I'VE ALWAYS OPERATED under the assumption that I'm a good person. I imagine you perceive yourself the same way. I'm not saying I'm perfect—you're not going to see me featured on a candle in a Hispanic grocery store—but I think I'm mostly a decent person. If a galactic civil war broke out, I'd like to think I'd be in an X-wing or at least maybe spending a few months backpacking around Kashyyyk... you know, just figuring some stuff out before I head back to Oberlin. Anywhere but working on the Death Star. We're all the main characters in our own stories, and since we control the narrative, I think we like to cast ourselves as forces of good. Even if you're the type of dufus who'd call yourself an "antihero," all you really mean is you want to have one arm covered in tattoos and occasionally cheat on your significant other, while still being considered a good person despite these things. I like to think I'm one of those good people, but probably I'm not.
About a month ago I was driving past a Taco Bell and decided to dip in and treat myself like the elegant lady I am. I pulled into the drive-through, where one car had beaten me to the Baja Blast by just a few scant moments. This man, alone, proceeded to take seven minutes to complete his Taco Bell order. I'm not exaggerating. I counted along on the clock on my phone. Motherfucker took seven minutes at Taco Bell. Gang, guys, ladies, everybody, y'all, fam: He took seven... minutes.
I was flummoxed by his casual nature, but more than that, I was enraged. I was unreasonably angry. I was angrier than I've been in months and I'm not punching this shit up for comedic effect. (COMEDIC SUGGESTION: AND THEN HE FARTED OUT A UNICORN AND THE UNICORN HAD A BONER AND THE BONER WAS TAYLOR SWIFT!) I felt a righteous anger. A pure anger. My anger was a laser beam. My anger was a lightsaber. The red kind. The bad kind.
And yeah—it's annoying when somebody thinks it's fucking amateur hour at Taco Bell, but once given the opportunity to reflect upon my anger, I realized that I, in that burrito-deprived moment, was angrier than I have ever been about any genocide, any atrocity, any war crime, class imbalance, or wrongful conviction. I'm 29 years old and I would guess that 90 percent of the anger I've felt in my life has been childish and irresponsible. My grandparents escaped the Holocaust and my reaction to anti-Semitism is "Hah, that's stupid and lame." I've never used the internet for a single useful thing in my entire life and my reaction when my WiFi is out is a volcano full of yellow jackets with the personality of Lewis Black and they've figured out how to use machetes.
Be real: You feel the same way, too. You're more mad about traffic than the carbon emissions the traffic is creating. You're far more furious when your landlord raises your rent $50 a month than you've ever been about homelessness. Does that make us bad people? If we gave a fuck more about serious issues, would it make us good people? Maybe we're just people. Maybe the bludgeoning motherfuck of injustice is so unholy that we can't simultaneously fathom it and lead any sort of constructive life. I say we do the best we can. Be as stoked as possible for the good we're allowed in our own lives: my girlfriend's hot tits, your boyfriend's rad dick, spectacular sandwiches. Cycle through your anger in the Taco Bell drive-through, but be mindful, and maybe scoop a couple of extra quesadillas for that homeless dude on the corner. It's not too late to join the rebel forces.