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The Not 100% Complete FAQs for the Pretty Fucked Up Person in a Pretty Fucked Up World

Is everybody else fucked up or is it just you?

Personal Angst
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A couple things. First, I am a very cynical and alienated person. But I also consider myself someone with a certain amount of optimism and hope for the world. Strange mixture, huh? But what makes me sick is how nobody wants to think for themselves. Most people act like sheep, believing everything the media tells them. They operate in their delusional bubble of complaceny, not caring about anyone else. If everything's okay in their little world of tawdry mediocrity, that's all they care about.

Is there anyone even out there to have an intelligent conversation with? A real conversation, I mean, about things that matter. If there is, you'd never know it from the crap on the boob tube and the Internet, IRC, chat rooms, message boards - all filled with stupidity. Isn't there anybody like me out there, who actually still gives a damn about things that matter? Most people don't. (okay, some people do, but a lot don't). Sometimes I think it's not even worth trying to find people on my wavelength. What's wrong with me anyway? Why am I so cynical? A fucked-up childhood or something? Would I be less cynical if I was happier? Should I just give up and become another mindless robot accepting all the crap society shoves down my throat? In other words - is everyone else fucked up or is it just me? BE HONEST. I NEED TO KNOW.


That was more than a couple things, but okay. Good personal angst there, good job. Fed up, ranting, full of questions frequently asked by the fucked up everywhere. And so we'll address them. But first - a warning!

WARNING! If you ask a series of questions at - you may get the answers! This has already happened to a number of people. It could happen to you.

You may just want to rant and let off steam. You may just want to argue. You may not want an answer. You may get one anyway.

All right, now that we have warned you, we'll start giving you the answers. The questions themselves are simple, so we will start with brief answers. And then we'll start all over and give long answers. Because brief answers are disappointing. And god knows we don't want to disappoint you. Besides, that's what we do here at, we give long answers. A decent Crackpot Theorist is nothing if not long-winded.


a) No - cynicism, alienation, hope, and optimism are not a strange mixture. They are a very logical mixture.
b) Yes, there are people out there to have an intelligent conversation with.
c) There are many people like you.
d) There is nothing wrong with you.
e) You are cynical because you are suffering from a combination of a big brain and a big heart. This happens sometimes.
f) A fucked-up childhood can increase the size of both your brain and your heart, but it is possible for either or both of them to get big without one.
g) You would be happier if you were happier, but that would not necessarily make you less cynical.
h) No.
i) Everyone else is fucked up, just as you suspected. So are you, just as you suspected. You were right on both counts.
Whew! Now we are done with the brief answers, thank goodness.

Let's get down to the long ones. And talk about you, you, you in endless glorious detail. Your favorite subject and the one you like the least. You know very little about yourself, so there is plenty to talk about!

First, as you will already have noticed, the key to your whole cynicism/optimism syndrome is the big brain/big heart combination. The big brain makes you see reality with all its ugly warps and flaws. Thus you are cynical. The big heart makes you see how things could be in all their beauty and kindness. Thus you are optimistic. The big brain reality perceptions fight with the big heart idealism perceptions inside one small human and you get someone exactly like yourself.

Difficult to manage, but not as uncommon as you might think. In fact, we can scientifically calculate the prevalence of the big heart/big brain combination using simple math!

The possible brain/heart combinations are: small heart/small brain; big heart/small brain; big brain/small heart; big brain/big heart. 4 combinations. There are twice as many big heart/small brain people as any of the others. So effectively, we have 5 combinations. Dividing these into the whole, like pieces of a pie and remembering to give the big heart/small brain people 2 pieces because they are greedy, we see that each combo gets 20% of the pie except for the greedy ones who get 40%.

20% of the people in the world have small hearts and small brains. You have run into these people. They can't see anything but ugliness. You despise them.

20% of the people in the world have big brains/small hearts. You have run into these people as well and they have mightily discouraged you. They can see how things are, but not what they mean.

40% of the people in the world have big hearts and small brains. These are the people who make you want to weep, the sheep who have caused your soul to cry out in an anguished rant. They have driven you to near despair. As the largest segment, they seem to be everywhere, complacently enjoying themselves, contentedly grazing like cows, staring at the ground instead of the sky. They can see how they feel, but they can't see how things are.

20% of the people in the world have big hearts and big brains. They are in the minority, but one out of every 5 people on earth falls into this category and there are a lot of people on earth, so that means you have plenty of company. It also means that 80% of the people you meet will not fall into your category and at times you will feel surrounded and overwhelmed by the presence of hostile combinations. You see everything and sometimes that hurts.

Your big brain/big heart combination will naturally cause you to be confused by the big heart/small brain people because they will seem - well, small.

Nice enough perhaps, but pitifully small. Nice enough perhaps, but completely unable to understand what comes out of your big brain as they try to process it with their small brains. You will feel misunderstood, frustrated.

The big heart/small brain people may also accuse you of not having a heart at all as they instinctively believe that a big brain and a big heart must be mutually exclusive. They will think, perhaps, that it is in fact their small brains that made their hearts big. They will think that any increase in brain size will naturally crowd out room for the heart. They will think this partly because their brains are small.

They will also think this partly because there's some truth to it. You stuff a big brain and a big heart into the same person and things do get crowded. Even uncomfortable. Sometimes it will feel to you like there is too much you to fit inside yourself. Too much you to fit inside your small human-sized life. Sometimes you will think you cannot stand it. Sometimes you wil think you are going to explode.

What the small brain/big heart people don't understand is that you have made the choice (perhaps much against your better judgment) to fit more inside yourself than they have.

The lack of understanding big heart/small brain people have for you will be somewhat heartbreaking to you. You may pretend that it isn't, that you don't care what those people think, but you do. You do because you have a big heart too and you relate to them. You want them to like you. But not if it means giving up your big brain. This is what you meant when you were whining about becoming a mindless robot - you were talking about the implicit demand to give up your big brain in order to fit in with your fellow big-hearted people. And you can't do that. Even though you will try. You will try repeatedly throughout your life, intermittently and desperately, but it will not work.

Frustrated and perhaps rejected by the BH/SB combination, you will turn next to the small heart/big brain people. You will turn your back on the big clump that is hogging most of the pie, soothing your hurt feelings by rejecting them before they can reject you anymore. And in the process you will feel yourself magnetically drawn to the SH/BB people.

They will seem fascinating to you, those small-hearted smart people. They too reject the majority. And they are so blunt, so bold, so uncaring, above-it-all, aggressive, snotty, prone to wear black and argue with other people just so they can win. Arrogant, wrong, infuriating, self-confident, mesmerizing. An oasis. An oasis of big brainedness in a vast sea of small brainedness. 60% of the population is small-brained, a majority no matter which house of congress you sit in. And so the big-brained people, small hearts or no, will seem like a way to re-connect with the very part of you that is under assault by the majority.

You will throw yourself into an orgy of big-brainedness, getting high on arguments and alienation and anger. It will feel good for a while, like taking a good brisk dip in the ocean and letting that salty water just abrade away all the fucking crap that has stuck to your skin from those sticky big-hearted people. You want water that stings your eyes, you want to feel something real and sharp after years of being covered in marshmallow caramel sticky sweet big-hearted small-brainedness clogging all the pores of your skin til you can't fucking think straight.

If you come from an environment where you have been intensively subjected to the big heart/small brain people, running away to some college where everyone smokes cigarettes and despises anything conventional can feel like finally being able to see clearly. It can feel like having the scales ripped from your eyes and ushered into the bright white light of freedom. Until....

Until you realize - and you will realize - these people have no fucking heart. They are fake. That is partly what you mean when you say you want an intelligent conversation about something real. Because an intellectual argument is not real to you. It is narrow. And it doesn't fucking matter.

The small-hearted big-brained people will disappoint you and make you bitter. They will make you wonder if there is any place for you at all. If you grew up in a big brain/small heart environment, you will have come to despise these people as much as you despise the small brain/small heart people. Because in fact, you despise small-hearted people, whoever they may be. Smallness in heart doesn't cut it for you any more than small-brainedness does. The whole fucking world looks ugly seen through their eyes. And it can make you wonder if maybe they aren't right. If maybe it isn't an ugly fucking world.

Obviously what you need is to connect with your like group - the big brain/big heart folks. But where the fuck are they?

Like the other groups, they clump. Like the other groups, they hide. Small brain/small heart people dart around society suspiciously, hanging on the fringes, daring to reveal their true smallness only around their like kind, with whom they feel cozy, and accepted, and soothed. Sometimes they too feel alienated and lonely and the alienation and loneliness comfort and frighten them. Sometimes they clump in neighborhoods and political groups. They clump when they find each other in factories, or sports teams, or talk radio. They huddle like everyone else.

Big brain/small heart people skulk around the edges of society restlessly clumping in universities or corporations or literary movements or think tanks, scraping out what companionship they can while clinging to their contempt and their fiercely guarded opposition to anything big-hearted people consider worth living for.

And even the big happy clump of small brained, big hearted folks hide both their big tender hearts and their small uneasy brains in an attempt to get along with the small-hearted, or the big-brained. They clump in their families and their churches, and their youth groups and their community activities and their PTAs and their bowling leagues and their garden clubs. Everybody hides, everybody clumps.

Your group does too. You will hide your big brain for fear of not seeming nice, and you will hide your big heart for fear of not seeming smart. You will dodge and weave through society like a pedestrian on a crowded New York sidewalk, trying to find some space and someone who is not a stranger. Your group clumps in each other's homes, in restaurants and coffee shops, your group clumps around conversation. Just like you said.

Like anti-government resistance in a totalitarian regime, you guys get together in secret meetings to hatch your plans and dreams of overthrowing evil and making the world safe for big brains and big hearts. You'll need to know the secret handshake of alienation to get into the underground movement. You'll need to drift around, looking for the tell-tale signs of hidden resistance. You won't find them on the internet in the regular chat rooms or boards or wherever you've been looking. The big-brained and the big-hearted disperse themselves throughout society, the better to escape detection before their plans are hatched. The big-brained and the big-hearted often disguise themselves as normal, adopting a quiet facade to avoid scaring the uninitiated.

So what secret signs should you be looking for? Here's a tip: negative positivity.

Big hearted people go into social work. Big-brained, big-hearted people go into social work to fuck up social workers and overturn the way social work is done. Because the way it's normally done is stupid and useless, any big-brained person can see that. So look for the social worker who is toiling diligently within the system but has 80 pages of opinions on what's wrong with social work.

Look for the teacher who has a million fucking improvements of the teaching system that no one will listen to because it will fuck up all the teachers. Look for the apparent corporate drone who has extensively analyzed how fucking up their corporation would improve things for everybody, not to mention screw up the cozy system the greedy and the mean have for sucking the dollars out of those eternally dazed and confused BH/SB sucker sheep. The Sierra club hiker who is cynical about the Sierra club. The rocker who won't pose as an outsider but won't play anything but what they want either. The grumpy idealist. The disaffected bleeding heart. These are your soul mates!

You knew this all along. This is exactly what you stated. You want cynical optimism and alienated hope. So keep your fucking ears perked in every single fucking conversation in every single environment for that trace of edge, that after-aroma of cynicism, that hint of discontent, that snarl of negativity, that clue to idealism, the subtle signs of big dreams and big restlessness, the furtive kindness, the tell-tale lack of reconciliation lurking behind the facade of niceness. Big-brained, big-hearted people practice furtive kindness and accidental subversion everywhere they go. Keep your eyes peeled for it. The world isn't good enough for BB/BH people the way it is, but they love it anyway. Listen for those tell-tale signs of tortured love and a sick, dysfunctional relationship with humanity in which it abuses them repeatedly and yet they go back for more every time. In which they hate everybody but wouldn't want to hurt anybody.

Remember that BB/BH people pass for normal. You must be aware of this to effectively seek them out. They thread their way through a society they do not accept while not being rude about it. They blend, they assimilate. You must throw out the secret code words of subtle negativity, cynicism, despair, self-deprecation, alienation and so on, into ordinary conversations, waiting for the initiated to pick up on them and let you know where the clubhouse is. Make jokes! Your cynical bitter sense of humor will zing right pass the 80% whose groups you don't belong to. But the 20% will zip over to your side immediately and start trying to make plans for secret meetings.

Now that you understand the situation - steer clear of the big-brained/small hearted people. They were just a distraction. Dismiss your attention from the big-hearted and small brained. Stop looking at them! You are mesmerized by their sheer numbers and they are preventing you from seeing who you need to see. They are fascinating in their ability to be both misguided and self-sustaining, but you cannot spend the rest of your life looking at cows while thinking - 'Why are you a cow?' Not if you ever want to see anything in your life but cows. And ignore the small-brained and small-hearted, you'll fix them later, when you start ruling the world. Look only at your objective.

You're a pedestrian on the sidewalk of New York - steer clear of the crowds, focus on your destination. If the wrong kind of people are clumping all around you at your school or work - skirt around them. Don't join their clumps hoping to change them. Not when you are looking for connection. You will do plenty of that anyway. You will constantly find yourself in clumps you want to change. But don't let that deter you from your mission of finding the underground resistance.

If you enter a field packed and teeming with the wrong kind of clump - say a job, or a certain geographical area of Texas, make immediate plans for escape, observe quietly until you can enact them, say nothing, learn much. You are a stealth warrior, a practitioner of the martial arts of social survival where the smartest strategy is the most graceful. Practice Zen and the art of the cynical idealism. Do not lurk around the wrong clumps, hoping for acceptance where none is to be had. Seek your own clump.

And finally, to answer the question you didn't ask - is your cynicism and idealism and big brain and big heart a sign of superiority? Or is it instead a sign that you are forever doomed to the fringes of society - crowded out of the good spots by the contented cows, by the small-brained, by the small-hearted? Are you better than everyone else - or are you worse?

The answer of course, is an incredibly disappointing neither. You're not particularly superior in spite of your bigness. And you know this, because even though your big brain tells you that you are, your big heart attacks you with doubts and humility and compassion and a general desire for love and all that other shit that every big-hearted person wants. Meanwhile, your big brain is cynical even about you - while your big heart jolts you with disconcerting hopes of winning the Nobel Peace Prize while discovering the cure for all disease.

Big hopes like that can push you right over into a sharp sense that you are in fact nothing but a whining loser, all talk and no action. Or meaningless action and no talk. Maybe everyone else is right. But you can't automatically claim a loser spot for yourself just because you're in the minority. It's not that easy. Evolution has made people like you a part of the mix of society and you have a job to do.

Your job is to make things better for other people even when they are going worse for yourself. You may not be in the mood for this job, but that's the way it is.

Your job is to make people feel better by pointing out what's wrong with the world they live in and how it could be better. So that their own misery makes a little more sense and feels a little less lonely. Your job is to whine and complain. Not just on your own behalf but everyone else's. Your job is to get all pissed off. Not just on everyone else's behalf but your own as well. Your job is to be nice to people and kind to them when they don't deserve it, don't want it, didn't ask for it, and won't appreciate it. Your job is to fuck things up in ways that make all the other clumps mad. Your job is to make compassion more effective by showing the other 40% of the people who are compassionate how stupid and small-minded they are.

You may be politically liberal. You may be politically conservative. You may be both at the same time while hewing in a disciplined way to the core platform of anger and disaffection.

If you are a writer, you might be Mark Twain or Charles Dickens. Entertaining a shitload of people while relentlessly cutting away at everything your loyal readers believe in. You might be a local talk show host. You might be a TV producer. You might be a dog-breeder. Whatever you are, your dreams will always be big and your group will always be small. It will consist of you. Your fellow-clump mates will be your friends but they won't be your sycophants. You won't really be able to follow anyone and you won't really be able to lead. If you are good at what you do, no one will really understand it. If you are a psychologist, you will fuck up psychology. If you are the president of the United States, you will be Bill Clinton, and you will improve everything but your own reputation.

If you are a suffragette, you will be Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whom no one remembers, and not Susan B. Anthony, who gets a quarter with her picture on it even if nobody wants it. You won't get to be sentimental and you won't get to be a firebrand. You may get rich, but you won't get comfortable. You may be successful in society's eyes, but society will never be exactly successful in yours. Sometimes your heart will break and your brain will fry. You will forever be discontented and yet you will stubbornly cling to a belief in something absolutely fucking wonderful that no one can really see but you. You will experience happiness and peace of mind at times, but happiness and peace of mind were not meant for you.

Which is exactly what you always wanted anyway. You never wanted to be happy, you wanted to be you.

This is what the big-hearted/small-brained will never understand about you. They don't understand why you don't toss away that big brain and make yourself happy. They don't understand that you don't want to. You're unhappy on purpose. It's your job. You've always known that. I've just validated for you what was always true anyway. You are secretly thrilled with everything I'm saying and flattered too. You are relieved to be told that you do not have to be happy - but that you are incredibly important anyway. You never wanted anything else. You are too cynical believe this - but too optimistic not to want to.

So somewhere deep inside, you know this shit is true - so get off your ass, go out there right now and find something to be very very discontented about. It will do you a world a good - and it's not a bad deal for everyone else.


More personal angst....


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Why do asshole guys get all the chicks?

Too shy to meet girls

Why won't the government let you smoke a joint?

A little ditty about assholes....

why are people so stupid??

if the ex keeps bugging you...

forming opinions for no good reason whatsoever

Your Brain


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