Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

I CAN'T FIND my headphones. I have a flight in less than two hours and I can't find my headphones. I fucking hate flying without headphones. I don't want to listen to a flight attendant fuck around and try to make a safety notification charming, because that's always seemed weird to me. It's like, "Here are some instructions in case our plane crashes into the ground," but, like, if a huge fan of Wayne Brady-era Whose Line Is It Anyway were giving those instructions.

I don't want to listen to your baby cry, and I know it's hard being a parent, but your baby isn't going to get me a Father's Day card, so I hate your baby. Your baby is nothing but shrill weeps and shit fumes. I just want my headphones. I want to listen to a podcast that is placid enough that I can fall asleep. I want to listen to The Splendid Table and dream about riding an eggplant into a cloud made of generous pledges and tote bags.

I scour my room, but I have to leave for the airport and I'm sweaty and fucking furious and I'm casting aspersions on my roommates, because I just fucking know that Ron Funches has my headphones and a fucking sitcom, and I'm fucking pissed and my back-up headphones fucking suck, because they came in a gift bag at a comedy festival and meanwhile a kid in Africa just starved to death, and a cat is eating her foot, and then my brain, conditioned by goddamn Twitter, chirps, "Hah, white people problems!"

A couple things about that—first, how exceptional do you have to feel to believe "white people problems"? Like Condoleezza Rice hasn't been furious about her phone plan, or Aziz Ansari hasn't been upset that Whole Foods fucked up its cold-pressed juice section. Even the more-innocuous-but-hardly-enough-to-warrant-mentioning cousin "first world problems" is obnoxious—as though everyone in Argentina and Pakistan is fighting a gigantic buzzard for an old boot.

It's become a meme, and that's fine, because what people really mean is "count your blessings," and that's nice and important, but hey, listen: Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up with your "white people problems," and your "You think it's cold? When I lived in Syracuse...." GO BACK TO SYRACUSE, YOU GARBAGEBARGE.

Can I live? Can I complain about shit without you reminding me that the world is on fire? I'm privileged. I'm one of the most privileged people. I'm writing this on a MacBook in an airplane. As if my "white male child of two college graduates" existence wasn't enough, I have an empty seat next to me. Fuck me, right? Sure. But chastising someone for reacting to the conditions of their existence doesn't alleviate anyone else's burden. And it will never clean the Ganges.

You're a jerk. You're a lumbering lummox, oozing existential guilt, and getting it everywhere. Your line of logic leads to a preamble before every sentence: "As a citizen of a country built on the backs of slaves and immigrants and possible only through the genocide of its original people... and before I go further, let me acknowledge that this nation's wealth exists only in concert with massive poverty in other parts of the globe... but all of that being said, do you serve Coke or Pepsi?"

I mean... all of that is true, but I don't have time to say it—because I have to get home to wait for the fucking cable guy. I swear if Comcast doesn't fix this before Game of Thrones, I'm going to fucking rage...