Today I had a long argument with my best friend about what might be my greatest failing as a human being. I am incapable of giving people a chance; I make snap judgments about people and am happy to stick with those judgments forever and ever. I’ll meet somebody and know within seconds if I will bother with them or if I’m going to be a complete prick to them until they leave me alone. I know this is a terrible trait, and it’s one that could keep me from ever advancing in my career – I’m just not a good schmoozer or networker. I see where the problem lies in being this way, and I would like to change it… to some extent. Where my friend and I really differed was on the idea that some people deserve to be judged and discarded immediately.
One example was a guy I met at a party in Venice Beach last year. He wore Crocs to this party – in my mind this makes him a completely worthless human being. There is absolutely no reason I should be talking to this guy, let alone being nice to him. I’ll give men in sandals a chance, despite the fact that I think their footwear choice makes them disgusting, but anyone in Crocs is beneath contempt. Fuck your mother’s womb, Croc wearer.
Tonight I was at a bar here in Los Angeles (where I met a Faithful Reader! Hi, Faithful Reader. Your girlfriend was cute. Nice work), and I saw a guy wearing a keffiyeh. Just so you know, this guy was most likely not in the PLO and it was really not at all cold here tonight, so the only reason he had for wearing a terrorist scarf is that he’s a hipster douchebag. This is the kind of guy who, should he be suddenly and unexpectedly smashed in the face with a pint glass, could never ask God why it happened to him. He’s wearing a fucking terrorist scarf. This is the worst fashion accessory since… well, since Crocs.
These are both people who deserved to be judged immediately and hated. The thing with people like these is that they chose to be this way – hating someone for their skin color is essentially stupid*, but hating someone for the way they have chosen to present themselves just makes sense. This is the image they want you to have of them: Hey, I wear terrorist scarves! Hey, I wear shoes that are kind of embarrassing on six year olds! It’s like when I’m in Hollywood on a Saturday night and the goth kids are in their pleather clothes and huge Frankenstein shoes and bad haircuts – they’re presenting themselves as ridiculous douchebags, so why should they be shocked when I react to them as such?
Look, I understand that I’m no paragon of style or fashion. Should people judge me based on how I dress – tonight in a slightly worn sport coat and a Beatles t-shirt and jeans and crossword puzzle Vans – I would get it. One of the worst things we’re taught is that we shouldn’t judge people by how they look; while there are occasionally surprises hiding under appearances, the truth is that most people present themselves in a way that reflects who they are. It’s why we all buy clothes that looks different from everybody else’s clothes – we’re looking to express ourselves. One of the dangers of expressing yourself is that you’re inviting people to express themselves back. And one of the dangers of wearing Crocs or a keffiyeh (while not in the PLO) is that people are going to think you’re a fucking dick.
*although occasionally hilarious.