Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Paranoia

For me, the thing that sets America apart from other countries – at least the ones that I’ve visited and lived in – is the paranoia. Everything that's ever happened has been faked, and everyone thinks someone’s out to get them. 

Except, in most cases, no one is out to get anyone in particular. I figured this out when I was 15 years old and realized that I’m nowhere near important enough to get and neither is anyone I know. The government? It couldn’t give less of a damn, and it certainly doesn’t have the manpower or resources to watch everyone all the time. Hell, they’re having trouble keeping the roads paved. Sure, you might wind up as collateral damage, but that’s just your bad luck. It’s because you’ve gotten in the way of someone else’s efforts to make a profit, and not because a bunch of dudes sat down in a top-secret meeting and said, “Alright, let’s think of some ways to f&ck with [insert your name here.]”

If you start ranting about how some group or other is trying to destroy you or your way of life, or how the worst possible things are all going to happen in ascending order of badness, I’m going to find a way out of that conversation and out of all future conversations if I can help it. Because let’s be honest, excluding cases where genuine mental illness is involved, your paranoia is evidence of your massive ego. If you didn’t think you were somebody really special, you wouldn’t be worried about anyone coming to get you. Likewise, if you want to talk to me about a conspiracy theory, it'd better be the Lincoln assassination. 

Not to mention, it’s just plain exhausting to have to listen to that crap all the time. If you’re not rambling on about the bad things you’re certain are going to happen to you, you’re filling me in on how everything in my life is about to go horribly, irreparably wrong. I have a hard enough time maintaining a positive state of mind without that kind of drain on my energies. Don’t be the guy who lists all the things that could go wrong. Nobody likes that guy.

That guy does not get invited to the good parties.