I am the greatest rebel that ever lived. There is no glory in it. Only misery and shame, since I rebel against even my own rebelliousness. Wherever the underdog cries, there I stand, ready to brim over with molten righteousness. Wherever there is injustice, I am ready to fume and steam until I boil my own hair away. Wherever there is evil, you’ll find me, outraged in the most symbolic and useless way I can imagine, in order to undermine even my own self.
You might think that Marx or Guevara or Gandhi are greater rebels than I. But you would be wrong. All of these individuals actually acted on their convictions in a meaningful way, after all. They did not rebel against their own beliefs and world views. I would rather dissolve into a muddle of benighted nothingness than actually make my convictions manifest. Yes! The greatest rebel ever.
I hate being here, I hate having to make an effort. The bloody-mindedness of inhale-exhale-inhale galls me. The stench of human flesh that radiates, fetid, from my bones! What a tiresome bore. Can not these inconveniences be dissolved, yesterday? What a bother and trouble to have to exist, to be present, to make choices – worse, to see them through. No, I would rather rebel against all of that. Why not?
Oh, there are so many good reasons to be even less rebellious. If I could just be a little less rebellious I would make a wonderful egomaniac. But if egomania is a rebellion against the not-self, then I’ve already outsmarted myself! My kind of egomania is undermining. It makes me tiresome to be around, careworn by triviality. Somehow this is the ultimate port of call for my rebelliousness: giving the middle finger to everything that I value, might enjoy, and most especially, towards any person or thing I love.
Wouldn’t want to relax now, would we? Give me a helpful suggestion and I’ll find my way to resisting it before you’ve even contemplated blinking. I can build towering edifices of self-justification and excuses and drama like a master. If Erik von Daniken met me, he’d think I was made by aliens.
Even my disgust at my rebelliousness serves the same. This vast and sprawling ego force within me, so dominated by petty fears and thin-skinned hypocrisy. I carry it like a gilded chain around my heart; the more it aches, the more firm its grip becomes. At some level I probably even enjoy this misery that I relentless seek out and impose upon myself. Why not? That way I can feel guilty about causing my own problems, too.
What a pain I must be to be around! Always convinced of the impossibility of everything. Always looking for the “no,” for the “fail,” for the “not good enough.” The problem is not that I haven’t been given a reasonable share of talent, but rather my systematic determination to squander it. Ah the ecstasy of being one’s own executioner.
Best of all is the pointing of the cursing bone at anything in which I recognize my own reflection. Greed, laziness, hate, pettiness, paranoia, pessimism, resentment, cowardice, hypocrisy – so valorized and celebrated in myself, so vilified and decried when in another. I am the quickest draw in town when it comes to self-righteous stupidity. A flicker in my eye, a blur at my side, and my six-shooter out-paces the fastest draw in the West (who is probably the Devil).
If there is God – which is the great, luvverly, beautiful, interconnected whole – and the Devil – which is whatever of that whole decides to be a jerk – then I say death to them both! I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself and my overblown sensibility for drama to pick a side, or even to care about such tensions. Even to be so honestly nihilistic offers no relief. Dark tides close over my head, and the tentacles of the deep black sea swallow me whole…
…only to regurgitate me in due course. Even the Great Old Ones can only stomach so much of my curmugeonry.