I was watching the RNC last week out of sheer morbid curiosity. I’m generally not a politically charged person but , perhaps, with the times changing, me getting older and the feeling of this country reaching a tipping point, something is kicking in on me that’s making me actually pay attention and, dare i say…CARE?
Amidst all the bullshit and insanity that was the convention, one word kept popping up in my head. “Pride”. Sure “fear” and “Fuck Hillary!” were the main themes of the week long shit show but all I saw was a bunch of people tickled pink (also, colored pink) about themselves and what they think they deserve just for being born in this country. I’ve long took issue with “pride” and the people who wield it. Now, obviously, there are plenty of things people should be proud of. If you accomplish something great in your life, of course you should be proud of yourself. Having pride in ones heritage , culture or sexual orientation…Why not? i would argue that people go overboard with even that sometimes cause , after all, we don’t choose what we are. We’re born that way. But, still, having pride in that kinda thing is natural. Especially if what that is has been marginalized. So, I’m not talking about that when I bring up the word “pride”. I’m talking about personal pride. The type of pride that , when someone walks down the street and bumps shoulders with another person, incites them to say “Hey, watch where the fuck you going!” and then fight them.
The type of pride that compels someone to not own up to their own faults. The type of pride that makes people ignore their own privilege. It’s real easy to acquire when you’ve been told you’re special and what you think matters your entire life. This kind of pride is not earned. It’s assumed.
Now ,as a white male, I’m planted firmly at the bottom of the justified pride totem poll. I realize this and gladly accept it. Lucky for me, it’s not hard. I’ve long since rolled my eyes at that kinda of pride. That’s that Trump pride. It’s blind and swings it’s dick freely. I’ve often wondered how such a thing evolves into a trait that defines a person. I can’t help thinking it goes hand in hand with entitlement. The same people who feel they are owed something for breathing are the same people who will be the first to bask in their own perceived self worth.
Now, While I’m out here pointing fingers let me be clear. I’m not exempt from foolish pride. While I do…umm…pride myself on keeping that bullshit out of my line of thought, i can’t sit here and pretend I’m not part of the problem. My pride? NYC pride. Yup. It’s that fucking thing that looms around me at all times and I can’t shut it off. I realize it’s pointless and arbitrary but it still persists. You can tell me my family tree is full of garbage humans (I’d probably ask you how you found out cause I never checked), you could call me a lazy sack of shit, you could say my music is pure hackery. But , god forbid, you diss NYC. It’s , like, the one thing I take to heart and it’s 100% bullshit. I just happened to be born and raised here. I wasn’t sitting in my moms womb with different brochures of locations I could choose to be raised in. Nope, i just happened to be a baby born here with parents who never left. That’s it. Yet for some reason, it’s something that defines me as a person and I will defend that to the death. Thinking about that and how silly it is , when you step away from it, makes me think about people who view America in that way. To have pride in a whole country….especially one as flawed and full of ,short sighted mouth breathing mongoloids as this one, is insane. I’d like to think I’ve toned down my NYC pride over the years. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s still there and throbbing but between traveling and seeing all these other places and the decline of NYC’s edge in general, I do feel like my perspective has broadened. A tiny bit. I’m still an asshole about it for sure…but it’s not the open/shut case I once thought it to be.
I was at a baseball game last year with a group of friends. The national anthem began and I just stood there like I always do. Not paying attention cause who cares? A dude I was with (a friend of a friend) tapped me and was like “Dude, take your hat off and put your hand on your chest!”. I smiled cause I assumed he was kidding. He was not. Even then I was like “nah, I’m good…” cause fuck that shit. The rest of the game he was noticeably sour towards me. The idea that anyone could have their mood changed by another persons disinterest in the national anthem really shocked me. This guy wasn’t a war veteran. He wasn’t in the state senate. In fact, he’s a dude who lived in japan for about 8 years prior to his return NYC. Maybe his dad fought in a war? Mine did too. Doesn’t mean i have to honor a stupid song at a baseball game. Regardless, it blew my mind to see a person take that kinda thing to heart. Like America is his. If anything, America is theirs. Who “they” are remains to be seen but it’s definitely not the dude 5 beers deep in a dirty yankees hat in the nosebleed section. My nationalistic pride doesn’t extend to that far.
I remember seeing the movie “Seven” and being like “Oh snap!” when I learned that “pride” was actually one of the 7 deadly sins. Clearly, I had not read a book before and should have known that already but, hey, shit happens. But still, seeing that and then thinking about how pride is something we, as a society, tends to celebrate is funny to me Sure, that sort of pride is generally reserved for things that involve parades but it’s still the same word. Even the “good” type of pride has some baggage to it.
If you’re reading this, you’re very likely one of the lucky people. You have internet. You have free time . You are living a charmed enough existence where you have time to know a niche hip hop producer exists, and writes a blog on occasion and you’ve chosen to read his dumb thoughts. This is nothing to be proud of. If anything, we should be more thankful for what we’ve been given. Pride is hard to truly justify but gratitude is real. Even if it’s something we’ve never known life to be without. Dun’t be proud you can afford to go out to dinner tonight. Be thankful you’re one of the lucky ones who was born in a place where that’s the common thing. On that note, i’mma get out of bed and go stuff my face with various foods…I’d say I’ve earned it. I woke up, didn’t I? *pats self on the back*