Sunday, April 26, 2009

letter of complaint

Dear Sirs:
I wish to complain. I wish to object in the strongest possible manner.

For starters, I wish to complain about my feet. They keep taking me places. They take me to malls, and bars, and plays, and restaurants, and concerts, and coffee shops. They take me to baseball games, and aerobics classes, and the dog park, and Wal-Mart, and even just out on the sidewalk in my town. When my feet take me to these places, I find myself around other people. When I talk with other people, I tend to find out they are not so bad after all.

Feet, I do not like this one bit. I prefer to think that other people are all murderers, rapists, child molesters, thieves, socialists, and various other types of monsters. I prefer to think the world is coming to an end, and that things are nearly as bad as they could possibly get, and that the sky is generally falling with a great and mighty whooshing sound.

Feet, when you take me places where other people are, I also tend to find out--against my will, I might add--that in comparison to the lives of people in many, many parts of the world today, and compared to any time in all of human history, I as a modern American have an easier, freer, healthier and more comfortable life than almost anyone.

Except the Swedes. Those filthy Swedes. And the French, of course.

I object, feet. Stop reminding me of this. I am happier when I’m unhappier. And I can’t be truly unhappy if you keep reminding me that my life isn’t really all that bad.

I also wish to object to my eyes. Eyes, stop it. Stop showing me tragic events from around the world. Stop showing me the poverty, sickness and pain in which billions of people live, in places like war-torn Sudan, bombed-out Palestine, AIDS-stricken Sub-Saharan Africa, and polluted, repressive China. (Perhaps you could show me more dancing little poor brown children? Happy ones, like in that ‘Salaam Billionaire’ movie. They looked like they were having fun...)

Eyes, when you show me these things, it makes it hard for me to concentrate on the fact that there is not enough parking at Safeway. And that eggs cost a bit more than they used to. And that my 401k is worth somewhat less imaginary money today than the imaginary money it was worth last year.

Not to mention housing! What a crisis!

Listen, eyes, I prefer to focus on things like the fact that about half the time, the guy I voted for isn’t even in charge. Can you believe that? I prefer to remember that of the 535 people in Congress (those idiots!) I only got to vote for a few of them. And even then, the ones I vote for might not even get elected! It is a travesty. Something must be done.

I also wish to complain about my ears. Ears, I’ve had it. You keep forcing me to hear the voices of other people, people who have different opinions from my own. Stop it this instant! How am I supposed to stay angry, isolated, and bitter when you do this? How am I supposed to wallow in the same echo-chamber of doubt and fear and insecurity that the media (oh don’t get me started on the media!) like to perpetuate if you keep exposing me to voices saying that there is cause for hope? How am I supposed to prepare for Armageddon if you keep letting in the voices of people who are doing good things for each other, people who are earnestly trying to make this a better world?

Enough already, ears. I’ve had it with the lot of you.

Finally, I wish to complain about my brain. Brain, stop. Just...stop. You know what you did. I like things the way they used to be, when I didn’t have to think. When there was only one answer to everything, and it was MY answer. Or at least the one I had been programmed to think was mine. Stop forcing me to consider new ideas. I don’t like it one bit.

I think I’ve made my point. Won’t someone think of the children?

Not you, brain. I’ve already told you once.


A Concerned Citizen

1 comment:

Laura N said...

This is wonderful. I'll be sharing this, and appreciate you writing it.