I will never have an interesting or fulfilling conversation with another human being.

This is not my fault, it is everyone else’s. The fact that all of my conversations amount to pointless drivel is not a reflection on me. It is a reflection on everyone with whom I have attempted to engage.

It makes no difference who I try to talk to. Being given the option of which person I talk to makes all the difference of being given the option of which Nicolas Cage movie I’m going to watch. No matter what decision I make the amount of entertainment available will be comparable to watching poorly acted paint dry. I’m simply going to walk away feeling like I wasted a portion of my time and energy on something that was guaranteed to be as bad as the last one.

The bottom line is, there’s no chance I can have a worthwhile discussion with anyone else, because there’s no way I can have a conversation with myself. I don’t want this to be taken the wrong way. That sentence can easily be interpreted to mean that I think I am the most interesting and important person I will ever meet, so it would be a real shame if anyone reading this didn’t realize that’s exactly what I’m saying. Before anyone even thinks about looking down from their moral high horse, pedestal, or shit pile know this: All of you behave as if you are of exactly the same opinion, regardless of what your opinion actually is.

Take a moment to think about the last time you had an interaction with someone during which you felt truly connected to them. Now stop thinking about that one and think of one where your clothes were on and your tongue was in your own mouth and actually being used to form speech. I’m willing to bet enough money to make Hugh Grant agree to become celibate that you were agreeing on something.

Let’s be honest, all people want from a chat is someone who will agree with them and nobody can agree with you more than yourself. Conversations are, in essence, an exercise in agreeing with yourself. They are only as agreeable as the person with whom you are speaking is agreeable and they are very disagreeable when the conversation partner is disagreeable.

The average person reading this thinks I’m an ass. The average person also thinks Mumford and Sons is a pretty cool band, so their opinion means very little to me. I consider the response printed in the last issue of The Saint proof that most of you completely misunderstand what the fuck I’m saying anyway. The more astute reader thinks I’m a hypocrite. After all, if all I want is for someone to agree with me, why would I write articles in which I am such a vehemently disagreeable asshole? I do it for the same reason sappy and deluded men insist that they want a woman who will challenge them: I enjoy explaining to other people exactly how right I am.

I am not alone in this. Everyone ought to know at least one person who actually enjoys arguing. Those who don’t know any of these people have never been to a tutorial and probably aren’t reading a university newspaper anyway. No one likes losing an argument, but there are plenty of people who like arguing. Being told you’re wrong is rubbish, but getting the opportunity to make another person feel more foolish and smaller than a dyslexic midget with how wonderful your opinions are is great.

Even people who fear conflict have found platforms to explain to others how correct their beliefs are. I blame Rosa Parks for this. Thanks to her, and venerated political icons like her, I now live in a world where it is socially acceptable for attention-seeking IR students to demand I buy poorly made baked goods. Honestly, let’s not kid ourselves that these people are doing it to save the children by contributing to heart disease. They’re doing it because they feel more of a need to draw attention to how politically correct they are than a black man at an American Civil War re-enactment.

Let me take this opportunity to say that UNICEF members may kindly bugger themselves instead of writing me letters I won’t read about starving children in Africa and go back to their “bleeding-heart-save-the-world” bandwagon.

Whether you’re holding yet another bake sale for Tibet or you’re the asshole who felt the need to drunkenly argue with me about Catholic church doctrine last year, you’re not going to argue your way into the esteem of other people.  

Jack Bunburry

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