V. Mad As Hell
I ain’t gonna lie. I like me some Eminem. I drove all the way across the country in an RV to the Bonnaroo music festival in the scorching summer heat of 2011 specifically to see Eminem perform live for the first time. (The subsequent mind- blowing journey, which I refer to as “The Roo: or There and Back Again”, was in and of itself an epic tale, but that is for another blog post.) Let’s just say that it was legendary.
That being said, I will wholeheartedly admit that I do not subscribe to every hate-filled rant of Mr. Marshall Mathers, and I find it hard to easily digest the violence and hate-speech especially prominent in some of his earlier works. Nor do I consider him a role model by any means. But the fact is, the man does the job of a true artist by painting a picture of society through the colors of his own perspective, however dark and angry that palette may be. Also Eminem gets mad as hell, and he don’t take no shit. I respect that.
I’m often asked why I get so worked up and outspoken about things like apathy, religion, misinformation, bad politics and what I consider to be all the other major problems in the world. Well the fact is, I believe that we are at a critical point in the evolution of our species where it is crucial that we ALL get worked up and outspoken, or else it may be Game Over for each and every one of us, with no bonus lives left. As it turns out, society desperately needs your help.
So now that you’ve begun the work of getting your own life in order, how do you go about influencing society as a whole…?
Stop putting up with bullshit.
One of the reasons I am such a fan of Eminem’s music is that he is exceptionally good at unabashedly and unapologetically calling people out on their bullshit with his sharp-tounged lyrical content. (Click here to view my post about getting rid of bullshit in your own life, and click here to view my post about why getting rid of bullshit is so important at this moment in our history.)
So what exactly should you be expected to do when you detect that bullshit is being thrown at you in the midst of your daily struggle for means and meaning? Do you become furious and throw your own distortions right back? Politely ignore it to save face? Give in to your insecurities and just let it slide?
On all three counts my answer is totally and emphatically, NO. When someone is making a claim that you know to be based on incorrect or distorted information, or when someone is treating you unreasonably, unfairly or disrespectfully, I wholeheartedly stand behind you and support you, verily I implore you, to CALL THEM OUT. There are simply not enough well-intentioned and educated people having the balls to do this nowadays, and it is my belief that this apathetic anxiety is one of the direct causes of the current degradation of what could otherwise be a fully-conscious society. Now, that is NOT to say that there is any need or excuse whatsoever for you to ever be obnoxious, or rude, or condescending, or petty, or cruel to anyone for any reason. Quite the contrary: if you state your opposition calmly, concisely and politely, even as your opponent is crying bloody murder to the four winds or attacking your personal character, there is no mistaking who will appear to own the more mature and educated argument. The masses you are trying to educate will notice this discrepancy too.
Again I pose the question to you that if the individuals of the human race finally got their personal lives and houses in order, and if everyone committed to at least begin to stand up for truth, reason and compassion in the actions and transactions of our daily lives, what kind of world would we live in? What kinds possibilities would that open up for education, the economy, the workforce, family functioning, personal relationships, the political arena, and our standard of living?
Yes, I say it’s about time that we all take a page from Eminem, get a little pissed off and start calling people out on their bullshit. If your family or your friends want to force you to believe in something that you know is untrue or against your better judgement, call them out on it. If your boss or a coworker makes a decision unfairly or in error that affects you directly, or if your office is distributing information that you know may be discreditable or simply false, do not stand for it. If your favorite politician says something ridiculous, write an email to their campaign manager’s office or simply vote for the other guy. If your waiter gives you bad service, politely ask him to correct the situation, and tip him well if he handles the mistake well. There are countless small opportunities to stand up for truth and common decency in the hundreds of interactions and conversations you have each day, and they all add up. So do not be afraid. Do not loose your cool. Do not back down. The World may not realize it yet, but we are all depending on you.
From the 1976 film, “Network”:
“All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’”
Just remember to say “Please” and “Thank You” when you do.
Straight up, yo.