Everyone’s out to get me presents! – Optimistic Paranoia.
I know you’ve all been talking behind my back about when I’ll finally get around to writing about paranoia. Well here I go, so you can stop harassing me now. I assume that’s what’s happening. Otherwise I get a lot of strangers approaching me with very little pretext. I seriously had someone approach me last weekend who just wanted to ask if I thought true power was showing weakness or if it was showing strength. I’m not joking. I was sitting reading a book on a park bench and he walked up and asked me what I thought power was. I’d blame this hypothesised blog-voracious cabal for this sort of shit, but I honestly don’t believe such a baffling encounter could be manufactured for any purpose, aside from blind-siding someone before trying to convert them to Scientology. Anyway, now my Thetan level is balanced, I admit, I can only talk about paranoia in a general sense, not necessarily as a clinical condition. Lord knows I’m not qualified to attempt to educate on a mental illness, no matter how many TED talks I’ve read the titles of. Remember that one on being successful? Yeah I didn’t watch it either, but I’m pretty sure one of the tips isn’t to admit all of your weaknesses to a stranger in a park.
Paranoia’s obviously worse than just believing you’re unlucky, since that’s down to just being on the wrong end of chance. Although I suppose if your bad luck got so exaggerated, like if you consistently trod in dogshit every single day for a week, and it wasn’t even the same dogshit each time, you may start to think that there was some sort of deliberate design behind what was happening. You could possibly view the potential for paranoia as just a movement of the threshold at which you can no longer accept coincidence as the reason for unlikely events. In that way it feels like it goes hand in hand with believing conspiracy theories. Really the only difference is that a conspiracy theory suggests a concerted effort to cover up the truth, and hide what’s happening. So perhaps your daily dogshit dalliances are the result of a collective with a vested interest in stopping you from enjoying your walk to work. Or trying to turn you against dogs? It wouldn’t take a huge leap to then assume that the culprit would be cats with ties to the automotive industry. But personal paranoia can be just as outlandish, but also with only one perpetrator. For example I once went on a date with a girl who worked in a shoe shop, and rejected her advances at the end of the date. Since then every pair of shoes I’ve had has either fallen apart or caused the skin over my Achilles’ tendon to bleed. It doesn’t help that we went dancing on the date, and I’m wondering if the shoe problems since could be down to me somehow literally being cursed with two left feet. But in reality, I know that it’s because I’m cheap, and therefore rarely splash out much money on shoes, so end up buying ones of shitty quality. Or I end up not paying my way on dates I’m not enjoying, and see that as a pre-emptive rejection of an inevitable advance from my date.
I actually have a decent pair of shoes now, which I recently found out, are somewhat similar to the pair every single member of the Heaven’s Gate cult from 1997 were wearing when they committed mass suicide. The specific shoes were black Nike Decades, which Nike have since discontinued, apparently to distance themselves from a religious death cult. That seems paranoid. I don’t think anyone would have assumed that Nike were the official sponsor of mass suicide, anymore than people think Yale are the official sponsor of kidnapping. That is a non-connection that does not need to be stated, and if anything just sounds suspicious. On an unrelated note, no matter what you may have read or heard, I am not now, nor ever have been, affiliated with that pile of foxes outside my house. I know my silence on this issue has been deafening, but rest assured, any reports of my connection with said foxes is an entire fabrication, and as such I will be discontinuing my wildly successful fox-based t-shirt line to ensure there is no confusion. The fact that all of the foxes were wearing my t-shirts, is frankly unimportant and irrelevant.
True power is showing weakness, and true weakness is admitting that you don’t know what the fuck is going on, instead of imagining a situation where you’re always the victim of unrealistic and ridiculous systems. Maybe your weakness is literally your Achilles heel being shredded by a pair of Doc Martens, or being so susceptible to mass hysteria that you think suicide is the path to an alien spacecraft hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet, which in a very literal sense is coming out to get you. But when life gives you sour lemons, doesn’t mean you have to drink the Kool-Aid.
Next time on the bandwagon, I’m going to let my intern Mike have a go at writing something. His most recent idea was ‘the unsung heroes in the war on dandruff’ so we’ll see how that goes.