOPEN New Year’s Day

We’ll use this time to deep clean, organize, and explore.  Some recipes will change, and there’ll be a couple of new items.

First trip will be to Quebec City, which looks like a Christmas village starting last week of November.

Quartier Le Petit Champlain

Frontenac Hotel, overlooking St. Lawrence river.

 

There’s an ice hotel in Quebec City! Unfortunately, it’s not ready until January for viewing and stays. But I don’t want to be in QC in January because sub zero temperatures aren’t unusual during that time.

 

There’s even a bar inside! Someday I’ll check it out, maybe on a layover.

And since this is a business trip, we’ll check out restaurants for ideas and inspiration.

Next stop is Mexico City, an underrated and safe metropolis of 9 million, to explore some museums, restaurants, and neighborhoods I missed last time I was there.  Hopefully we’ll dine at Pujol, which according to Restaurant magazine, is the 9th ranked restaurant in the world, and Quintonil, to see what modern Mexican cuisine is about.

From there we’ll rent a car to drive to Santiago de Queretaro, a city of a million that’s 2 hours northwest of Mexico City.  They say it’s a prosperous and beautiful city, with its 17th century aqueduct still intact.

Panoramic View of Santiago de Queretaro Aqueduct in Mexico.

Two nights there and then it’s off to Guanajuato, my favorite city in the world.  It may be small — population of 200,000 within the municipality and 70,000 in the city — but it has the amenities and events of much larger cities.  A symphony, two theaters, and two international festivals, for instance.  And there’s a nice balance of tourists from around the world, instead of mostly form the US and Canada.  Food there is as good though not as varied as what you’d find in Seattle.  I had amazing French and Italian food last time I was there, but you won’t find dim sum, ramen, or stinky tofu.

Then to Lima, Peru, primarily to explore its famous cuisine.  Many chefs tout Peruvian cuisine as one of the best in the world, and everyone who has traveled South America says Lime has the best food on the continent.  Especially excited to try Nikkei cuisine at Maido, ranked the 11th top restaurant by Restaurant magazine.  I’m curious about the climate: Lima is a desert (two inches of rain per year) in the tropics with high humidity (80%).  Yearly temperatures range from 45-80F.  And for six months our of the year, it feels like it’s about it rain but never does.  Bizarre!

Nikkei cuisine at Maido.

Lima sits on cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

From there, back to Everett to prepare for opening on New Year’s Day.  Will post regularly about travels, so follow the blog, Facebook and Instagram for photos and videos.  Happy holidays everyone!