Ten years ago, I read Harry Frankfurt’s famous essay “On Bullshit” in an introductory logic course taught by a wonderful professor whom I shall not name for fear of kissing ass. Because of that course, I began studying the topic of bullshit. I wrote an honors thesis on bullshit, and though I ended up writing the second half of the thesis drunk, I still kicked ass and graduated.
But in the past ten years, I have done some of the most bullshit things I never knew I was capable of. That includes being conscripted by the bullshit Taiwanese Alternative Military Service and spending a year getting fucked by petty bureaucrats and fake-ass teachers in an underfunded public school; teaching students how to bullshit on the SAT just to get a higher score; studying the LSAT in the hopes of becoming a lawyer to get rich; going to graduate school in philosophy and getting fucked over by the USA for being an international student who had to pay a fuck-ton of surprise taxes; living on bread and soylent as a result of those taxes; bullshitting myself into believing that I liked what I was learning at the graduate school; and being a summer camp teacher for my old K-12 school whose faculty members have for thirty years straight consistently consisted of 90% bullshitters and 5% asshats. (The other 5% was fucking great. You know who you are. Thank you for teaching me SOMETHING).
Now I have had enough. Enough bullshit. Bullshit is disgusting. It is unpleasant to inhale and definitely unhealthy to ingest.
But bullshit is seductive. Bullshit is funny. Under special circumstances, bullshit may even work as excellent fertilizer, facilitating the growth of beautiful plants and supporting an entire ecosystem of ideas.
But most of the time, so much bullshit accumulates that the sheer amount of its metaphorical nitrogen ends up killing everything in sight.
That’s right. Think about what all the bullshitty things you have done have gotten you. You smiled when you didn’t mean to. You said “thank you” without feeling any gratitude. You said “sorry” while you wanted to punch that fucker in the face. You used big words just to sound smart. You took too many selfies of yourself so you can upload a good one onto your favorite dating app. You told yourself that you’d quit smoking, or drinking, or shooting dope, or doing whatever the fuck it is you were addicted to—and you went right back to smoking, drinking, shooting dope, or doing whatever the fuck it is you are probably still addicted to. You wrote bullshit papers just to get an A. You wrote bullshit papers in an attempt to get published. You tried getting published just to convince yourself that your decision to go into academia was never just one big fucking joke. You played very fast on your musical instrument just to show off. Yeah. I’ve done all these things too. We’re all the same.
And why is that? Well, trying to be a genuine person who does not bullshit is hard as hell and probably impossible, but the attempt is by itself already liberating as hell. Because in the past few months in which I have been trying to reduce the amount of bullshit I produce and consume, I have sort of (just sort of) understood what the fuck has been wrong with my life all these years, and why today, having decided to minimize bullshit, I have never felt so good about myself and the shitty world into which I was shoved.
I honestly don’t give a shit about how you live your life. I have much better things to do than to be your bullshit guru. But, if not for the sanity of the rest of the world, you need to stop bullshitting for my sanity. You need to wake the fuck up and stop caring about what other people think of you. You need to stop talking to your fake-ass friends and your evil, manipulative buddies. You need to talk to yourself.
Look. I get it. You don’t want to piss people off for fear of losing your friends, your family, or your job. But you need to realize that, by being a fake-ass bullshitter, you will only piss yourself off, and everything you have ever done and lived for may one day turn out to have been a joke.
Your anti-bullshit progressor,
P.S. If you’re using Google Translate, none of this will make any sense.
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