Fucks.1 They are given all the fucking time by all kinds of people. I’d blame social media because it’s easy to screenshot a few gratuitous fucks on Facebook and Twitter,2 but the phenomenon of giving too many fucks predates the internet, computers, cell phones, and probably even language itself. Like most topics I give a fuck about, fuck-giving is a philosophical issue. In fact, if I didn’t have this ridiculous Vigilante concept to run with, I would change the name of The Vigilante Method to The Fuck-Giving Method immediately, and you’d be on fuckgiving.com3 right now.
Why you should not give a fuck.
When we talk about giving a fuck or not giving a fuck, we’re talking about the decision to focus our attention on something. A healthy mind is one that respects its precious fucks and saves them for special fucking occasions. We have only so many fucks to give in a day for topics that don’t provide us with true satisfaction, so wasting our fucks on trivial things that don’t effect us has a net draining effect on our happiness.4
Not giving a fuck is incredibly admirable, when the act of not giving a fuck is used properly. Not giving a fuck doesn’t mean being indifferent to everything. On the contrary, the fewer fucks you give, the deeper you feel the fucks you really do give, and the more energy you have to make sure nobody else gets in your fucking way when you do give a fuck. That’s why the most effective fucks are given by those people who give the fewest fucks. That’s why nearly every time you’ve heard someone say, “Wow, that guy doesn’t give a fuck,” it was in the context of someone doing something awesome by giving up his interest in something lame – like leaving full-time work to travel the world in a suit made of roller blades. And that’s why those who don’t effectively limit the fucks they give spend most of their time on social media, fucking complaining instead of doing something.
Without wasting any more of your time, here are some things I am utterly incapable of giving a fuck about.
Did you hear that Peggy is screwing the boss? How rude Leonard was when he answered the phone? About Johnny’s cousin’s nephew’s neighbor’s dog’s friend’s owner and the way his mailman looked at him?
Nope, and you can guess how many fucks I give. None of these things even remotely begin to affect my life – unless I grant them an undeserved fuck, and then they consume my precious time on Earth. I’m not a fan of giving up that time without a solid return on my investment.
If we can give only so many fucks in a day, we have to prioritize our fucks at least in part by proximity to our own lives. If we are to function adequately, our fucks have to be conserved – much like an endangered animal.
Cecil the Lion5
…or any Outrage of the Week.
Let me say first that yes, hunting a defenseless, injured animal for sport is pretty goddamn silly and a gigantic waste of life, money, time, and meat. But it is also pretty fucking insignificant. And the outrage it spawned – holy fuck.
This poor guy who only wanted to pursue a hobby is receiving death threats. What the fuck. Death threats for killing an animal, beyond breeding age, in a setting in which the animal could have presented a danger to humans and to the available food for other lions. That’s right – the hunt was part of a sustainability effort by local government to ensure that local wildlife populations could survive6 without fucking eating people.7
This sap allegedly had the proper licenses for the hunt. Whether giving those licenses is the right thing to do is a question I’m not capable of answering due to lack of knowledge on the subject matter. But frankly, I don’t give a fuck. It doesn’t matter how much more I’d rather see a post-menopausal lion die than see that same lion eat a farmer’s baby; I can’t change the laws of Zimbabwe at the moment. And since it’s not an issue of extreme urgency and not an issue directly effecting my life, I can’t afford to allocate fucks to it, no matter how many people see that as a good idea.8
People like to give the most fucks where they are least able to correct the fucked-up situation. It’s easier than giving a fuck where maybe your integrity would require you to actually do something about the fucked-up situation. With fucks properly given, maybe you could find a way to stop a child predator in your own town. Or maybe you could clear the name of a man who was wrongfully targeted as a predator because of his harmless, consensual homosexuality combined with the bigotry of his ass-backward redneck neighbors. Maybe you could give a fuck about getting your own life straight, then retire early, and then spend the remainder of your days in Africa really giving a fuck about poaching or big game hunting in reality instead of on Facebook.
But that sounds so hard. So most people would rather give a fuck about things outside of their control. We all do it – hell, I’m doing it right now by writing this post to convince you internet trolls to not give a fuck – but that doesn’t make it fuckworthy. It just makes me as fucked up as you are.
But it was a pretty lion, so fuck that dentist guy, I guess. We have more important things to discuss, like:
The Upcoming 2011 Presidential Election
I realize that the election is in 2016. But I like to reference my presidential elections by the year that the coverage started, because fuck 24 hour news cycles. They are the worst creation since Pillsbury Toaster Strudel icing, and shockingly similar – too delicious not to consume, but what the fuck is it even made of?
As important as government policy can be, it mostly doesn’t affect you. And for your social media post to have any effect on the election, you’d have to be the candidate and post a picture of your Wiener. So I don’t really give a fuck about anyone’s opinion on politics, especially since nearly all of them are derived from Villainous Fallacies, and nearly all of them are debates about whether to infringe upon individual rights in favor of Group A or Group B.9
If you intend to be happy, save your glorious, valuable fucks for pursuits that make you a better person. Fucks should not be given to matters completely outside of your control simply because the 24-hour news cycle addresses them a lot. Give a fuck about learning (definitely), and give a fuck about voting (maybe, because it allows you to exert a tiny fraction of a piece of control over a giant mess of things that may be slightly relevant to your life), but a Vigilante chooses his or her own Circle of Concern. A Vigilante doesn’t get swept up emotionally in the news cycle. A Vigilante saves emotions for important things, like child births, Chipotle grand openings, and weddings.
I’m in a really unique situation for an American twenty-something right now. A friend of my girlfriend is getting married. In fact, my girlfriend is the maid of honor. And wouldn’t you know it, everything’s gone tragically wrong.
It’s the same story for every Normie wedding. Months in advance, there is not enough spare time to plan every part of the event. And by the “event,” I mean the day-long wedding, the shower, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the rehearsal dinner, and whatever other fucking thing that has been dreamed up by generations and generations of Normies who gave way too many fucks and fucked it all up for the rest of us.10
There are trips every week for appointments about venue, food, flowers, photos, alcohol, clothes, and more. Fucks are being doled out like t-shirts on a radio morning show – one for every caller. Fucks are given for who is invited to which event, for who is paying for what and when, for what other people may think if they find out this secret or that secret, for how to deal with everyone injecting their own fucking opinions of how the various events should go (insert mother-living-vicariously-through-daughter cliché here), for whether there is a tradition anyone missed along the way…
All these fucks have been for one marriage contract, one meal, one party, one day – and it has sucked the happiness right out of the day. It has impacted the bride and groom’s ability to actually spend time with one another after the wedding, since they’ll have to work an extra decade to pay it off – not to mention that the stress of it all may fuck with their desire to see one another, anyway. For any rational person, these days will be remembered for the stress and for the debt, but not for the fun or the celebration of a new family being formed.
Why all the trouble? Because (A) weddings are “supposed” to be difficult, time consuming, and expensive, and (B) you’re not really married unless other people see that trouble and see pretty pictures of your expensive things. A wedding like this is a marriage between the fear of change and perception is reality fallacies more than it is between any two people.
For anyone planning a wedding, try this: Don’t give a fuck! Social pressure to engage in traditions is not going to make or break your life – marrying the right person for the right reasons at the right time might. The only thing that is fuckworthy about a wedding is who you marry and, maybe, who is there to celebrate that life-altering moment with you. Why you need a party to prepare for a party – and two or three other parties in the interim – is beyond the fucks I am capable of giving.
What the fuck is a party favor, anyway? A bribe to make your closest friends and family come to your wedding? Fuck that.
There’s a common thread among these categories that most of you probably picked up on immediately, and you’re probably now wishing that you hadn’t wasted 11 minutes of your life reading this far. For that, I genuinely apologize. But actually I don’t give a fuck, I had fun writing it.
For those of you who haven’t caught on, the common thread is this: The opinions of other people do not matter. They don’t. They really, really don’t.
But really, they don’t.
Maybe I reference this post too often, but you really are super insignificant, and so is everyone around you. Don’t waste your precious time trying to impress them. Try to impress me.11 Or better, just fuck wisely. Don’t give a fuck who gets upset, what stands in your way, or where you started – just do the right thing, and fuck everything else. You’ll be better for it.
I cannot in good conscience end this post without thanking Mark Manson for his first post of 2015, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. His poetic words had obvious influence over this post, although I’ve been living life this way since long before January 8, 2015.12
- This post contains profanity. Some may say excessive profanity. If this offends you, you missed the fucking point.
- Yes, there is a double meaning to this, and yes, I have Facebook friends who probably fit the description. If you don’t quite follow, you might be one of them.
- Probably not a safe click.
- Suggested by a recent study, Why self-control seems (but may not be) limited, published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences by Canadian, American, and British professors in psychology who gave a fuck about your brain’s resources, whether you do or not. So take a look and thank them.
- Not actually endangered, but it made for a more interesting transition. Fuck fact-checking.
- Assuming it was a legally sanctioned trophy hunt. I don’t actually know, and neither do any news outlets at the time of this post. So don’t come at me with, “But it wasn’t sustainability! It was illegal over-hunting, and all lions are going to disappear!” It’s not something I give enough fucks about to look into. If it was legal, and you give a fuck, change the law. If it was illegal, then you go enforce the law better, because I don’t give enough of a fuck to save the animals before I can take care of myself.
- Yes, lions are dangerous. Zimbabwe knows this.
- Some of those people may even have the ability to give a fuck about Cecil and do something about it. Good for them. I can’t, and chances are that you can’t, either.
- Which are, coincidentally, both comprised entirely of individuals. How special interest groups always fail to realize that favoritism is unfair, unethical, and will not work eternally in their favor is beyond me.
- I’m not actually sure that they are even doing all of this, but I’m telling a story here. The point that they are falling for the perception is reality and fear of change fallacies stands even if they don’t have a bridal shower. Fuck irrelevant details.
- Not really, you fuck. Impress yourself. Fuck me and my preachy-ness.
- Also try misspelling Mark’s last name and visiting markmason.net for a ridiculous juxtaposition, like I did while authoring this post. I hate to give the guy a single click, but the comic benefits outweigh the moral cost of promoting religious nuttery, so I don’t give a fuck.