Budgie’s Journal #175 – Unfiltered
I wrote this essay for some contest a while back, and I found it on my computer while I was cleaning out some old files. I lost the contest, but here’s the essay anyway.
You’re asking me to write an unfiltered essay, but what does that really mean? Am I unfiltered like organic apple juice, or am I unfiltered like the cigarette of a new millennium cowboy, standing aside his pickup truck with rebel country music on the radio. You’re giving me five-hundred words. I like to operate in an air of modesty, but I can do five-hundred words in my sleep while other indie writers struggle to write an opening paragraph to the prologue of their debut young-adult novel.
But what exactly are you looking for? Do you want a vulgarity-filled rant about politics, the state of the country, or pop culture? I can do that, but I’d be just one in a long line of wannabe internet comedians who think saying “fuck” is the epitome of what’s funny, claiming “political correctness” is ruining the country, calling millennials “snowflakes”, and cracking wise about safe spaces.
The days of men like George Carlin are long gone. What constitutes comedy now is Seth Rogen and his buddies smoking a mountain of pot and swearing as much as they can as fast as they can. I don’t want to date myself, but I still remember when comedy was clever, raunchy or not. There’s merit in a nicely timed sight gag or a punchline that doesn’t involve someone hitting their buddy in the crotch. Don’t get me wrong, a good nut-shot will still make me laugh. I’m just asking you try to construct some kind of story around it, even if it is a setup for good, hard boot to the slats.
Everyone has a voice now, and they all think they’re keyboard cowboys. Any idiot with an internet connection can hop online and harass whoever they want through social media under the guise of anonymity. These are the kinds of people who roll out of bed every morning, fire up their Twitter apps, and decide how best to make fun of the mentally retarded for the seven-hundredth day in a row.
But there’s a flip side to that coin, as there always is. The so-called “social justice warriors” are on their end of the spectrum, fighting for the online equality of women, minorities, and anyone else whom they don’t feel have a voice of their own. They’ll talk about white privilege and get feminism wrong. They’ll “troll the trolls” in an attempt to mold social media into the tapestry of many colors and ideas it was envisioned to be. Every idea that doesn’t mirror their own is wrong, and they’ll waste the daylight making their invalid points in hopes that some social justice blog picks up their rants.
What does this all make me? Like Captain fucking America, I’m a man out of time. My days are the ones long gone, the ones I never got to make my mark in. I’m an unfiltered writer in a filtered world. I’m that aforementioned cowboy’s cigarette, bunched in with the bottles of apple juice.
And that’s five-hundred words.