Calling All Slackers: How to Get Paid and Save the World by Being Lazy, Ignorant, and Self-Entitled

two_boys_poverty_316x210Do you need money? Do you want to help save the world? Are you lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled? If so, then today is your lucky day, because I have recently invented an easy way to re-purpose your currently worthless and embarrassing slackritude into a powerful world-saving money-machine.

[Note: if you are just too educated, hard-working and humble to qualify as a slacker, then don’t despair. You can still use this method, but you probably won’t make as much money. But then again, you probably don’t need money because you have a real job, and in any case you can still feel good about helping to save the world.]

Slackers have always been a persecuted minority. Most of us despise slackers and see them as merely human-ish. They are forced to live in a world that reviles them, marginalizes them, insists that they work for a living like everybody else. Everywhere are advertising messages, movie characters, and other constant reminders that all so-called “real” human beings are hard-working, educated, and humble; and that slackers are somehow defective, inferior sub-human beings. Slackers are systematically denied opportunities to relax, enjoy, love, and really for no other reason than that they earnestly believe that the rest of us owe them a luxurious lifestyle.

If you are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled (or simply want to save the world), then get ready to transform your life, turn the world on its head, and become the envy of everyone who is too proud to accept charity.

Introducing: Diversity Acceptance Consulting

Diversity Acceptance Consulting is a totally new profession that I am currently inventing  by myself (but only because I haven’t yet been able to entice anyone else to invent it with me). It is nothing less than a way to fix everything wrong with you by re-purposing or up-cycling it into a professional credential. Although in this post we are looking at the particular credential package of laziness, ignorance, and self-entitlement, literally anything and everything about you that may be viewed by others as weird, strange, foreign, yucky, gross, offensive, unattractive, inappropriate, or somehow undesirable can be used by you to do Diversity Acceptance Consulting, if you so choose.

Here’s how it might work if you are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled:

Whenever a so-called “normal” person — educated, hard-working, humble — becomes aware of your lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled ways, they are presented with a wonderful opportunity to practice and develop their own ability to become aware of, understand, and accept someone they currently despise. But that way of describing it suggests that you as a slacker are somehow constrained to the role of passive bystander. With that way of viewing it, you’re just sort of there by accident, slouched on a couch littered with candy wrappers, binge watching Downton Abbey, and waiting for your soul-mate to break into your home and kidnap you; and whether the so-called “normal” person is even aware of this opportunity, and actually sees it as such is entirely up to him or her.

But you don’t have to be so passive. Even though you are a slacker, there is really nothing stopping you from taking an active role in the encounter. You can literally choose to take control over the situation and guide it proactively toward success. For example, you can simply tell the other person that your own slackrositous magnificence is an opportunity for them to practice and develop their ability to be aware of, understand, and accept boorish space-wasters such as yourself. For example, you might say to them something like,

poor-child_210x224Hello. I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in raising awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled like I am. Basically, it’s my job to help hard-working, educated, and humble people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept that people like me are perfectly normal human beings who just happen to be lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled. If you see value in your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and pay me to help you further develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people like me.

Now, that’s really a hypothetical example. Here is the real deal:

If You Like This Idea, Please Pay Me For Sharing It With You

dscholten 8-8-15Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”, and I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in halitosis acceptance. What that means is that it is my job to help people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept walrus breath as a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you value your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and to pay me to help you develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people struggling to survive with breath that can ruin photographs while living among people who can be french-kissed immediately upon waking.

If you would like to pay me for this service, which I provide to my clients in part by refusing to brush my teeth and by chewing plenty of fish oil capsules and raw garlic, then please visit my How to Hire Me Retroactively! page and follow the instructions there.

If You Really Like This Idea, So Very, Very Much That You Too Want To Get Paid And Save The World With Whatever Is Unique About You

If you love as much as I do this idea of Diversity Acceptance Consulting, and you want to get started in this profession, then this is your invitation to do so. And here is one basic way to do it (you are welcome to invent your own way):

  1. Identify your own specialty or specialties: make a list of everything you’re ashamed of, embarrassed about, etc. — the stuff that makes you weird, offensive, or otherwise rejectionable. These are your credentials as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant; this is your platform, your own unique area of expertise. Note: If you really can’t think of any reason that someone might reject you for, then you can use “in deep denial about how others see me” or maybe even manufacture the aforementioned halitosis credential by refusing to brush your teeth and chewing fish oil capsules and cloves of garlic on a regular basis. There are surely other credentials you can simply adopt as well.
  2. Take a proactive role in presenting your credentials to others as opportunities to increase their awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who share your credential or credentials.
  3. Ask them to pay you for this service.

A few additional points: I view the development of the Diversity Acceptance Consulting profession as an open source project, by which I mean that nobody actually owns this amazing idea it, and anybody is free to contribute to its development and evolution, provided she or he does not try to take control over the project and turn it into some closed source thing.

Have fun, and let me know what you think!

diversity_heart_small

Trigger Warning: I Don’t Do Trigger Warnings (Yet)

I have my own triggers so I understand both that triggering is a real thing and that it’s seriously uncomfortable. In my case it’s like I have a switch on my back somewhere and I am the only person on Earth who cannot seem to reach it. Literally anybody else can walk up whenever he or she feels like it, turn on that goddamn switch, and completely ruin me for some unpredictable period of my immediate future. These disruptive episodes can be more or less intense and can last as briefly as a few moments, and as long as a year or more. My vulnerability to these kinds of episodes — which in their most acute and extreme form I refer to as autistic meltdowns — have rarely accomplished anything of value, and most often have made my life something of a train wreck in that they have destroyed every conceivable kind of relationship I might have with pretty much anybody, but especially with bosses and girlfriends. In particular their destructive effect on my relationships with bosses has caused me no end of financial problems.

I also understand that not all triggers are equal. Some triggers really are worse than others. In the extreme are those triggers associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can sometimes be so bad as to drive people to commit suicide and/or murder.

However, one of my own triggers is basically anything that looks like it might threaten a truly useful and universal Right to freedom of thought and especially the public expression of one’s thoughts. I usually conceptualize this as the right to be honest in public about our own current opinions. Whenever I encounter anything that even just appears superficially to threaten that Right I get triggered, and I regret to announce here in public that for now, at least, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that could change my mind, in my honest opinion the entire trigger-warning approach to the very real problem of triggers is a terrible idea.

To be clear: this is absolutely not to invalidate or deny what I know for a fact to be the very serious problem of triggers in general, and in particular those associated with PTSD and which can on occasion drive people to manifest some extremely dangerous behavior. But rare is the problem with just one solution, and the trigger problem is one with plenty of solutions, many of which are clearly more promising than the trigger-warning approach, which in my opinion should be scrapped immediately, and this because of the threat it poses to our collective Right to be honest in public about our own current opinions.

However, if you disagree with me on this point, I urge you to let me know, because you may in fact have exactly the kind of evidence that could change my mind, and if you don’t share it with me, I might end up hurting a lot of people because I failed to correctly understand this issue. If you seriously believe that I am missing some significant point or fact or piece of evidence, etc. and that if only I were aware of it I would change my position on trigger warnings, then please, please be honest with me about your opinion on this issue.

In closing I would like to offer you one of the above mentioned solutions that are clearly more promising than the trigger-warning approach: don’t read my blog. Also, if you really think my blog is dangerous, then please warn others not to read my blog.

Look, of course I want followers, especially followers that actually read my blog, as you clearly do. But if the price of a given follower is that I have to threaten the safety of our Right to be honest in public about our opinions, I’m afraid that price is too high to pay. I’m just going to have to pass on that one — for now, at least, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that could change my mind.

But before you abandon me completely, I urge you to consider the possibility that you just might have exactly the sort of evidence that could change my mind on this issue. If you do, then in my opinion you actually have the moral responsibility to offer it to me in case it really will change my mind. If you don’t offer it to me at least, then that will just make you complicit in all the unnecessary suffering I might cause by my ignorant and stubborn refusal to use proper trigger warnings. For the sake of any additional people I may hurt, I implore you to be honest with me about your opinions on this matter. Please, please — especially if you disagree with me — please let me know what you think.

In the meantime, I don’t do trigger warnings.

 

 

How to Get Paid and Save the World with Halitosis

man_blowing_smoke_315x210Do you need money? Do you want to help save the world? Do you have breath that sets off smoke alarms? Then today is your lucky day, because I have recently invented an easy way for you to turn that denticulated stink-hole beneath your nose into a powerful world-saving money-machine.

[Note: if you don’t already suffer from halitosis, you can still take advantage of this amazing opportunity simply by refusing to brush your teeth and chewing fish oil capsules and cloves of raw garlic on a regular basis like I do.]

People who suffer from chronic halitosis are still and always have been a persecuted minority. They are forced to live in a world that oppresses them, marginalizes them, reviles them. Everywhere are advertising messages and constant reminders that they are somehow defective, deficient, inferior sub-human beings. They are denied opportunities to work, play, and love, and really for no other reason than that they can cause gagging and eye-watering when surrounded by other people in an enclosed space such as an elevator, waiting room, or hockey arena.

horse_mouth_315x210If  you suffer from chronic halitosis (or simply want to), then get ready to transform your life, turn the world on its head, and become the envy of everyone who can’t knock a bird from the sky by yawning.

Introducing: Diversity Acceptance Consulting

Diversity Acceptance Consulting is a totally new profession. It is nothing less than a way to turn everything wrong with you into a professional credential. Although in this post we are looking specifically at the halitosis credential, literally anything and everything about you that is viewed by others as weird, gross, offensive, unattractive, inappropriate, or somehow undesirable can be used by you to do Diversity Acceptance Consulting, if you choose.

Here’s how it might work with halitosis. Whenever someone detects your bad breath, they are presented with a wonderful opportunity to practice and develop their own ability to recognize, understand, and accept someone with halitosis. But that way of describing it suggests that you are somehow constrained to the role of passive bystander. With that way of viewing it, you’re just sort of there by accident, stinking up the room, causing the paint to peel on the ceiling (melting the polar icecaps, etc.), and whether the person is aware of this opportunity, and sees it as such is entirely up to him or her.

But you don’t have to be so passive. There is nothing stopping you from taking an active role in the encounter. You can literally choose to take control over the situation and guide it proactively toward success. For example, you can simply tell the other person that your stinky breath is an opportunity for them to practice and develop their ability to recognize, understand, and accept people who have halitosis like you. For example, you might say to them something like,

walrus_cartoon_280x210Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. You can call me The Walrus, and I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in halitosis acceptance. What that means is that it is my job to help people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept halitosis as a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you see value in your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and pay me to help you develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who suffer from halitosis.

Now, that’s really a hypothetical example. Here is the real deal:

If You Like This Idea, Please Pay Me For Sharing It With You

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. You can call me The Walrus, and I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in autism acceptance. What that means is that it is my job to help people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept autism as a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you value your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and to pay me to help you develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who struggle with autism to survive in a world that has been largely designed by and built for people without autism.

If you would like to pay me for this service, which I provide to my clients by writing and promoting this blog, then please visit my How to Hire Me Retroactively! page and follow the instructions there.

If You Really Like This Idea, So Much That You Too Want To Get Paid And Save The World With Whatever Is Weird About You

If you love as much as I do this idea of Diversity Acceptance Consulting, and you want to get started in this profession, then this is your invitation to do so. And here is one basic way to do it (you are welcome to invent your own way):

  1. Identify your own specialty or specialties: make a list of everything you’re ashamed of, embarrassed about, etc. — the stuff that makes you weird. These are your credentials as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant. If you can’t think of anything, then you can easily create the halitosis credential by refusing to brush your teeth and chewing fish oil capsules and cloves of garlic on a regular basis. There are surely other credentials you can simply adopt as well.
  2. Take a proactive role in presenting your credentials to others as opportunities to increase their awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who share your credential or credentials.
  3. Ask them to pay you for this service.

A few additional points: I view the development of the Diversity Acceptance Consulting profession as an open source project, by which I mean that nobody actually owns it, and anybody is free to contribute to its development and evolution, provided she or he does not try to take control over the project and turn it into some closed source thing.

Have fun, and let me know what you think!

diversity_heart_small

Weirdos Wanted: Become a Professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant

Today I begin my new career as a Professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, and this is your invitation to do the same.

If you’re wondering what that means you’re in good company because I’m not quite sure myself. At the very least the product we will sell is an increased awareness, understanding, and especially acceptance of diversity, in general, but in particular that unique, particular example that we each embody as particular individuals. For my part I plan to specialize in autism, but I might also be able to have a side specialty based on my preference — despite having a penis — to sit down when I pee. A lot of men especially have a tough time with that one. I suspect the inevitable pool of piss on the floor stimulates some primitive urge to mark one’s territory, although I find it strange that the men’s room is viewed as such prime real estate. It’s not like you can raise a family in one. Heck, mothers aren’t even allowed in!

In any case, the range of specialties for this profession is virtually endless. Do you have a large, asymmetrical nose? An extra nipple? Perhaps you have dark skin, or wrinkly skin, or skin that got burned in a fire. Are you teeth crooked, brown, or missing altogether? Do you have some horrible disease or illness? Maybe your eyes don’t work, or your kidneys, or maybe you need a wheelchair to get around? Maybe you are homosexual, or transgender, or have a twin sister growing out of your back? Your own specialty can be whatever it is that makes you different from so-called “normal” people. Really, we are limited here only by what is currently considered “normal”. For example, although I am a white man, I probably won’t try to sell increased awareness, understanding, and acceptance of those traits, although a lot of white supremacists may feel differently. Apparently they see themselves as an endangered species.

Another idea I have is to make the general project of creating this profession one of those “open source” projects so that it might benefit from the collective wisdom and creativity of anybody else who likes the idea and wants to give it a go — oh yeah, and especially anyone who wants an exciting new career getting paid to be his or her own unique and special self. How’s that for an employee benefit?

Please accept this as your invitation to do exactly that.

The only restriction I can think of is that we’re not allowed to get greedy and hoard this idea in any way. It has to stay open source, but if you understand what open source is all about, then you also understand why trying to turn it back into some sort of closed source thing is a bad idea. (Hint: I know I’m not smart enough, and I doubt you are either.)

And finally, I’m thinking we need to give our customers an easy way to start paying for our services, so for my part I’ve decided to implement a pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth business model and create a “How To Hire Me Retroactively” page for my blog along with a PayPal link. You should probably do something similar, but please let me know if you think that’s a mistake. You might be right, and if so, I would like to know that.

But otherwise, the reason I think (for now) that it’s not a mistake is that my intention here is to help create a profession (as opposed to a charity, say), and professionals get paid for their services. Oh, and I have kids to feed, bills to pay, etc., and I’m sure you do too.

I’ll stop here for now, but please let me know what you think!

 

 

Penguin swimming

Autism Is A Disability; Penguins Can Fly

First, I should explain what I mean by disability. The way I see it (for now, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that could change my mind), the idea of disability is best conceptualized as a comment on the context in which some particular ability is being exercised. Think “fish out of water” here, or better “penguin out of water”. Penguins are graceful and highly capable swimmers, as long as they’re actually in water; not so much while on dry land. On dry land penguins look just ridiculous — totally lost.

King penguins on dry land looking lost.

Don’t these King penguins look totally lost on dry land? Image Credit: Pixabay

We human beings are just like that, in that whatever abilities we may have as individuals, each of these is only functional under certain specifiable conditions; outside of these conditions these wonderful abilities somehow transmogrify into disabilities. For example, at the moment you can read, but without sufficient light this reading skill is utterly worthless to you. Likewise, if you have two healthy legs and can walk on a dry sidewalk, you will find that these same legs are just a burden if you’re standing in four feet of soft snow. And of course, what about your ability to fly?

Fly? Yes, fly — and I mean literally, just like a bird, a plane, and of course Superman — just not in the sky, of course. But you can fly in water. Hey, what do you think penguins do? Or we might say that eagles swim in the air.

An eagle in flight.

An eagle out for a refreshing dip in the morning sky. Image Credit: Pixabay

Note that I didn’t put the words fly and swim in scare-quotes. I left the scare-quotes off because I’m really not using these words figuratively. To my (admittedly autistic) view the verb fly is just a synonym for the verb swim. As I see it, the only real difference between flying and swimming is the density of the medium in which the given activities occur. With respect to what we normally call flying, air functions exactly like a very low-density fluid, and with respect to what we normally call swimming, water functions exactly like a very dense gas. Other than the spelling, little difference exists between the sciences of fluid- and aerodynamics. In fact, physicists consider aerodynamics to be a sub-discipline of fluid-dynamics and use exactly the same differential equations to describe swimming and flying, but with different density constants.

But these density constants are critical with respect to the organism doing the actual flymming (should be a word, if you want my opinion). And this basic principle is true for any ability.

Now, I do understand that autism is not necessarily a disability, in the same way that a penguin’s swimmability (yeah, that should also be a word) is not necessarily a disability — unless of course the penguin is trapped on land and cannot use his ability to swim! And it is in that sense that autism is really a disability, although perhaps not for all autistic people — in particular those who have managed to find niches for themselves in our world which has been designed primarily by and for neurotypical human beings.

As an example from my own life, although my 80-year-old father has yet to be formally diagnosed, I would be shocked if he didn’t easily fulfill the modern DSM V diagnostic criteria for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). To my view, he is your stereotypical aspergian, but he has also done an amazing job of making himself utterly useful to pretty much everybody that he knows, and this is as true in his personal life as it was in his professional life before he retired. My dad is a gifted problem solver — for pretty much any kind of problem involving the physical world. I have yet to see him encounter an object or a device — electronic, mechanical, or electromechanical — that was broken in a way he couldn’t fix with with some tool or gadget or bit of plastic or piece of rubber tubing or a clip of some sort that he found in his vast personal collection of what my saint of a step-mother refers to has his “junk”, and which he accumulated incrementally over the decades of his life and stored, neatly organized, in countless boxes and shelves in his garage and home office.

On the other hand, my own claim-to-fame seems to be that I still don’t have a criminal record. To be clear, I have never physically injured anybody, nor wanted to, nor have I broken any laws more serious than the occasional traffic violation. But I have also never been able to hold down a full-time job; and largely as a result of that I have accumulated a mountain of debt. Perhaps more importantly, I have been a chronic disappointment in every conceivable kind of relationship that one person can have with another. I’m sucky as a friend, son, brother, uncle, husband, father, cousin, nephew, grandson, employee and co-worker. As much the antithesis of my dad (although people are always telling us how alike we are, which is also true), I have always proven to be utterly useless to pretty much everyone.

And why am I such a chronic failure in pretty much every area of my life? Well, as I’ve written elsewhere, I’m sure a few — a minority of the people who have known me, thank goodness — might say I’m just an “asshole” — a “fucking loser” or maybe a “total jackass”, and honestly, I really couldn’t fault them for that. Every so often my encounters with other human beings can go to an ugly and uncomfortable place, and I know that my own misguided choices play a significant role in bringing about that sort of outcome.

But I honestly believe most who have met me would describe me much more kindly — and this includes my own wife, who along with my children, has to endure my autistic symptomatology more than anyone else ever has. These saintly humans would probably tell you that I’m quite friendly, honest, witty, intelligent, sympathetic, with much to offer, but that I have perhaps never quite found my niche in the world. They might go so far as to describe me as a “a bit lost” — not unlike a penguin waddling around looking for water to swim in, but finding none.

Just over a year ago (November 2016) I sought medical attention for my chronic, life-long misfitery, and as it turns out, I’m actually autistic — I have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  For me, learning this about myself has been a huge relief. Now I finally know why I’ve fucked up my life. I must admit that for as long as I can remember I have struggled not to accept the harsher judgments that people have made of me. Far too often have I seriously suspected that these critics may have been right after all — that I really am just an “asshole”, “fucking loser”, or maybe a “total jackass”.

But no — as it turns out, none of that is true. I’m not an asshole; I’m just autistic. And like a penguin forced to waddle around on dry land, yes, I guess I do look quite lost and a bit ridiculous. But I’m quite sure this is only how I look when I’m on dry land. I’m quite sure that once I do find my way to the water, I will show the world what I’m really good at.

Until then, and for me at least, autism really is a disability.

And penguins really can fly.

 


Hey, check out this cool YouTube featurette of Brandon Routh‘s preparation for his role in the 2006 film Superman Returns. Starting at about minute 2:12 you can watch him prepare for his flying scenes in a swimming pool! And don’t worry if you’re male and homophobic — there’s absolutely nothing at all homoerotically provocative about Routh’s lithe, muscularity.


 

A landscape of mountains and valleys

The Autism Landscape

People don’t know squat about autism. Heck, even autistic people don’t know squat about autism. To my view (for now, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that might change my mind) I think a big part of the problem is that autism is like a landscape, with isolated and highly salient extrema — peaks and valleys — which by nature draw the eye and appear to announce to the naive observer “see, this is autism”, so that any other point on the landscape appears to say “this is not autism”.

But really this is wrong — as naive theories usually are. What appears to be right, however, is that it’s the whole landscape that is autism, and if your own particular phenotype (your DNA working in combination with your own idiosyncratic life experience) lands you anywhere on that landscape, then you are autistic — you “have” autism.

Another part of the problem is that this autism landscape is itself part of a much larger landscape — the human landscape — and the boundary between this larger human landscape as a whole and the particular patch that is the autism landscape is essentially arbitrary. There is no clear geographical feature — river, rock formation, altitude, etc. — that obviously and without controversy separates the human landscape at large from the particular patch we’re calling the autism landscape.

But again, and arising out of this uncertainty, it is the reassuring peaks and valleys of the autism landscape that draw the eye and appear to announce to the naive observer “see, at least we are certain that this is autism”.

But don’t be fooled. That is still wrong — as naive theories usually are. It is the whole landscape that is autism.

(I think, for now, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that might change my mind.)


Image Credit: Pixabay