by phil on Friday Dec 5, 2003 12:07 PM
What if when I see the most gorgeous blond bombshell at a frat party, the most natural thing to do is be shy and avoid her?
What if when I'm in the presence of a man who is taller, stronger, and more athletic, the most natural thing to do is dumb down my speech and be a sycophant?
What if when I'm about to end a meeting with an old friend, the most natural thing to do is to make promises and offers that I wouldn't keep up, such as "let's do lunch" or "you're welcome any time."
I've always had a problem with the "be natural" imperative. Especially when it becomes a quasi-religion to people. Especially when I see people so willingly (or "naturally") duck their head under the water of naturality and blind themselves to the stupid things their natural module is making them do.
I come at odds with this all the time, maybe because of my optimism and hope that people are open-minded, that people want to be consistent, or that people give a shit.
Instead, when I try to drive down a path that I feel is better, while disobeying all the natural speed limits and signs everywhere, I get people disliking me. People who I "rub the wrong way" despite my earnest intentions.
Alternatively, since communication is a medium that involves people other than myself, I maybe should follow the rules and regulations of this external language (or if I were to be a rebel, still follow the standard operating procedures for rebel-like behavior)...
Or I can limit myself to people to who speak my language.
Or I can do a combination of the both (most likely) and have the many spokes of loose connections and the few friends, close to the hub, that I confide with.
Or I can have a "natural artificiality" which is what I have now, which is where what is most natural for me is to break the norms of naturality and do what I think is best in either case, despite the discomfort signals.
*sigh* I'm feeling combative today. This sounds like me preaching when I was 15 to people in my high school.
NB: to those that take what I say here too seriously, view what I'm saying as the use of philosophistric pontification as a medium for sharing my emotions with the public, rather than trying to truly hold down a specific argument. (argumentum ad misercordiam)