Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 27: I'm sorry, I'm not interested

Morrissey says this to his elementary school teacher on page 60 of his autobiography when asked about a book that is being read aloud in class.  The context is that he has been staring out of the window while the book is being read.  He is watching black rain fall outside of the windows, as one would imagine a young Morrissey doing.

We should all be this honest at such a young age.  We are taught as children that we need to respond appropriately when we are addressed by teachers and other adults, but that appropriate response rarely includes expressing ourselves authentically.  Instead, we are groomed to feign interest in appropriate things at appropriate times.  We are repeatedly encouraged to suppress our true interests for the sake of those things that someone else who has never met us or come to know our person has decided are in our benefit.

Conform and suppress.  Conform and suppress.  I say no.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

The people I give fucks about: My Dad's Birthday


Day 25

I have so few fucks to give that I'm not posting anything clever today. Take it or leave it. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 24: The rules for living fucklessly

not give a fuck

I’ve gone through my life giving away far too many f*cks.

Which would be fine, if the f*cks were handed out where they were due.

Unfortunately though, often they weren’t. Too many times I have given a f*ck about things that really didn’t matter—things that were unimportant, irrelevant and only served to make me feel worse about myself and my life instead of feeling better.

Too much energy has been wasted in giving f*cks about the stuff that really don’t warrant f*cks being given.

Now, when I give a f*ck, I want to make sure it’s a worthy one.

So, I devised my own set of rules as to when to give a f*ck and when it’s time to say, “Sorry, I have given too many f*cks on this already, I have no more f*cks to give.”

If someone doesn’t like what I’m wearing—that’s okay, I’m wearing it for me, not for them. No need for any f*cks.

Don’t like what I have to say?

The option is always there not to listen. No f*cks will be given. However, if alternative views are being offered, which differ to what I’m saying, I am ready and always willing to listen.

Don’t like what I write about?

They are my words, my thoughts and my opinions. I will take on board what is offered back to me and allow it to open my mind further, however, I have no f*cks to give out to those who wish to use spiteful criticism just because they think differently than me.

If someone doesn’t like how I look?

I can’t think of a single reason why I’d give even a fraction of a f*ck here.

Things I have no control over.

If worry, anxiety and stress is useless when I can’t change things, why would a f*ck be any different?

Gossip.

Who’s dating who, who said what and who went where. I have no f*cks for gossip. I worked out long ago that as soon as I turn my back, I will be the one gossiped about.

F*cks? Zero.

You’re upset with me but refuse to tell me why?

I will most likely give a f*ck, but not until I know what’s going on. If it isn’t important enough to discuss, then it’s not important enough to fret over.

Bullying, putting me down and using aggression, anger or violence will never cause me to give a f*ck.

I will simply remove myself, walk away and refuse to play the opposing role in any conflicts of this kind. I’m not going to allow someone the pleasure of seeing me rise through these kinds of interactions.

I have learned the hard way and as George Carlin says ‘’Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

So, I walk far and fast.

I’m too skinny, fat, average, curvy, straight, boobs too small or too big, bum too small or too big.

There should never be a “too” to describe anyone’s body—every shape and size is different and unique to each person. There is no right or wrong.

I am whatever weight suits my mind, body and lifestyle at this given moment in time. I may be lighter one year, heavier the next. I have way too many other important things to think about than weight. I’m healthy—so sorry, no f*cks will be given.

The weather.

It is ridiculous the amount of times I have given way too many f*cks over the weather. I cannot change it, all I can do is learn to live my life around it. The weather has prevented me from working, forced me to cancel important events, has been blamed for making me feel miserable and has caused a very good day out to go very bad when the skies have opened on me.

Now, I look out and see the universe at work, one of the only things that no man has any control over. Instead of giving f*cks, I use the changes in plans to focus on other things that I wouldn’t normally have time to pay attention to.

Instead of being f*cked, I am fascinated by how the weather impacts life and the only option we have is to submit to it. And that feels good.

Another thing I could not give a f*ck about is being normal.

What even is normal? Who created it? And why? Normal and fitting in may work for others, but it has never worked for me. Never, will I be pegged into a hole that has already been carved for me.

And to those who judge me?

I could not give a f*ck. Not even half a fu*k. None. As the old saying goes, “Those that judge don’t matter and those that matter won’t judge.”

Some may like me, love me, hate me, feel indifferently—it doesn’t matter what I do as I will never please everyone. I can however, please myself. Every day.

In order for my f*cks to be given out with just reason, I reflect back on these simple rules for giving a f*ck regularly, to remind myself only give to give them when they’re due.

Giving a f*ck is important as it means it’s raised a vibration within me that has caused a reaction. Even if the reaction is only internal and I don’t act on it, it will still affect my mind and my body.

Not giving out f*cks freely does not mean I don’t give a f*ck. I give a million and one f*cks about my family, friends and about the wrongs of the world. Injustice, cruelty, attacks against the innocent and defenseless, war, racism, homophobia, environmental issues and animal rights. The list is endless.

In giving few f*cks about the things that aren’t worth worrying over, I am free to put all my energy into focusing on the things that are worthy of my attention.

I don’t sit by and give f*cks without actually doing something about it.

Giving f*cks and then not acting on them is a drain on my energy levels. If I care enough about a cause to give a f*ck about it, I act on it. Even if it is only the smallest act like sharing information, speaking out, making changes in my lifestyle or volunteering and donating.

I do something positive with the f*cks that are being given.

A f*ck should never be given then wasted. If it fires me up then I will allow the flames to spread. But, only where it is warranted.

The benefits of not giving out f*cks where they aren’t due means that I now feel less fearful, have more confidence, no longer worry about trivial things, I’m far more positive and I have learned a lot about myself by recognizing what things matter to me and what doesn’t.

More importantly, I take control of my life when I take control of giving out f*cks.

The unimportant f*cks now fade into the background, leaving me time and energy to deal with the f*cks that are important.

Not giving a f*ck about things that aren’t important is the most liberating feeling in the world.

It took moving to a new city hundreds of miles from my hometown for me to really appreciate the art of not giving a f*ck. No one knew me. I could do what the hell I wanted. I could wear what I wanted, go where I wanted, behave exactly how I wanted to behave and live the life that suited me.

I hadn’t realized how much impact the small town in which I once had lived had had on influencing me. I had become conditioned to fitting in, blending and fading, so that I did not stand out and get talked about. And it didn’t feel good.

How much had I missed out on due to trivial f*ck-giving?

I will always care a little about what the world makes of me – it’s perfectly natural. The key is to think more about what I think of myself and my own beliefs, values, ideas and opinions than I do of what others think.

I refuse to dim my light by living in fear of other people’s unnecessary f*cks. If I don’t enjoy being on the receiving end of random f*cks, I’m certainly not going to be giving them out.

Retrieved from elephantjournal.com
Via on Jan 20, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ChokeChoke by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are not many authors who can make you root for a scamming, sex addicted, thieving, selfish slime, but Palahniuk succeeds.  And this is his true gift.  Palahniuk makes us fall in love with life and people, even on the grittiest level.  He makes us see ourselves in dirty, sticky mirrors whether we want to or not.


View all my reviews

The HoursThe Hours by Michael Cunningham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book gets three stars because it is honestly beautifully written.  This book fails to get any more stars because there is really only one character in the entire book, who is not one of the three main characters, who is written in such a way that you honestly care about what happens to them and who's story is truly meaningful (Richard).  The three women who we follow through the chapters struggle endlessly with feeling like they are watching themselves from outside of their own bodies and are simply too self indulgent and pained with their 'struggles' while they live charmed lives of creativity and excess.  This book rivals Eat, Pray, Love as a feminist's worst nightmare.


View all my reviews

Day 21: Because Freddie Mercury


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 20: So you're offended?

The thing about being offended is that you own that.  I don't own that.  If I posted something that hit you right in the feels, use it as an opportunity to ask yourself why it bothered you so much.  Grow.  Learn.  You owe it to yourself.  And frankly, my dear, I don't give any fucks.


Monday, January 19, 2015

DryDry by Augusten Burroughs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What I love most about Augusten Burroughs is that he thinks what we are all thinking.  My very favorite thing about this book is the raging, beautiful, stinking and raw humanity of it, which is why I just love Burroughs as a writer.  Not only is the human experience captured perfectly in this memoir, but I just can not say enough positive things about its importance to anyone who has struggled with addiction.  Just read the book.


View all my reviews

Day 19: The BEST article ever written about Fucks.

Behold... By Mark Manson



In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.

People often say the key to confidence and success in life is to simply “not give a fuck.” Indeed, we often refer to the strongest, most admirable people we know in terms of their lack of fucks given. Like “Oh, look at Susie working weekends again, she doesn’t give a fuck.” Or “Did you hear that Tom called the company president an asshole and still got a raise anyway? Holy shit, that dude does not give a fuck.” Or “Jason got up and ended his date with Cindy after 20 minutes. He said he wasn’t going to listen to her bullshit anymore. Man, that guy does not give a fuck.”

Chances are you know somebody in your life who, at one time or another, did not give a fuck and went on to accomplish amazing feats. Perhaps there was a time in your life where you simply did not give a fuck and excelled to some extraordinary heights. I know for myself, quitting my day job in finance after only six weeks and telling my boss that I was going to start selling dating advice online ranks pretty high up there in my own “didn’t give a fuck” hall of fame. Same with deciding to sell most of my possessions and move to South America. Fucks given? None. Just went and did it.



Now, while not giving a fuck may seem simple on the surface, it’s a whole new bag of burritos under the hood. I don’t even know what that sentence means, but I don’t give a fuck. A bag of burritos sounds awesome, so let’s just go with it.

The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. We give a fuck about the rude gas station attendant who gave us too many nickels. We give a fuck when a show we liked was canceled on TV. We give a fuck when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend. We give a fuck when it’s raining and we were supposed to go jogging in the morning.

Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking spring time. And for what purpose? For what reason? Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe?

This is the problem, my friend.

Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.

Indeed, the ability to reserve our fucks for only the most fuckworthy of situations would surely make life a hell of a lot easier. Failure would be less terrifying. Rejection less painful. Unpleasant necessities more pleasant and the unsavory shit sandwiches a little bit more savory. I mean, if we could only give a few less fucks, or a few more consciously-directed fucks, then life would feel pretty fucking easy.

What we don’t realize is that there is a fine art of non-fuck-giving. People aren’t just born not giving a fuck. In fact, we’re born giving way too many fucks. Ever watch a kid cry his eyes out because his hat is the wrong shade of blue? Exactly. Fuck that kid.

Developing the ability to control and manage the fucks you give is the essence of strength and integrity. We must craft and hone our lack of fuckery over the course of years and decades. Like a fine wine, our fucks must age into a fine vintage, only uncorked and given on the most special fucking occasions.

This may sound easy. But it is not. Most of us, most of the time, get sucked in by life’s mean trivialities, steamrolled by its unimportant dramas; we live and die by the sidenotes and distractions and vicissitudes that suck the fucks out of us like Sasha Grey in the middle of a gangbang.

This is no way to live, man. So stop fucking around. Get your fucks together. And here, allow me to fucking show you.
SUBTLETY #1: NOT GIVING A FUCK DOES NOT MEAN BEING INDIFFERENT; IT MEANS BEING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING DIFFERENT

When most people envision giving no fucks whatsoever, they envision a kind of perfect and serene indifference to everything, a calm that weathers all storms.

This is misguided. There’s absolutely nothing admirable or confident about indifference. People who are indifferent are lame and scared. They’re couch potatoes and internet trolls. In fact, indifferent people often attempt to be indifferent because in reality they actually give too many fucks. They are afraid of the world and the repercussions of their own choices. Therefore, they make none. They hide in a grey emotionless pit of their own making, self-absorbed and self-pitied, perpetually distracting themselves from this unfortunate thing demanding their time and energy called life.

My mother was recently screwed out of a large chunk of money by a close friend of hers. Had I been indifferent, I would have shrugged my shoulders, sipped some mocha and downloaded another season of The Wire. Sorry mom.

But instead, I was indignant. I was pissed off. I said, “No, screw that mom, we’re going to lawyer the fuck up and go after this asshole. Why? Because I don’t give a fuck. I will ruin this guy’s life if I have to.”

This illustrates the first subtlety about not giving a fuck. When we say, “Damn, watch out, Mark Manson just don’t give a fuck,” we don’t mean that Mark Manson doesn’t care about anything; on the contrary, what we mean is that Mark Manson doesn’t care about adversity in the face of his goals, he doesn’t care about pissing some people off to do what he feels is right or important or noble. What we mean is that Mark Manson is the type of guy who would write about himself in third person and use the word ‘fuck’ in an article 127 different times just because he thought it was the right thing to do. He just doesn’t give a fuck.

This is what is so admirable — no, not me, dumbass — the overcoming adversity stuff. The staring failure in the face and shoving your middle finger back at it. The people who don’t give a fuck about adversity or failure or embarrassing themselves or shitting the bed a few times. The people who just laugh and then do it anyway. Because they know it’s right. They know it’s more important than them and their own feelings and their own pride and their own needs. They say “Fuck it,” not to everything in life, but rather they say “Fuck it” to everything unimportant in life. They reserve their fucks for what truly fucking matters. Friends. Family. Purpose. Burritos. And an occasional lawsuit or two. And because of that, because they reserve their fucks for only the big things, the important things, people give a fuck about them in return.


SUBTLETY #2: TO NOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ADVERSITY, YOU MUST FIRST GIVE A FUCK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN ADVERSITY

Eric Hoffer once wrote: “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”

The problem with people who hand out fucks like ice cream at a goddamn summer camp is that they don’t have anything more fuckworthy to dedicate their fucks to.

Think for a second. You’re at a grocery store. And there’s an elderly lady screaming at the cashier, berating him for not accepting her 30-cent coupon. Why does this lady give a fuck? It’s just 30 cents.

Well, I’ll tell you why. That old lady probably doesn’t have anything better to do with her days than to sit at home cutting out coupons all morning. She’s old and lonely. Her kids are dickheads and never visit. She hasn’t had sex in over 30 years. Her pension is on its last legs and she’s probably going to die in a diaper thinking she’s in Candyland. She can’t fart without extreme lower back pain. She can’t even watch TV for more than 15 minutes without falling asleep or forgetting the main plotline.

So she snips coupons. That’s all she’s got. It’s her and her damn coupons. All day, every day. It’s all she can give a fuck about because there is nothing else to give a fuck about. And so when that pimply-faced 17-year-old cashier refuses to accept one of them, when he defends his cash register’s purity the way knights used to defend maidens’ virginities, you can damn well bet granny is going to erupt and verbally hulk smash his fucking face in. Eighty years of fucks will rain down all at once, like a fiery hailstorm of “Back in my day” and “People used to show more respect” stories, boring the world around her to tears in her creaking and wobbly voice.

If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you — your ex-girlfriend’s new Facebook picture, how quickly the batteries die in the TV remote, missing out on yet another 2-for-1 sale on hand sanitizer — chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about. And that’s your real problem. Not the hand sanitizer.Way too many fucks given.

In life, our fucks must be spent on something. There really is no such thing as not giving a fuck. The question is simply how we each choose to allot our fucks. You only get a limited amount of fucks to give over your lifetime, so you must spend them with care. As my father used to say, “Fucks don’t grow on trees, Mark.” OK, he never actually said that. But fuck it, pretend like he did. The point is that fucks have to be earned and then invested wisely. Fucks are cultivated like a beautiful fucking garden, where if you fuck shit up and the fucks get fucked, then you’ve fucking fucked your fucks all the fuck up.
SUBTLETY #3: WE ALL HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF FUCKS TO GIVE; PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE AND WHO YOU GIVE THEM TO

When we’re young, we have tons of energy. Everything is new and exciting. And everything seems to matter so much. Therefore, we give tons of fucks. We give a fuck about everything and everyone — about what people are saying about us, about whether that cute boy/girl called us back or not, about whether our socks match or not or what color our birthday balloon is.

As we get older, we gain experience and begin to notice that most of these things have little lasting impact on our lives. Those people’s opinions we cared about so much before have long been removed from our lives. We’ve found the love we need and so those embarrassing romantic rejections cease to mean much anymore. We realize how little people pay attention to the superficial details about us and we focus on doing things more for ourselves rather than for others.Bunk Moreland, not giving a fuck since 2002.

Essentially, we become more selective about the fucks we’re willing to give. This is something called ‘maturity.’ It’s nice, you should try it sometime. Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy. As Bunk Moreland said in The Wire (which, fuck you, I still downloaded it) to his partner Detective McNulty: “That’s what you get for giving a fuck when it wasn’t your turn to give a fuck.”

Then, as we grow older and enter middle age, something else begins to change. Our energy levels drop. Our identities solidify. We know who we are and we no longer have a desire to change what now seems inevitable in our lives.

And in a strange way, this is liberating. We no longer need to give a fuck about everything. Life is just what it is. We accept it, warts and all. We realize that we’re never going to cure cancer or go to the moon or feel Jennifer Aniston’s tits. And that’s OK. Life fucking goes on. We now reserve our ever-dwindling fucks only for the most truly fuckworthy parts of our lives: our families, our best friends, our golf swing. And to our astonishment, this is enough. This simplification actually makes us really fucking happy.



Then somehow, one day, much later, we wake up and we’re old. And along with our gum lines and our sex drive, our ability to give a fuck has receded to the point of non-existence. In the twilight of our days, we carry out a paradoxical existence where we no longer have the energy to give a fuck about the big things in life, and instead we must dedicate the few fucks we have left to the simple and mundane yet increasingly difficult aspects of our lives: where to eat lunch, doctors appointments for our creaky joints, 30-cent discounts at the supermarket, and driving without drifting to sleep and killing a parking lot full of orphans. You know, practical concerns.

Then one day, on our deathbed, (hopefully) surrounded by the people we gave the majority of our fucks to throughout our life, and those few who still give a fuck about us, with a silent gasp we will gently let our last fuck go. Through the tears and the gently fading beeps of the heart monitor and the ever-dimming fluorescence encapsulating us in its divine hospital halo, we drift into some unknowable and unfuckable place.