There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.
I'm not a tolerant person
In fact I get more intolerant by the day
I just find it more and more difficult to tolerate assholes
As my tolerance decreases, their numbers seem to increase
Every day there's more and more of them
And every day I have less and less patience
I'm not a mere bigot
But I certainly don't cut any slack to anyone on the merit of their status as an oppressed minority
Your people were enslaved? Tough luck
The white man stole your land? Too fuckin' bad
Your fair sex is plagued by date rape? Grin and bear it
These days everyone has a sob story, and frankly, I don't care
It's no excuse for being an asshole
We live in the age of the excuse
We live in the age of the asshole
They come in all shapes, all sizes, all colors
There are black assholes, white assholes, women assholes, men assholes, queer assholes, straight assholes, smart assholes, stupid assholes, suburban assholes, inner-city assholes, homeless assholes, upwardly-mobile assholes, lazy assholes, incompetent assholes, sloppy assholes, anal assholes
And so it goes, ad nauseum
Why should I tolerate any of them?
Why should I tolerate anything I don't care for, for any length of time?
Why should I pretend it's okay?
I don't like assholes
Don't like talking to them; don't like talking about them
Don't like knowing them; don't like knowing about them, or their thoughts, or their deeds
Assholes are like bad ideas
You let even a single one into your life, it can begin to ruin things
It can destroy what's good, and foster much that's bad
Why tolerate that?
Tolerance was a virtue once; no more
There aren't enough hours in the day to tolerate all the assholes
To tolerate all the indignities hurled your way and still be able to live a decent life
Perhaps Goethe said it best: that which disturbs your soul, you must not suffer
Remember that when it seems like assholes are hard at work to disturb your soul 24 hours a day
Take a tip from Mr. Intolerance: don't permit them to
The spoken-word track Mr Intolerance comes from Boyd Rice's 1995 album 'Hatesville'. You might find the sentiment expressed challenging, offensive, or confusing...maybe all three. That's your choice. Take from it what you can take. Leave the rest. One of the many comments found below the track on YouTube is from a fellow who identified himself as White Italian Dude. White Italian Dude writes:
"[Boyd Rice is] complaining about people who complain about being oppressed because it makes himself feel oppressed. He complains about 'assholes' despite quite clearly being one to large numbers of people, however the difference I think is Boyd doesn't expect anyone to 'tolerate' him if they find him unpleasant."
Maybe you disagree with Boyd. Maybe you feel even arseholes, or especially arseholes, should be tolerated in a tolerant society. I don't know. For many years I lived in a seaside town on the South-Coast of England, the name of which is oft expressed as B-right-on. When you think of Brighton perhaps you think of a place where anything goes, where anyone can express themselves however they wish, according to their want, and nobody will blink an eye. You could have two heads and no one you give you a second glance. It is a very cool, tolerant place. Right? Well, I remember one time I was walking down the street near to my flat and there was a woman walking the other way wearing a full hijab with only her eyes showing. I guess she was a Muslim of some kind but don't quote me on that. I'm no expert on subjects religious. Anyway, so far so good. Until a dude on a little bike comes riding along the pavement. This is just prior to Green Party preeminence in Brighton, and I agreed there should really have been a cycle-lane, but quite honestly riding on the path wasn't necessary. There wasn't much traffic at that time of the morning. The dude is all skate-shoes, tattoos, piercings, and dreadlocks. I don't think he was any relation to White Italian Dude. Whatever if ever there was someone who believed himself to be a really cool dude it was this fellow. As he closed in on the Muslim lady he steered his bike towards her and shouted "move out the way" in an aggressive tone. In this corner of B-right-on something distinctly not right on was going on in that moment. A little part of Brighton wasn't being cool or tolerant. Why? Because somebody chose to believe something and dress in a certain way and because somebody else, dressed in a different way, believed something else to the exclusion of the fist person's belief. I didn't get it. I'm pretty sure that the dude on the bike had never met the woman before. It wasn't personal. She hadn't poisoned his dog or ran down his kid brother. That I could've understood. I would've understood his animosity toward her. As it was, well, what the fuck has it to do with him or anyone else what she believes, what she wears? You might say it was an open and shut case of Islamophobia but I just call it being an arsehole, and like Boyd Rice, I can't tolerate it. For my sins I read a lot of Billy Burroughs in my youth. He of course was a libertarian in a manner that one might associate with the populace of Brighton, the majority of them at least. He had a real gripe about about people not minding their own business. "There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business" he once wrote. I think he had a point. Most people want to live in a tolerant society. There's talk of it all the time. Some even believe that their given society is already tolerant and they need to send bombs and troops to fight the forces of intolerance elsewhere in the world. That's a bigger question than I want to tackle presently. However I will say there is a problem with thinking in terms of a tolerant society. Such implies that there is something to tolerate. Something that is potentially intolerable. Something that is a niggling annoyance but you can rise above it. The problem for me is that the opposite of intolerance isn't tolerance. It is in fact indifference. It is whatever. I don't give a shit what you do or what you believe, or what you look like as long as you're not hurting anyone. As Aleister Crowley (once dubbed the "wickedest man in Britain") insisted "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will." That is do whatever you want but do it with love. So, as long as you do it with love I'm indifferent to what you or anyone else does. I don't care who you are. I don't care what you look like. I will not make your business my business. Yes, indifference and not tolerance is the grown-up approach as far as I can see.