Friday, July 8, 2022

Polite Company is Bad Company

What 'polite' means: there's a bunch of lies you have to tell. Polite conversation is false conversation. In other words, not a conversation. You might even call it narcissist conversation.

All "polite" company is boring and lame. Everything they say is predictable, or it isn't polite. It's not worth hearing because it isn't true, and it's not worth hearing because you've heard it before. 

Come to think, I suppose that's why politicians and journalists (but I repeat myself) are so fascinated by scandals. Women too. "He had sex with what?!?" It's incredibly none of your business....but at least someone finally did something impolite i.e. real i.e. not eyewateringly boring. It's a nice break for them, plus apparently talking about who other people had sex with is perfectly "polite" as long as you don't actually describe the actual act used. 

Only proles are interested in specifics that actually happened, don't you know. 

If the truth isn't polite, so much the worse for politeness. 

Americans, in their inimitable way, manage to combine the worst of both worlds. "Polite" conversation is a series of passive-aggressive insults. Extraordinarily rude, and yet you still can't speak your honest thoughts. 

This is a trend now. Americans also like to use the cheapest possible materials to construct the most expensive style of a service. E.g. artisanal handwoven polyester. Bespoke organic monocropping. Gigantic McMansions made out of particleboard and sometimes they even skip the pressure treating on the softwood studs. Individually shrink-wrapped artificially-flavoured sugar balls. It's 30c of lab-sourced flavouring and 30c of coffee, but you pay $8 for it. Infinite brand value backing shoes put together with, apparently, post-it note glue. Shoelaces instead of velcro, but the aglets are plastic.

Ritualized conversation is fine if it's a necessary part of interacting with strangers. E.g. dealing with retail should be polite, because neither of you cares about the other. The point is to finish the interaction as quickly and efficiently as possible. It's supposed to be shallow and meaningless.

Politeness is for speedrunning.
This also means it should be competitive. If someone proposes a shorter ritual they should get a bounty.


Polite company is the opposite. It's about wasting as much time as possible. Lecturers in particular seem to exist to show off how much of your time they can waste. I guess the idea is you can brag about how much of your own time you can afford to waste.

I have a better idea: instead of being so rich you can afford to waste time, be so rich you can afford not to have to waste time.
Freedom, of course, is doing what the government tells you to do. Having options is not freedom. I am thus staunchly anti-freedom: get rich enough you can waste time or not waste time, at your whim.

No comments: