How mean should we be? How nice should we be? Probably more of both.
on the outside I would say my default is being too nice because I am afraid of someone negatively judging me, discovering that I am actually "mean" on the inside. this dilemma of mine makes me feel like a disingenuous human. i have been trying to work on saying how i actually feel, even if it might come off as a bit harsh, and training my brain to think kinder thoughts about one another. i believe it is all about balance between the two, because they are normal human emotions. those who preach that they are a pleasant person on the inside and out actually terrify me the most.
ur so real for this
i’m so fucking glad somebody put this into words god damn
gonna use this as justification when im caught shit-talking someone (that was a joke)
your writing is so articulate and funny
real ones (New Englanders) know you can tell it like it is and still be a kind person (yes my group chat DOES blow up every time someone from high school posts a new ugly husband)
I feel like the past few weeks have really put me in a crisis of consciousness about being kind, and this genuinely helped it feel a lot less complicated and convoluted. I’m often scared that I will be nice but not kind, or that my attempts to be kind will end up only ever being nice. This piece made me feel as if maybe the fear and the trying is part of it all, and perhaps there’s something real and genuine in the attempt as much as there is in the action- and also that I can still have a sense of humour without stripping myself of those things. Your timing is impeccable as always. Thank you Charlie :)
this ones for the everyone in their persistent cunt eras <3 - loved it as always charlie!
Very cool, thank u
No one is meaner than the "spread positivity 💕" gang, it's all very paradoxal.
it occurs to me that "woman buying a single banana at whole foods" would have been such a funny tweet without the image, including that just makes it creepy. posters should practice minimalism!
i think i will not stop thinking about this piece for a really long time!
What is it with this unhinged, irrational hatred some of y'all have for Taylor Swift where you will compare her with Marvel, perhaps the largest example of box office monopoly in history? Leave her alone, god, for twenty fucking years this woman has endured so much baseless and unnecessary criticism of every part of her creative output. Now it's back, just couched in language which amounts to "let people hate things for no reason." Like, sure, you're allowed to not like her, but to publicly come for her, for admittedly no reason, is not defensible.
I respect your courage for writing this otherwise inane attempt at justifying your dissatisfaction at being a mean bitch. It's okay to be a cultural snob: people like you serve as constant proof that it is the artwork that moves hearts, not the commentary on it, no matter how incisive and wise you believe your commentary to be.
I especially like your views on human connection, and how despite proclaiming that humans are a varied bunch you seem to believe that there's only a narrow path to genuine human bonds, that kindness is only ever manifest in the prosaic.
You, great author, are a thin skein of alga gently covering the pond of human culture, believing its oxygen a source of nourishment, but in the end is the cause of eutrophy instead.
You declare that you could stand to be nicer, but every sentence in your essay screams that being mean is something authentic to you, and bookending the work with the phrase is a rhetorical flourish symptomatic of your ilk.
So please don't feel the need to be nice. Your ideas of what constitutes kindness are valid even if they are not universal. Speak your mind, spout your snobbishness, and be prepared to take a punch to the face. Retaliate, and enjoy the fulfillment of knowing that you are a bag shit, piss, blood and bile, and that your ideas of "quiet kindness" are not a genuine promulgation of a truth you believe in, but a euphemism that betrays your low-grade disgust at what is popular.
Just wanna come here and say that I love this essay and I think it perfectly articulates both ends of the spectrum regarding online etiquette/social dispositions towards each other that I'm genuinely in awe... This might be one of if not the most quotable essays I've ever read. Wow thank you for writing this you made everything click in my brain!!!
Since you are in Berlin now, what are your thoughts on the infamous Berliner Schnauze? I actually don't know if you speak German so their rough and blunt way of speaking might not be as evident to American transplants.