In “Get In The Van,” Henry Rollins belts out the phrase “destroyed by the eyes of the world.” Since I first listened to and read that tome at the age of 14, I’ve thought about the meaning of those words, and I’m far too strong to let the eyes of the world destroy me, but I feel them on me, none the less.
Often, when I am just going about my business, including when I’m on campus. I see people constantly looking at me with fear in their eyes. Talking about this subject with an eccentric homeless man he asked me if I thought it was racially motivated. I said that I think it’s a factor, but that’s not the only reason; there are other factors in the mix. I have a stern, serious demeanor ;people have commented on that I don’t smile that often, and that looks unfriendly and makes me seem unapproachable. I didn’t know I was supposed to walk around with some shit-eating grin on my face 24/7. My friend Mike also said my size is a factor; I stand 6’3 and weigh over 200 lbs. Then throw in that I’m inked up.
My best friend Mike said my intelligence also adds to the intimidation factor. He said I am both physically and intellectually intimidating. I really don’t understand why above-average intelligence is something to fear, but then again I’m someone with an above average IQ, not one of those dumb-dumb babies.
When watching the semi-sort of shitty Germs bio-pic “What We Do is Secret.” There is this part in the movie when Darby Crash is described as “frighteningly intelligent.” I don’t understand why gifted level intelligence is something that would inspire fear. Why do simple minds place those of higher level intelligence in a nefarious context? So, it’s not just a matter of being Black; it’s matter of being a large tattooed Black man with a stone-faced ,serious demeanor. I think about this one Black dude who I had a class with last year. I doubt people look at him with fear, as I often see people looking at me. He was small in stature, wore glasses, was sort of nerdy looking, and had a happy-go-lucky demeanor. I don’t think most people would look at him with fear in their eyes. Going back to what the homeless man said, who is hyper-obsessed with issues of race, to the point of interjecting it when they are not actually there, he had asked me if I do anything to let the people who look at me with fear know that I mean no harm to them. If I was to actually vocalize that it would probably be awkward and make them feel even more uncomfortable. Mike said I could ease the other person’s tension by smiling or a friendly greeting. I most certainly would not do that. A stranger is a stranger, and unless I have reason to speak to them I won’t.
The very fact that some people look at me with fear, worry or apprehension serves to further piss me of off. Because I’m not going to harm anyone, unless they are trying to harm me. My philosophy is one of if you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you. At this point in my life, the only way I could be provoked to violence is when it comes to self-defense, and in that case, violence is legally justified. When someone looks at me, and I can see they are afraid, at that moment I’ve lost all respect for them. I have a world view that leans heavily towards social Darwinism. When it comes to people, I see a cardinal, binary like division of the weak and the strong, and those are your only options. Those who show weakness are the opposite of myself.
By the way, showing fear in front of someone who you are afraid is really fucking stupid, and could put you in further danger. Predatory people pick victims who are easy pickings. Human vultures see fear, and that is the cue to swoop down. I’m not a predatory person. Like I said, you leave me alone, and I will leave you alone.
I see more than a few weary looks when I’m on campus, from two professors specifically and a dumbass janitor. I actually attended a meeting, back in May, with one of the Satery McStare-lots. The meeting was a redesign meeting for our local campus newspaper and now conjoined news website. And unexpectedly, two of the main PR instructors were there. This was the first time I had any interaction with them, and I walked away from the meeting thinking they were dumb jokes. Neither one of them have the intellectual demeanor you would expect from a college professor. She has the demeanor of a bitchy, bigoted female-redneck prison guard, and her husband I could more so envision as a boys basketball coach or a used car salesman.
As this dumb cunt walked into the room, and our eyes met, I picked up on a flash of discomfort and worry. If we were in a comic book the word balloon above her head would have read “Oh shit, it’s him, what is he doing here.” Seeing as the meeting actually pertained to the publication I write for, it should be a no brainer that I would be there.
During the course of the meeting ,the two PR instructors did most of talking, and about 99% of what came out of their mouths was stupid bullshit. The husband on the team suggested that we bring on high-schoolers to write for our campus paper. A total of three people, myself included, tried to explain why that wouldn’t work. He said that nobody would have to know they are high-schoolers. My reply was that having high-schoolers write for a college level publication would cause the quality of writing to dip. A 15 year old who is able to write at a college level would be a prodigy, and it’s not as if there is an abundance of literary prodigies in west central Missouri. His response– “ you have editors, don’t you?” It was one of those moments where I thought you really have no idea how this process works. An editor can tighten up and make adjustments concerning sentence mechanics and grammar, but they can’t wave a magic wand and turn shitty, sub-par writing into excellent writing. The content is the sole responsibility of the writer.
His wife, this ugly fucking stupid bitch who facially kind of resembles Rachel Dratch from Saturday Night Live, poo-pooed and downplayed everything we were doing. She called our initial goal of getting online representation again “pie in the sky.” Bullshit; we actually have online representation now, so it was not a far-fetched head in the clouds type of dream. She asked the other student-journalists in the room how they got started writing for the paper. Everyone else said they were essentially brought on by someone else. I was the anomaly in the room in that I on my own accord put together an opinion piece, waltzed right into the news room and talked to the then managing editor about getting it published, and that was in November of 2009.
The other student-journalists talked about being nervous or apprehensive when initially being brought on to write; I wasn’t. I then jokingly said “I’m not normal.” (and I’m glad I’m not like you) Then the ugly PR bitch said something that was peculiar and very telling. “You are not the norm of your audience.” I took this as a put down and her alluding to that I shouldn’t be in the position I am. I thought no fucking shit (you dumb cunt) I’m not the norm of the audience. The very fact that I write for a newspaper/online news source puts me in a category outside of the readership.
There are only a select few that have a talent for writing, and most people are media consumers, not media producers, not counting things like Facebook and You Tube. Where she went after that showed her hand and her bigotry, but not everyone in the room would have ,or even probably did, catch it. She then goes on to say that most people wouldn’t have the confidence I have. Ok, no foul there. What she said after that caused me to not like this bitch. She then goes on to say that this is a very conservative, rural environment and that most of the students come from places even smaller than Warrensburg. That’s inaccurate; with the student body you have students who come from urban,suburban, and rural environments. Fifteen percent of the students enrolled at UCM are from St. Louis. I meet a lot of UCM students who are from places like Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, and Independence(the suburbs outside of KC) What about all the international students on campus? I guess to her they don’t exist. With this whole rural, small town horseshit, she was bringing up something that was not even nominally related to what I had said. By going up to the newsroom on my own accord ,three years ago, I was being pro-active, and being pro-active is not incompatible with being a conservative. You could have someone who is conservative, liberal, moderate, independent, or other who is pro-active. If you are serious about being successful, being pro-active is a good trait to have. If you want it, go get it. Be your own catalyst.
What did she really mean when she said I’m not the norm of the audience and talking about the area being rural and conservative? Right after the meeting, I looked up her Facebook profile, and my suspicion was confirmed about what she meant, just by looking at what she likes. What did I see?, Focus on The Family, Chick-Fil-A , Family Research Council , Tim Teabow, campus ministry bullshit, prison ministry bullshit. This bitch is a bigoted, bible-thumping fundamentalist. So knowing that, let’s translate what she probably meant: “not the norm of your audience”= you’re not a Christian, and “rural/very conservative”= Christianity. ( or at least drawing attention to it being a component in the environment)
You can often get what someone means by learning to read in between the lines. Like so many right-wing fundamentalists she’s (passive aggressively) promoting the idea of a cultural monolith, the notion that her voice and ideology should be the only one heard, and all other voices, ideals, opinions, and lifestyles that do not resemble her own should be ignored, silenced, stifled, or marginalized. That’s a point of view that is more in alignment with that of Ayatollah Khomeini than Thomas Jefferson.
I wonder if she would find it more pleasing if I wrote about church chilli cook-offs, how Larry the Cable guy is the best comedian ever, and what is the best lube to use when having sexual relations with farm animals. For some reason, my guess is butter. In elements of news reporting, I learned that one of the aims of the journalist should be to capture the diversity of the human experience, not to cater to some type of monolithic insularity,which is what she was indirectly suggesting. The most hard-core of Christian fundamentalists believe they are engaged in some type of spiritual warfare; like a bunch of nerds playing Dungeons&Dragons, they believe they are doing battle with invisible monsters, and with some of these fucks, their battle could very well be transposed on to me. But whatever the reason is, it’s just rude to stare.
I think this song probably fits the mentality of the stupid bitch PR instructor.