I think one of the great moral lies of the ages is that of self-sacrifice; the idea that true human love and compassion is demonstrated by going without so that others may have. I think that’s bullshit. Or more correctly, within my Nietzchian understanding, the mentality of the weak herd.
Self-sacrefice is useless because something is still lost. The receiver may prosper momentarily as long as the gift may last, but the giver is encumbered in the giving. That’s because of the fundamental moral flaw in the equation, this fundamentally Protestant idea of charity. It is not that it is useless to give, but it is useless to give what is not needed. Or more exactly, to genuinely give is to give something that is actually needed by the receiver; not something that you think that they might like. That is false conscience, false giving, if you will.
It is the mentality of the colonialist: we know what is best for you. Here, take our gifts and be grateful you ingrateful, primitive wretches!
On the other hand, to empathize with another, to see the world you are sharing from their vantage point; to see what someone else actually needs and to give that to them because one has a surplus of cash, water, food or hospice is the essential act of selfless generosity.
Selfless because the giver is no longer obsessed with the act of giving and the moral superioirity that the gesture denotes.
The giver is only focussed on the receiver receiving what they need.
That is what a friend does.
A friend provides a friend in need with something that they can afford to share because the other person needs it and you have some to spare. Or a friend may suggest a means by which their friend can achieve their need through a contact, a connection or information that the receiver did not have. People who are not your friend but insist that they are and want what is best for you, are to be avoided like the plague.
In fact they are THE PLAGUE.
Run from them as fast as you can, as soon as they betray their symptoms of self-aggrandizing, moral superiorizing flakiness.
You can easily tell who they are.
They’re the ‘friends’ who always ask you how you’re doing when they know that you’re struggling with some necessity. They always sound sympathetic, when what in fact they are doing is gloating and relishing in your comparative discomfort.
They like to watch you suffer, get updated on your sufferig and make sympathetic noises because that way they get front row seats to watch your ……suffering.
These false friends, these fakes and phonies, will offer you possible solutions that are always tied tightly to their good will, their schedule and their willingness to not let you forget who your benefactor is. They will offer to arbitrate in disputes when they know the other party and have an agenda to place the other parties interests over your own. These betrayers will lead you on, giving you endless excuses about why things have gone wrong and prevented them from fulfilling their offer to help you. Do not rely on these twerps. They are time and energy wasters. They are flakes and I’ve met my fair share since I landed back in San Diego.
Southern California seems to attract flakes like a blizzard magnet.
I think it’s the warm weather and sunshine that attract people who don’t really do much with their lives and love to feast on the mistery of others.
Some of these flakes are American, some are from overseas trying to fit into their Californian flake dream as “kind and simple people”. “Kindly be simple somewhere else”, is my response; some of us have things to do with our lives, in the real world!
California flakes (and they come from all over, even Sweden), don’t believe in language. Or rather they beleive that language can conform to whatever mood that they’re in. If they make a commitment or a promise and then change their minds or decide that they want more from what they agreed, they consistently forget that they said anything at all.
I actually had a so-called educated Swedish woman say to me straight faced that I should not hold her to her word or her agreements as English was her second language and that she understood basic terms like “cover” (as in to cover a fee or cost), in the Swedish sense of the term and that I should make allowances for whatever she says or contradicts because her English wasn’t as good as mind. Oh, and to ignore anyhing her son may have said as he’s not really mentally disposed to making comittments. (!)
Her English was and is fine. What’s askew is her moral compass as to how she meets her obligations and keeps her word; which of course, is non existent and not conducive to her “kind and simple” life.
I’m surrounded by flakes who have no respect for their word, the words of others or any sense of moral purpose other than to get what’s in it for them.
Greed and calculated, camouflaged self-interest underscore the character of a flake, Swedish or otherwise.
Flakes lack the imagination to understand mutual self interest or how the needs or objectives of many can become one direction, one attainable end result where everyone partaking wins. No, flakes not only lack the imagination, they lack the will. They are weak, pathetic, passive aggressive little shits. And if you step in one, wipe your shoe of and walk away. You’ll thank me for it!
The other kind of friend that will betray you is the one who has betrayed themselves already. These flakes often affect the highest moral posture, more often than not professing adherence to some religion or other. Religious adherents are often the most morally dubious of individuals (Catholic priests and nuns, anyone?). It’s not enough to be good, kind and compassionate, I got to make sure everyone else knows that I am in a public space, each and every Sunday.
Really?? That’s what makes you a good person?
Oh, I forgot, you told me that you were a kind and generous person. I must not have been listening. Personally, I don’t go around telling people what a kind and generous person I am; I just do what I do and hope for the best. I act in kindness, compassion and generosity. I don’t need to announce it because my actions always speak louder.
The less said about family the better, however in my particular cirucmstance not only was I side swiped by a mother and son Swedish couple of flakes, I had to deal with a major flake who I let get too close.
I felt sorry for her, my father’s second wife. So when she professed to wanting to be referred to as my daughter’s second grandmother, I let pass my inital recoil to the misrepresentation and with my father’s urgings “indulged” the stupid woman. Much as I had indulged her forcing my father to marry her in a Christian church knowing full well that he was a life long atheist. Or the fact that she would utter supernatural drivel about my dad and mys sister being in heaven smiling down on me.
Excuse me while I wretch.
I indulged this stupid woman and when she linked up with an internet boyfriend from some vulgar dating site six months after my father died, I tried to accept her happiness as parmount to my father’s memory and her claim that he was the man of her life.
I was able to indugle and tolerate most things, that is until she showed her true colours and exactly how thick her blood really was. After promising me a place to stay in her parent’s vacant pool-side Cabana (they’re rich), she changed her mind while I was in New York because her father wanted to spray for termites. This left me effectively homeless for the past 2 weeks and at no small expense. To compound matters, as all of my possessions were at her parents, I asked them to be returned to me; she obliged somewhat bt managed to lose all of my mothere’s legal documents in the process of ‘returning’ my things.
What an idiot!
What a flake.
The Swedish flakettes I can deal with in Small Claims Court for breach of a verbal contract to rent to me. (Boy do I have enough evidence through DMs and emails and applications to get my money back!)
But the betrayal by someone who has claimed for over a decade to be a memeber of your family is intolerable.
Towards the end of my career in comics, I had reason to admire the writing of Alan Moore more and more (pun intended). The man was unquestionably the best writer working in comics. But he had also affected what I first thought might be some kind of paranoid personality disorder. More and more of our mutual acquantances would at some point announce to me that ‘Alan’ had cut them out of his life, that he no longer had anything more to do with them and never spoke to them after some trespass was committed. I thought that odd and soon found myself amongst the growing ranks of the exiled myself.
I thought to myself, how odd that a person of such social conscience and obvious human compassion (read him!), would stoop to such a level of schoolyard-like self-isolation. Was Alan Moore a sulker? A sulky old bastard?
But lately what I’ve come to realize that I had initially dimissed as an eccentricity. a personality quirk of a great talent, I now am realsiign is actually a very useful survival strategy. Eliminate the people in your life who have caused you harm or are likely too. Get rid of them. Exile them from your circuit, never speak to them again. It’s easy. Try it. You will get a reputation for being “difficult” diva-like or even unhinged and hermitic; I have.
So what? It’s a small price to pay to get the flakes out of your hair and the bozos to the back of the bus!
I think Alan Moore is right to cut people out of his life; it gets shorter and shorter and we have less time and energy for too many good people in our lives already. There ain’t room for you, my friend-flake; I’m in surivial mode. Flakes are the companions of small children and when we grow, we learn to leave our children’s toys behind. My view is to terminally cut people off who have wasted my time, my energy or who have tried to deceive or take unfair advantage. If I see them to this to someone else, that also qualifies for termination. This gives me the energy to focus on the few but real friends I have. People I have known for years who have proven to be time and time again, my friends. Actions speak louder than words and the actions of my real friends is a heavenly chorus.
Alan once asked me in the back of Dick Jude’s car whilst driving from London to Newcastle for Alan to be interviewed by Paula Yates (I had thought that Newcastle was on the District Line!); that when I was walking in the park and I happened to step in some dog shit, what did I do about it?
I didn’t really understand the question, so I replied “buy a new pair of shoes?” Alan leered at the response: “When you step in dog shit you don’t jump up and down on it; you just wipe your shoe clean and walk away”.
Alan Moore knows the score and soon you will too.
~Just a little pissed off at the number and density of flakes I run into in South California.
That’s one positive thing I can say about England; they have more snow but fewer flakes than California.