For me the greatest irony of living in a large, multi-kulti city is that, while familiarity with a diverse cross-section of humanity has expanded my consciousness, cultural horizons, and overall tolerance, it has also made me fantastically more judgmental. But as a wise man once said – I’m not prejudiced; I dislike everyone equally.
Naked gay guys? Annoying and ridiculous. Old Chinese people? Rude, pushy and cheap. XXXL, Suburban-driving 49ers fans? Neanderthals. Panhandling Haight Street crusties? A scourge on humanity. White collar, high-maintenance Uber-Moms? Self-righteous be-yotches with fucked-up priorities. Skinny-jeaned, fixie-ridin’ hipsters? Poseurs.
See what I mean? All are disliked equally.
So obviously, no one cares what I think; that’s not my point. My point is that I am so uncomfortable with the paradox. I am tortured by my co-existing but irreconcilable traits, Love-of-Diversity and Disdain-For-Virtually-Everyone.
Eons ago I ran a homeless feeding program in Hollywood. While I took on the job primarily for the employment, not for the sake of being some Amazing Fucking Altruist, I felt good about helping my community. Homelessness in Los Angeles, is after all, you know, a problem, and I might as well be a part of the solution, right? Fast forward six months, however, and my capacity for empathy had shrunk like wool socks in a dryer; I began to see the clients as perpetually whining infants incapable of doing anything for themselves. Without a background in social work or psychology or drug counseling or mental health treatment (HOW did I get this job?), I had no tools to understand or grapple with their vast gaps in logic or lack of basic life skills. I just wanted to slap and shake some of them and shout “has it ever occurred to you that maybe there’s a REASON why you are homeless??!!”
That is just SO wrong. Is there anything lower than hating homeless people? As I couldn’t reconcile my newfound Ninth-Circle-of-Hell evilness with my generally liberal social beliefs, I quit that job before Satan or Jesse Helms or whoever’s in charge down there recruited me to be his right-hand gal. I do really and truly, deep down, want to embrace the beauty of imperfect humanity, love my fellow man, and live and let live. Really and truly.
Which I guess is pretty much what I DO do. Secretly. And with judgments, lots and lots of judgments. Mostly as a survival mechanism when the great crush of multitudes gets to be too much, or – fuck it, let’s face it, it’s fun to make snarky comments to yourself about people you don’t know. Whenever I get a little too nasty though, and wonder if maybe it’s time to blow this leftier-than-thou, ridiculously expensive popsicle stand, I realize the alternatives would only magnify my misanthropy. A few hours in my native Orange County and BOY do I remember how I love the City folks!