Stop Telling Me What I Should Think!

Is anybody besides me sick and tired of being told what to think?  Worse yet, being told what we should think?

Today, invisible Interwebs friends, we shall discuss the word “should”. Terrible word. Maybe the worst word in the English language.

First, it implies judgment and criticism. Second, it suggests superiority in ethos by the speaker.  Third, intended or not, it exacerbates anxiety and stress.

Think of the impact.

  • Self-Sabotage. How many times have you asked yourself, “Why did I stick my penis in that light socket?” I know! Beating yourself up today over events in the past that may or may not have permanently disfigured your tallywhacker is as useless as your present-day pecker. Bury that shame with the other skeletons in your psychological walk-in closet.
  • Self-Loathing. How does it feel when Slim Kim tells you, “You should lose some weight,” while you’re shoving a Triple McHeart Attack in your rapacious maw? Meanwhile, she sits across from you batting her doe eyes in faux concern as she tentatively nibbles the edges of some braised yoga-weed like kale. Fuck kale.
  • Self-Doubt. You are super psyched for the Dead Baby Seals concert in a few weeks (imagine we are in some fantasy post-Covid world). It mortifies PETA Paul. “Do you know that their name implies brutality to animals? You should boycott that concert and join our protest.” What do you do? PETA Paul is so cool. He wears hemp.

But that’s the trick with the word “should”.  It creates a dynamic of superiority by the speaker and inferiority by the listener.

Consider the nuanced changes in receptivity it would create if we stopped saying “should”. Case in point, wearing masks during a pandemic.

You should wear a mask.

Without a doubt, we should all wear masks to slow and control the spread of COVID-19.

But for Covidiots, think of how they feel. Does your condescension motivate them to wear a mask? Or are they more likely to join another militia to plot the overthrow of the government?

Q’Anon has instructed them that a Satanic cabal of elite liberal pedophiles rape and eat your children. We are not working from a balanced frame of reference as it pertains to wearing masks.

They believe that shit. Should they? Irrelevant! They have the guns.

The better way to handle a Covidiot is to communicate in terms they understand. While visiting for Sunday dinner on the Compound, stand up as though you’re about to make a toast. Carefully withdraw your hidden flask of lamp oil, spray it all over their grandmother, light a match, and throw it on her.

As Granny explodes in searing flame, screaming and wailing, you yell, “See how it feels?! Wear a mask, motherfuckers!”

As the bullets fly, and your body buckles with repeated bloody impacts, you can meet your celestial discharge from this world with dignity and pride.

Who knows? Maybe they will start wearing masks after burying the charred remains of their barbequed kinfolk. Worth a try. It’s certainly less judgy and more courageous than preaching they should wear a mask. Don’t be such a passive-aggressive pussy.

But that’s such an obvi example.

Let’s pull back the sarcasm shade to reveal some more greasy, satirical windows into the word “should”.  Tell me. What else should I think or do?

Sorry, not sorry.

RIP, Granny. Never forgotten.

You should meditate.

Me? I’m the most relaxed fucking person on the planet. Fuck you.

What is meditation anyway? Answer: a nap with spa music. Should I also braid my ass hair, stop bathing, and mask my accretive stink with Patchouli? Thank you, no.

“Live and let live” has always been my mantra. If you derive value from dredging up old, well-buried feelings and re-opening a bible-length catalogue of unresolved issues, then have at it. I’m busy dealing with today’s current list of crises.

Furthermore, meditation requires a modicum of focus. You clearly don’t know me at all if you’re telling me I should meditate. Can’t stop giggling at the notion. I have literally checked Twitter thirteen times while writing this sentence.

Last thought, how do I choose what meditation to try? Mindfulness, mantra, movement… Calgon, take me away! Too many options. Transcendental meditation seems cool, but I’m scared I might confuse it with astral projection. That would be bad.

I wonder how many cosmic tchotchkes might capture my defocused attention span. Oh, look a nebula! Next thing I know, my ADHD soul is adrift in time and space, never to return to my body.

Pass.

Birds shit on your face during placid meditation.

You shouldn’t eat meat.

Oooh. Tricky. A sleight of hand telling me what I should not do.  Still, fuck off. I am, at this moment, craving a bowl of boiling dolphin blood served in a California condor skull while wearing a snow leopard fur coat.

Humans did not reach apex predator status on this planet by planting and harvesting crops, only to not serve that buttery corn with a hemic hunk of fawn meat. Come on! Every edible creature on this planet fears us.

Hell, no. We tamed this planet and bowed it to our will with wheels, fire, and thumbs. Evolution favored us. But that conquest comes with a fragile stability. Animals are waiting for their revenge. Biding time for the human cattle to go full herbivore.

When lambs realize how brittle our bones have become from lack of vitamin D3 and calcium, they will exact their revenge. We should be terrified when the lambs go quiet. In the immortal words of Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs, “Tell me, Clarice. Have the lambs stopped screaming?

Speaking of which, consider yourself duly warned, vegetarians.  Tell me one more time I should stop eating meat. Our susceptible civilization teeters on the edge of total collapse into cannibalism when the power grid finally fails.

Guess who is my main course when that happens? I see you, little lambs.

Beware the uprising of the lambs.

You should believe in god.

Why? My soul. My liability. Isn’t it?

Like politics, humanity cannot even accept a universal divinity. Isn’t there one creator? One god to rule them all. I’m so confused. Here is the most recent breakdown I could find…

I made this myself in Excel. Stretched my computer skills

Folks, someone is wrong here. Every god can’t be God, can they? What happens to most of our global community who have made a major existential mistake?

Roll the dice? According to science, atheists have a reasonable statistical chance of being correct about non-god. 

That said, if I should believe in god, what you’re really saying is I should believe in your god. Your religion. It is the essence of the word “should”. Implied superiority and correctness.

The arrogance is terrifying. And consequential. If we can’t agree on the same god, why can’t we at least worship similarly when we believe in the same god?

Christians comprise 28.2% of the world’s population. But there is so much disagreement, contention, and name-calling across their many denominations. Did you know Lutheran doctrine teaches the Catholic Pope is the antichrist? Shit, and here I thought that was Donald Trump. (hehe – couldn’t resist!)

Some lucky Christians are instantly “saved” by accepting Jesus Christ into their heart. But not very many. The rest must go to hell.  Except Catholics, they fabricated a place called Purgatory where they can chillax until heaven weighs in on their entrance eligibility.

My head hurts. Just as the should-isms create a right-wrong dynamic, seeking to control the narrative, so do religions seek to control you. They are manmade poker games where your soul is the ante.

Until it all gets figured out, I think I’ll worry about being a good person. No thieving, raping, or murdering. Do my best to treat others fairly and be the best me I can be. And when I fuck up, have the decency and humility to forgive myself.

As religious role model, Melania Trump, tells us, “Be best.

Be best,

You shouldn’t be so crass.

Me? Crass?  Don’t be a cunt.

Okay, fine. Maybe I’m slightly crass at times. But I’m crass for a plethora of good reasons.

First, efficiency. One finger trumps two words. Second, impact.  I learned a long time ago to follow your brain because your heart is stupid as shit. Shock-and-awe works. Ask Baghdad. Third, irony. Is it crass for me to write intentionally crudely if I’m highlighting the behavior of a certain Orange pussy-grabbing vulgarian?

The fourth reason divulges something revelatory about me.  I have a lot of Hate in my heart. Sometimes I’m crass because it serves as a release valve, pushing the Hate out for a moment.  A karmic sigh of relief from my heart until my soul fills it back in with more Hate.

I hate so many things right now. Here are the Top 10, said with extra fucking crasstiness…

  • COVID-19. Makes me want to scream, tear my eyes out, and learn some sort of twisty-ass yoga so I can bend enough to fuck the holes in my skull. Every day. Skull fuck.
  • Covidiots. The reason Covid continues at 40,000+ new infections and 800+ deaths every day. They deny science; they reject public health policy; they favor religion and conspiracy theories. I truly wish they would die off. I’m super comfortable with helping.
  • Donald Trump. Callous, narcissistic, orange, lying, bullying, old, conspiracist, megalomania aside, great guy. Total Commander-in-Chief material. Glad the nukes are in his very stable hands.
  • Joe Biden. Nice isn’t a qualification for President.  What the fuck has happened to our country? I read his Top 100 policies and agree with six of them. He barely didn’t suck the last 47 years of public service. Jesus, take the wheel.
  • Nancy Pelosi. Her plastic surgeon is a deranged bastard. Those insane dead eyes like some blinkier version of Coraline’s evil Other Mother. This will be our president when Trump and Pence finally die from Covid. Can anyone say term limits?
  • The news. I am so damned done with the editorialization and interpretation of facts by the news. We should force anchors to wear shock collars to retrain their negative opining behavior.  Every time they use an overly nonfactual adjective or adverb? ZAP!!
  • Buffets. Worse yet, the sneeze shields. While the underpaid buffet workers sit mindlessly in the corner huffing the cleaning fluid instead of using it to create a germfree line of sight over the slop, Wayne-Doug is peaking underneath trying to figure out how to work a pair of salad tongs.
  • Slow Drivers. If you cannot drive the speed limit, call an Uber. It’s not merely old people. That is far too lenient.  A special “fuck you” shout-out goes to truckers in the passing lane, Canadians in the passing lane, and Prius drivers in general. Assholes.
  • Like. Overuse of the word “like” when speaking is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Been around since the 80s. But every vapid twenty-something in America now uses “like” more times than a poorly applied simile in a stuttering contest.
  • Spitting. This is so unhygienic and unnecessary on every conceivable level. Unless you are a conscientious porn star, I struggle to conceive where spitting is remotely acceptable. Basic rule of etiquette: if you cannot swallow something in your mouth, don’t put it there in the first place.

Damn. What a mind-blowing Hategasm! I need a cigarette and a sandwich.

Terrifying. Dead. Eyes.

This should end.

It’s cray cray. The word “should” is everywhere today. Poisoning our minds and hearts.

I want to offer a challenge to all of you, dear invisible friends.  For the next thirty days, stop using the word “should” in your conversations. Force yourself to describe things exactly as they are versus your interpretation or opinion of them. Mayhaps even take time to notice how many of your trusted news sources use this judgment word. Constantly.

Here is my guarantee…

  • You will feel less stressed. Anxiety will diminish.
  • You will become more skeptical of what others are telling you. You’ll ask better, more inciteful questions and challenge them intelligently.
  • You will seek to verify your media outlets against other sources. Fact check the fact checkers.

As for me, if you don’t like what I say or how I say it… there’s the door. No one forced you to read my writing.  Why spike your blood pressure if it bothers you? Godspeed. Piss off.

For the rest of you, I love you. Thanks for having the intelligence and wit to understand the method to my madness. I present nothing in my writing without intention. There is always a purpose.

Even if to simply offend or shock.  You’re welcome.

Let’s open a digital dialogue. Scroll down to LEAVE A REPLY. Thanks!

About PS Conway

Hey everyone! Welcome to Life Sucks. Laugh Here. In my college years, I was an English major and aspiring writer. Then life took over - marriage and kids - in our mid-twenties. Like all good Catholics of Irish descent, I literally looked sideways at my wife, and she was pregnant three weeks after our wedding. And then the ride of life began. My writing took a backseat for the next twenty-five years. But now, our daughters are raised, and my wife and I are in a Renaissance phase of our lives. As I begin to write again, I see so much negativity, tribalism, and anger on social media... so many people seem to think life sucks. The only antidote to this mind-rotting negativity that I know of, albeit transient, is laughter. So, I have committed to writing and growing this blog around that singular objective... try my damnedest to provide original writing that makes people laugh. And maybe think a little, too. Hope you really enjoy. If you laugh, please share this blog with your friends so we can grow our subscriber base and online influence. We are on a mission to spread joy, mirth, cheer, yule, and good humor to as many folks as possible. Thank you for joining this effort. Sláinte! - PS Conway

14 comments on “Stop Telling Me What I Should Think!

  1. God damn, this is one of the best posts of yours (I know I’ve said that a few times). So much excellent comedy through here, so many things I agree with. I too am much too ADHD to meditate. I appreciate the Silence of the Lambs quote. It’s my favorite movie of all time.

  2. Every post gets better! I laughed my ass off – especially when you wrote “Me? Crass? Don’t be a cunt.”

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

  3. u fukkin slay me

  4. ERIC ARNOLD

    I love your writings TG. I always have something mindful to say afterwards, but rarely remember the part in which I took about a side thought that would result in a meaningful response. I could read it all back through and try to remember, but I’m toopid and not willing to take that much time to do so. Regardless of my personal stupidity and lack of memory, you funny and again, I love your writings. Look forward to them weekly. Cheers!

    • EA! Thanks, brother. It brings me endless joy to know you like my writing, and it provides you with amusement! Remember it or not, we need to keep laughing! TfnG 🤤

  5. Naomi Lane

    I love humans took over the planet with wheels, fire and thumbs. This is complete scientific accuracy. Also I completely agree with eradication of religion, should, like and meditation. You definitely SHOULD keep on writing.

    • Naomi! That’s the best SHOULD advice I’ve had in a long time! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts…and for enjoying my demented humor. 🍷

  6. Yes! I fucking love this. It captures my mood today PERFECTLY!!!! The anger and the pure truth of it all. I was contemplating writing a blog post like this, but I’m a pussy bitch. My problem is the one throwing that fucking word “SHOULD” at me all the time is ME. Why don’t I just shut the fuck up!? I’m so sick of all of the above! Politics, Covid, college, masks, exercise, smoking!!! Fucking hell! Thanks for assuring me I’m not crazy. You really didn’t have to set grandma on fire, though.

    • Jessica! 🤣😂 I always look so forward to your comments! Thank you. This piece got puked up by me on Friday… then spent the weekend editing and cleaning it up to be LESS crass… v1? ouch. And… Yeah sorry about Granny. Sometimes we need a sacrificial lamb for effect. Ha! Cheers 🍷

  7. Brilliant post PS We will have to discuss Canadian drivers though. There are good and bad I will agree. But what about the Americans who speed up and slow down to block you from changing lanes so you can’t pass them and who leave their blinker on while driving past every off ramp for 100KM.
    Other than that I loved it and agree with 99.9% of what you said.

    • Wendy! Thanks so much. I left you a long-winded response on Twitter about slow Québécois coming to tie up our passing lanes. As to Americans… we are wretched assholes and far less nice than the vast majority of Canadians. Cheers i

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