Apologies Are For The Weak

Back to business as usual, shall we? None of this stupid storytelling, avant-garde nonsense: I am here to spit some bile at you, and to expose some darkness. That’s what Sunday nights are for, are they not? Fact of the matter: I probably see things differently from you, but I think you already knew that.

I have no objection to farting in public places, as long as it is me doing the farting. I am a hypocrite, but at least I am willing to admit it. Are you? My arse is a weapon of mass repulsion; I am very often accused of farting on purpose: would that I could. But I can hold it in. If I am doing so, and you start to get on my nerves, I will release the anal kraken, and the ensuing tears will be yours. I don’t care.

In part that is simply a manifestation of my own bottomless arrogance, and that’s fine. On the other hand, it is just a natural process. Some people just seem afraid of the human body; repulsed by farts or belches. Repulsed by their own bodies and the things it does. I don’t get it. This is the same form of revulsion which leads to adverts for sanitary products featuring blue liquid in place of blood. We are nothing more than bags of blood and bones; we hide our faces in plucked pomposity too often.

It is human to err. That is, we fuck up, and that is all there is to it. Just as the human body is a sack of filth we carry around with us, the human mind is a pile of mistakes we are carried around by. Just as it coughs, splutters and makes us say “biscuit” when we meant to say “corporate expenditure” it can occasionally make us shit ourselves uncontrollably, with nerves. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

A mistake is not a deliberate failing, and nor is it a flaw. If it happened deliberately, then learn from it and move on. If it happened accidentally, share the knowledge so that others can benefit from the misfortune you have experienced. If it keeps happening, then either you are not paying attention, or the system is flawed, and is in need of drastic attention. Either way, do not panic. That’s not good.

If you have chosen to do something which has resulted in a bad situation, do not apologise; just don’t do it again. Apologies are for the weak: they do nothing but make ourselves feel better. And they rarely even do that. They are a form of face saving, used to tell the world how awful we feel. I wouldn’t bother feeling awful, if I were you. It sounds obvious, but it serves absolutely no purpose.

As people, we do tend to repeatedly do things which serve absolutely no purpose. May it be because society tells us that it is socially necessary, or socially allowable; may it be because we have fallen in to a particular mode of behaviour in childhood, and perpetuate it in to adulthood; may it be because we are forced in to it out of servitude or indebtedness. They are chains which we need to break now.

Many of our customs have come to us for the sake of pleasing our elders. They were young once, and hated pleasing their forebears as much as we have hated pleasing ours. I’m not saying that we have to start every single idea, every single step, every single process, from the first possible point; we have the benefit of millennia of experience behind us: we can choose the best of what has gone.

That which has gone before – the done thing, leading in to the common consensus, leading in to rigid expectations of behaviour – are not set in stone. We now live in an age where the deference of the past has withered on the vine. Try responding to the world as comes naturally, and seeing where it gets you. Most people aren’t paying too much attention any more, so you’ll probably be alright.

I’m sorry, but I do not believe in apologies. I used to, but I grew out of it. I have had arguments over the years where I have been called all sorts of terrible things for my refusal to apologise. It came to my attention that the apology was less something which was a useful tool in that case than a social convention. Social conventions are doing something because that’s what you do, so I’m not doing it.

Yes, I know: that sounds bewilderingly arrogant, but it’s only so much as pointing out that there are many unnecessary layers of bureaucracy in so much of human interaction with governments and businesses. The process serves no purpose except to allow you to move on to filling in the next form.

A politician, a sportsman and a TV personality make a gaffe in the public eye. One of them makes a real apology, feeling very sorry for what they have done. An apology is only worthwhile if it is a confession of remorse. One of them makes light of the situation, while the internet turns on the victim of the gaffe and doxxes them to a series of suicide bids. One of them goes on TV, radio or a newspaper, and says a number of things including the words “Sorry” and “Apology”. It is neither.

The more apologies are weakened like this, the more they will simply become a rubber stamp for a deviation from the norm. The fact is that anything for which we insist on an apology, an apology is more than likely insufficient. Imagine an array of inappropriate sexual behaviours: there are people would like to see an apology forthcoming; in reality, a public flogging would be more appropriate.

In the same way that human beings seem to have become repulsed by our own bodies, to the extent that we cannot even mention our bodily functions; human society has become repulsed by human nature that we cannot even allow ourselves to err. Deliberately hurting another human being is not an error; it is abuse. Calling someone a cunt when we’re angry is not a hanging offence; it is an error.

A mistake is as natural as taking a dump, and we need to remember that. We should all try to remember that we all do both of them, and we always will. As long as we don’t get it on the carpet, and as long as we don’t get it on anyone else, we just need to clean up after ourselves and move on. To err is human, but beating people up for their errors is as subhuman as it gets; at least it should be.

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