Before I go on, I should say that I detest sects, brotherhoods, guilds, groups in general, any assemblage of morons congregating for reasons of profession, tastes, or similar manias. All these cliques have numbers of grotesque characteristics in common: repetition of type, their jargon, their arrogant conviction that they are better than everyone else.
I can see that I am complicating the problem, but I see no way to simplify it. Besides, anyone who wants to stop reading this account may do so now. He should know immediately that he has my unqualified permission.
What do I mean by “repetition of type”? You have undoubtedly noticed how disagreeable it is to be with someone who has a tic in one eye, or whose lip is constantly twitching. Well, can you imagine a club of such people? Such extreme examples are not necessary, however. Merely think of a large family, in which certain traits, certain gestures, certain intonations of voice, are commonplace. I once had the experience of falling in love with a woman (without, of course, declaring it) and then fleeing in terror when faced with meeting her sisters. And something truly horrendous happened to me on a different occasion. I had admired certain traits in a woman I knew, but when I met one of her sisters I was depressed and ashamed for days: the very traits I had found so desirable seemed exaggerated and distorted in the sister, slightly caricatured, but not greatly. The vaguely distorted vision of the first woman that I saw in her sister, besides the impression I described, made me feel ashamed, as if in some way I were partly to blame for the slightly ridiculous view I now had of the woman I had so admired.
-The Tunnel, by Ernesto Sabato
Over the past few weeks I have been fixated on this part of what I should point out, in case you haven’t read it before, is a really, really wonderful book about a couple of my biggest obsessions: obsession and the unreliability of memory. It’s so, so good.
I really need to read it again, actually.
There is an actual, specific reason I bring this up now, but in a more general sense I admit the fear of being seen as a repetitive type has always haunted me. Because, yes. I have witnessed these clubs of lip-twitchers, and they are creepy.
But more specifically, this is my silly way of saying that I’m spending too much time online lately, or in the wrong corners of the internet. All the blog commenters sound alike: they are a repetition of type. “We hate all ladies who aren’t Megan Fox!” they howl. Or, “Everyone hates me for this really stupid reason, and that’s why I must scream about personally being very awesome!” Or, “The Bible says if you-uns get cheaper health insurance from the government, I can’t feel awesome about having my own health insurance, and that’s why you should not have that!”
It is infuriating. Everywhere I look, there they are: threads of quasi-people with identical tics. Even when the tic displayed is exactly the same as the one I see in my own face—especially then, rather—it freaks me the fuck out.
Also, here is another thing that is freaking me out. This was posted on Craigslist, in the Strictly Platonic section. He is sane and he will not rape you. Call now, ladies. You can’t afford not to.
self esteem boost/will not rape you - m4w - 21
Date: 2009-09-25, 9:03PM PDT
looking for someone to hang out with and watch a movie tonight... im 21 and sane need i say more :) and like the title says wont rape you!!!
Why do I get the feeling that Nick is going to rape me? Paranoid!