Friday, November 22, 2002

I kid you not—stuff just doesn't make sense any more.

I know I run the risk of sounding like old Uncle Fuzzy at Thanksgiving dinner, but there you are. Stuff doesn't make sense, and I find myself without any major insight on why that is.

Everybody has heard that "Truth is stranger than fiction," but it took one of my college professors to explain why that is: "Because fiction has to make sense." And as true as that may be, it's even more useless. The world is a weird-ass place, and that's all we really know, except that it's a damn sight less than we feel like we need to know.

What's bugging me these days is something I just figured out about myself, namely that I hate the people I like. Actually, it'd be more accurate to say that I'm drawn to people I have nothing in common with, and repelled by anybody who's the slightest bit like me. If that's not a recipe for discontent, I don't know what is.

This particular dawn of awareness came while I was reading columns like this one by Larry Miller at the Weekly Standard web site. Now, Larry Miller happens to be one of the funniest standup comics on the planet, and a great comic actor. (Who could forget him as the principal in Max Keeble's Big Move?) But sadly, it turns out that Miller is as right-wing as they come, for reasons that he never quite gets around to explaining in his columns. Judging by his columns, I'd say he comes to rest just to the right of Donald Rumsfeld. If nothing else, though, he blasts wide open the unfortunate stereotype of a political conservative as someone who has no sense of humor. he's still funny as hell, even when he's working hardest to buttress the conservative mindsets of Weekly Standard readers.

By contrast, word on the net is that likeable goofball and liberal rapscallion Michael Moore of Bowling for Columbine fame is a real jerk in person. Reputedly, I should hasten to emphasize.

On another subject, I decided a while back to try to learn how to play a decent game of chess, a fascinating game for which I have absolutely no talent. In reading up on the game and the whole chess culture, and going to a couple of meetings of the local chess club, I discovered that chess players really are for the most part as weird as people think they are, and the whole culture surrounding organized chess is as odd and off-putting as you can imagine.

So I guess my point is that the old advice for finding and keeping friends—look for people with whom you have something in common—just doesn't work for me. I don't like people I have something in common with, and I have very little in common with people I like. So, is that the very definition of a "nerdly predicament," or what?


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