There are no bastards.

As it’s getting past Sandals Weather, and getting into It’s Dark Before You Leave Work Weather (frowns), I’ll present two pick-me-ups.
Number 1.  Tomorrow is likely best day of music in Seattle since forever: Belle and Sebastian, Gogol Bordello, Blue Scholars, and Gaslamp Killer/Daedelus are playing four separate shows.  (I’ll be at the last.)
Number 2. well, this’ll take a couple paragraphs.

Backstory: my grandpa, or Gramp if you will, had a saying.  Many people probably had this same saying, but he sure had it.  “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”  (it got censored to “turkeys” in family contexts.)

Part one: I am continually amazed at how ideal a work situation Google is.  I keep thinking I’ll run into someone who’ll say “nah don’t do it the right way, do it the way that makes some money” or “nope, budget reasons, gotta ship it” or “who cares?”, and POOF the spell will be blown, the carriage will turn into a pumpkin, and I’ll go back to, y’know, writing websites for evil stepsisters somewhere or something.  But nobody ever does!

Part two: in this philanthropy project I was in over the summer, this Next Generation Giving Project with the Social Justice Fund NW, we 18 shlubs who’d never done philanthropy before allocated a whole boatload of money to 11 out of 63 applicant groups.  We gave based on leadership development, cross-class cross-race cross-gender work, community organizing, and ultimately social justice.  People had issues with doing this, even though it was their own money; and often the monetarily wealthier among us had more issues.  I kept waiting for someone to say “geez, you bunch of weenies, quit going on about how hard it is to give away your money” or “class?  whatever.  why don’t you go back to your liberal arts college and blather on about Derrida” or “how the hell do you think you’re qualified to decide which of these groups to fund?”  But again, nobody ever did!  And by the end I realized, it’d be impossible.  Nobody would even want to.

The main point: I guess if 24 year old Dan had a motto about optimism or turkeys or whatever, it’d be: there are no bastards.  There just aren’t.  We’re adults, we don’t act like petty kids on the schoolyard.  You don’t have to go through life cringing because someone’s going to beat you down, because nobody will.  Everyone is on your team; sometimes things go wrong but really everyone means well.  It’s remarkably freeing to live like this.  I’ve felt almost absurdly naive recently, like I was sure someone was screwing me over but I resolved to act as if it were all a misunderstanding, and I began to feel like it was, and then I really felt better about the whole thing.  It’s like Hanlon’s razor: never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.  Or anything else!

Corollary: Even when there are bastards, it’s in your best interest to live as if there aren’t.  If someone acts like a jerk to you, avoid them.

Disclaimer: okay, duh, don’t go around flashing your bling bling in shady areas at night, etc.


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