26 May 2010

How to Avoid Misanthropy

You know that saying about cynics being nothing more than disappointed romantics? Well, along those lines, I view misanthropes not so much as mankind-hating monsters, but disappointed humanists. And that would pretty much be me.

When it comes to misanthropy, I walk around about 7/8 full most of the time, and do my level best not to top myself off. This is not easy. But I have developed a set of not-so-easy-to-follow rules which take me from day to day. If you, too, are having a problem with your fellow men, you are welcome to follow as many, or as few, of the rules as you please.

RULE #1: Avoid contact with people. This, of course, is not very practical, and can lead to an unfortunate, hermetic existence. Which leads to the more applicable...
RULE #2: Avoid contract with people for short periods of time. Particularly when your mood darkens. This will enable you to recharge your humanity. And give you time to get suckered into the idea once again that maybe they've changed while you've been away.
RULE #3: Avoid politicians. They lie all the time, and for the wrong reasons.
RULE #4: Avoid realtors and real estate developers. They lie all the time, and for the wrong reasons.
RULE #5: Avoid publicists and press agents. See above.
RULE #6: Avoid wealthy people. The rationalizations they devise for spending more and more money on themselves, to the exclusion of other, more selfless expenditures, will make your eyes bleed with fury if you even think about it a little.
RULE #7: Avoid garrulous groups of young men in their 20s in groups of five or more. Ditto, young women. Especially in bars and on sidewalks. Their conversations, and decibel levels, will madden you.
RULE #8: Do not listen to talk radio. You end up hating people. You hate the hosts if you don't agree
with them. And, if you do agree with them, you grow to hate the people they denigrate.
RULE #9: Do not watch reality television. Such shows are designed to show humanity at its very worst. And that many people like them doesn't say much for humanity either.
RULE #10: Have nothing to do with celebrities, particularly actors. They are borderline sociopaths who desire your attention only so they can reject it.
RULE #11: Spend time with children under ten. Their pleasures are simple and pure, they can openly express delight, they are easily pleased, they appreciate your time, and, for the most part, they lack guile.
RULE #12: Pet dogs. But avoid cats—they do not care about you.
RULE #13: Spend time in old-fashioned restaurants and bars that impose antiquated notions of dress and behavior. It will instill you, briefly, with the delusion that pockets of civilization are still possible.
RULE #14: Read about history that happened before you were born, or a biography about someone who's dead. It's the past. It's over. You can't do anything about any of it, so it won't upset you.
RULE #15: Watch traffic and marvel at the collective good will required among the many drivers to maintain such constant, flowing order.
RULE #16: Don't take this list too seriously.
RULE #17: Don't read blogs like this.


Brooklynbee said...

This is a great list! I agree with everything except not petting cats. Petting cats lowers your stress, and cats DO care! They just show it differently than dogs.

lakelover said...

My cat cares a little too much. And I have met children under 10 that, while not full of guile, are not guileless either. But generally what you said about them is true.

Anonymous said...

I know many cats that care about
their owners or should I say cats
adopt us but are pretty cool in letting us feel otherwise.

I met a couple of actor's who were
nice and caring people to me but then
again my GF was the daughter of a well known movie Producer.

Mike of Tin Pan Alley

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Funny how people come to the defense of cats. People, not so much.

Anonymous said...

We surely can love cats and be
in the defense of cruelty to
Humans as well.