Or: Chewing the Other Cheek
There’s a growing sore on the inside of my left cheek and I suspect it’s because I bit it in my sleep last night. Legend says that we bite our cheeks when we’re anxious and burdened with worries.
Actually, that isn’t a legend, my dentist told me that.
But there’s an ugly bruise inside my mouth and nobody’s having fun, least of all myself, especially since I can’t eat anything without wanting to call the hospital to amputate the thing so it stops hurting so much.
So many things have been worrying me recently, many of which have to do with things happening today. Also the things that happened before. And especially the things that haven’t happened yet.
I dropped my phone at a job interview today when I moved to shake someone’s hand. Now, I’m no longer sure if I’ll be able to land that job. Maybe I shouldn’t have moved out of my old one right away? Will I still be unemployed by the end of the year? When will I make my parents proud of me again?
So many worries. But none of them are as bad as the cancer cells I start growing every time I log in to Facebook.
Lately, there’s been an increasing number of people I’ve been itching to pick a fight with on the internet. Politics is to blame here. It’s a trigger for me now and I’m both ashamed and unapologetic. Say one wrong, idiotic, bullshit-ridden, sorry excuse masquerading as an opinion, and it sets me off. Makes me want to go absolutely HAM-hard-as-muddafuck apeshit on that sorry soul.
Who was it that said that politics, religion, and sports teams were the only guaranteed friendship breakers in this world? Because if it isn’t Carlin’s, then I’m claiming it for myself.
Politics, man. It’s bad for your cheeks. Also bad for your heart, but more so for your face’s insides, especially if you’re boiling with the heat of a thousand comebacks to the millions of stupids given the right to a Facebook account.
Times are getting dark and dangerous darkly fast. Spout the wrong opinion, offend the wrong person, and you’re more or less screwed. In the face of such a loud, rampant dissonance in basic human values and rights, there’s an urgent need to remind people what’s what. But sometimes, when it’s clear that they’re not going to listen anyway, it’s better to bite your cheeks instead. Nothing comes out and nobody gets hurt. That’s what it means to be a good, functioning member of society, right?
So what’s that say for the million stupids parading their opinions around as fact on the internet? What’s that say about me, now that I’m letting it out here?
Talking and making yourself heard are good. But you have to moderate where exactly you’re broadcasting your thoughts. Contrary to what the internet’s led us to believe, not everybody is interested in what you have to say. Someone’s bound to listen, but if everyone else isn’t as eager to give you a chance, then is it really worth it to speak so loudly?
Anger’s good, but if it’s the useless kind – the kind that does nothing else but make you feel good about yourself, while making everyone else feel the opposite – then you’re better off staying away from the internet until the anger disappears. I’m filled to the brim with opinions about every little thing; some of them shallow and useless, most of them so nasty, they don’t deserve to see the light of other people’s eardrums. You just don’t get to hear most of it, because making noise to drown out the loud sounds isn’t going to keep the peace.
You have to know which people to get mad at. Otherwise, it’s just useless yelling and an overgrown tantrum. If you’re not going to change their minds anyway, then what’s the point?
Easier to bite down on your cheek instead and click the Block button. Nobody gets to show off their vocabulary in pointless debates and we all get to live the rest of our lives in relative peace. Everyone wins. Some opinions don’t even need to be dignified with a proper, well-thought response.
When you become so convinced that you’re the only one standing in the right, it’s easy to forget that the rest of the world is entitled to their own free speech as well. Best not to get caught up in yourself, so nobody has anything personal to throw against you.
As I mull this over, the news blares on and on, offering the same tired excuses to explain the things going on in the world today. Online posts are getting lengthier and less funny by the day. My contacts list continues to shrink.
Meanwhile, the bruise in my cheek fades and heals, prepping itself for the next time I’ll have to bite down on it again.