Love and Ugliness
People* often** ask me why I don’t like to take pictures of myself when confronted with the opportunity to take a “selfie.” I won’t go into the narcissistic, socially-destructive, morally corrupt value of the “selfie” here, as this isn’t what this post or comic is about. There are more practical reasons why I don’t “love” myself enough to take a photo of, uh, myself.
Having recently been nominated in the Oscars category of “Most likely to repulse a member of the opposite or same sex if seen naked, partially clothed, or even with a bathing suit on”, I decided that I’d be kind to the greater bulk of non-visually impaired humanity and not take any photos of myself that could have potentially caused retinal damage if they were to be spread across the Internet for others to witness.
Ugliness – Physical and Other Kinds, Too
We put too much focus on the physical ugliness of human features, such as faces, hands, feet, bellies, and other kinds of appendages, and not enough on the metaphysical kind. (Note to reader: I don’t really understand the meaning of the word “metaphysical, even when it was explained to me with puppets, but I’ll use it here anyway.)
There is ugliness that transcends the physical and makes its way to the less tangible parts, like the spleen and the soul of a person. It bubbles its way to the surface in the form of either name-calling, bullying or electing people with inferiority complexes who feel they have to have a comb-over that requires a team of NASA engineers and enough hair product to fill an oil tanker. Sort of like that odious bag of genetic pus, Donald Jerk Trump.
He’s not the only metaphysically ugly person on the planet by a long shot. Putin comes a close second, followed in third place by Wayne LaPierre, but I won’t get into a Top 10 list just now as I recently had a strong coffee with breakfast and I can feel the caffeine stirrings in the lower-intestinal region. Safe to say, people who are ugly on the inside are out there en masse.
Love Thy Self – Just Don’t Overdo It
If there was a way to turn all that ugliness into love, maybe the world would be a better place. Or maybe it would help reduce global warming. Let’s look at this scientifically for a moment.
It takes approximately 461 kilojoules (approximately 437 BTUs) of physical and mental energy to come up with a nasty insult that demeans another person’s religion, race or choice of hair styles. (Less if it’s an indiscriminate insult like calling someone “jerk face” because he just cut you off in traffic while texting and driving.) Multiply that by the number of insults and inflammatory comments, alternative fact-based observations hurled on websites, on TV and in print, and you come out to approximately 14 quadrillion BTUs if you’re only considering the American media. Add in the Chinese, Russian, German, French, Mongolian, Indian, and Luxembourger media outlets, and you’re at close 15 quadrillion BTUs. That’s a lot of heat.
Now let’s look at the energy required for love. One love-making energy unit, scientifically known “a soiree of sweaty debauchery”, between two (or more) mutually consenting people, usually under the influence of alcohol or other psychotropic substances, requires approximately 208 kilojoules, (197 BTUs) and is usually over after 6 or 7 minutes of heated squealing, including foreplay. That’s less than half the energy needed for spouting ugliness.
Now if people across the world spent much more time committing acts of love than hurling ugliness everywhere, we’d see numerous benefits such as a) people spending less time in front of screens, thus using less of earth’s precious natural resources, b) much more napping due to the aforementioned energy expenditure, and when you’re napping you’re pretty much carbon neutral, and c) an increase in chocolate danish consumption (as a means to replace the love energy you burnt off).
Scientifically and doctrinally yours,
Professor Yengeny Schmutz
* = people in this case are confined to my parole office, my court-mandated psychologist, psychiatrist, shock therapist and the civil servant who sentenced me to 30 years of hard labor in the form of marriage
** often in this case refers to the regularly court-designated sessions with the aforementioned people in order to keep me in check