Politeness and Urgency

When doing politics, which is my life, I often come across a lack of urgency and if pushed to a point, I’ll be rude to the point of cussing. Escpecially when I’m being ghosted or having a commitment violated during the course of a project. I got a text from the boyfriend of someone I had cussed a little and sent some crass messages too who angirly defended her out of a sense of chivalry. He is an accountant who has spent no time ever in the nonprofit or political sectors, nor has his girlfriend. Something that they seemed to be utterly oblivious too was the way I see the world. I work in politics and in the nonprofit sector and whether shit gets done is the difference between life and death for thousands of people and some endangered species.

He and her live in a bourgeois world where the first-world problems of their solipsistic lives are the biggest issue. So, mean DMs end a friendship forever. Firstly, I’m not that thin-skinned and when someone I pissed off sends me some cussy DMs (it’s happened to me a lot), I have the sentiment “They’ll be sober in the morning”. A few days later, our air will be clear with or without an apology. Secondly, I don’t live in that world. I’ve been through much worse than that, myself, and I pay attention whenever there is a war or a genocide, what the poverty statistics are, what natural disasters are happening, whatever bad things are happening in the world. My goal in life is to make all of those headlines read with more sunshine. In that case, I was trying to get something done that would help a lot of people and she was involved and ghosted and lied to break a promise to pretend she never made it.

I am not typically mean but I justify meanness via Saint Augustine’s “just war” theory insofar as if the cause is advanced by it, then it is justified. While it takes a lot to justify killing people, f-bombs to get someone’s attention or make a point take much less to justify. With fascism rising and the climate collapsing, cussing people out in bursts of DMs is almost nothing. A lot of people I work with do not, fundamentally, comprehend the existential nature of the problems we face. They are deeply offended and beside themselves with shock over the employment of “fucking” in an email. Well, the metaphorical asteroid is hurling itself toward the planet. Liberal democracy and the entire biosphere are being decimated. Her boyfriend, the accountant, and her do not see the metaphorical asteroid coming and consequently, they do not care.

This has happened a number of times. People are offended by my meanness. Now, one could argue that I would get farther by being nicer but I am nice for weeks or months before I start cussing with someone. So, at that point, the niceness has not worked. A few years back a girl I went to college with said she didn’t like me because I was harsh and inconsiderate of people’s feelings. Again, that’s uncommon for me, but that woman was an art history major who had never cared about a refugee or an endangered species in her life. People she regards as nameless statistics, I bleed with compassion for in ways she could never see herself doing. There needs to be a sense of urgency borne of a global consciousness. People complaining about f-bombs when the world is boiling is insane and absurd.

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