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Navel Gazing and the Art of Getting Our Way

For a short while last weekend, I had hope. The passing of the health care bill by Congress actually made me believe that there was a possibility our American politicians might accomplish something that would make a difference in the lives of the American people for the better.

Then came the aftermath, one of death threats, violence and misinformation. I saw footage of Teabaggers launching racial slurs at their elected leaders while Republican congresspeople watched in implicit approval. I grew up in a Republican household and once was registered for that party. Now I am ashamed that I ever was.

All of this because they didn’t get their way. That’s really what it boils down to. It’s the tantrum of a child who didn’t get ice cream for desert because everyone else wanted cake. Now they are threatening to bring the process of our government to a standstill. Personally, I think anyone who advocates any of this should be immediately impeached and jailed.

This shouldn’t surprise me. After all, we never really get over that childish need to have our own way. All through our adult lives, we follow the same process; we want something, we go after it. If we get it, all is right with the world. If not, we get angry. We get moody. We get cranky. We complain, we cajole, we beg and we do everything we can to get our way, even if we know it’s wrong. Sometimes, we ourselves know that getting our way is the wrong thing, but we will fly in the face of logic and common sense just to have our own way.

We have this strange urge to impose our will on other people. I’ve never understood it, but I know that I’m no different than anybody else. I want control of the remote too and sometimes I get bothered when I don’t get it.

That’s not to say we’re all control freaks. Certainly some people are less intense about getting their own way than other are. Still, we all want our way in at least some fashion and we all get annoyed when we don’t get it. The degree of irritability depends on the maturity of the person in question.

Our ability to adjust to not getting our own way lies directly at where the lines of childlike and childish collide. It’s definitely a control thing; getting our way allows us to feel as if we’re in control, especially when we suspect we are not. It’s why guys cling to the television remote with a death grip, why we insist on driving even though we know we’re not the better driver, and why we refuse to ask for directions ever.

In fact, I think in many ways it explains why guys are such pigs about sex. We like the illusion of control. As everyone knows, women have all the control in sex. It’s the law of supply and demand; the women control the supply. While women may not necessarily understand the demand, they nonetheless understand that it allows them a certain amount of power. While some abuse that power, most prefer to use the power for good – the pleasing of their man, for example. Women will give men that illusion of control, sometimes give them actual control and all for the knowledge that their men are pleased. Women are some pretty good eggs, I tell you.

To be fair, there are things that women want that men can provide but truthfully those things aren’t as urgent a requirement as sexual satisfaction is in men. In many ways, our entire culture is built on the male need for control in sex; our advertising caters to it and we have essentially brainwashed women into thinking that their sense of worth is tied into having a guy love them. I can actually admire the cleverness of a patriarchal society getting women to buy into that mindset at the same time I deplore it. It’s an exploitation of a base fear in order to serve a primal instinct.

It’s an instinct that defies sense; when I think back for the things I have stubbornly held out for in my life, I get amazed over how petty most of it is. It’s a wonder that Da Queen, the rest of my family and many of my friends haven’t smacked me upside the head many times over. I’ve thrown some memorable hissy fits in my time over things as ridiculous as what song we were listening to on the car stereo, which ride at Disney we were going to do next or what we were going to eat for lunch. To all those who I’ve been an utter ass to over nothing, my sincerest apologies.

While the Republicans and those of the American people that believe their lies are taking it into a new realm of absurdity, the illogic of humans continues to be a source of equal amounts of amusement and despair. Maybe we will never evolve as a species beyond getting our own way and learn to be satisfied with the greater good. I sure hope we do, though. Until we are able to do that we will never truly be enlightened. Maybe we should all just take a chill pill and contemplate our navels for a bit.

For my part, though, I’d rather contemplate someone else’s navel, particularly if that someone is wearing a bikini. Hey, I may be a pig but I’m an honest one. And I think in doing the exercise of writing this that I’ll resolve not to throw a tantrum if I don’t get to see it. Maybe that’s the path to nirvana; learning to understand what you want and accept when you don’t get it. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it though. Anyone got any pictures?


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