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My Unpopular Opinion About Giving a Shit

I give more shits than I should despite myself, so I’ll keep on complaining, arguing, and being all doom and gloomy. And maybe through complaining, I’ll discover a better way to effect change.


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Harry Seitz

4 months ago | 2 min read
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Screw it — but by all means, keep complaining

A friend in high school developed a system of shit, or how many shits you should give in any particular situation. We were in a creative writing class together, and he wrote this for a completely unrelated assignment.

Forget your homework? Maybe one shit, unless you’re a senior and have already been accepted to college. In that case, zero shits. If you weren’t planning on going to college and already had enough credits to graduate or were going to flunk out, why the hell were you even in class?

Caught for ditching class? Zero shits. A parent dies, maybe three shits. A pet dies, at least five (depending on how well you got along). A DUI? Many shits, the exact number depending on how much shit you’re in.

Humanity in general? Maybe one shit. Getting hit by a car? At least 10 shits, and possibly many more depending on how injured you are. If you’re so fucked up you can’t count, an indeterminate number of shits.

A creative writing class? Zero shits.

Another friend who followed argued that we should just spell everything phonetically, especially if it made the word shorter. There, their, and they’re should all just be “thehr,” and so on and so forth.

When our teacher and classmates pointed out how much confusion this would cause, especially in law, science, and any other field that required clarity, he said he gave approximately two shits.

I wrote a story about robbing a bank. You’d dress casually and wear ski masks, then make everyone else in the bank put on ski masks, too, and duct tape toy guns to their hands, which looked real as hell back in the day (1993).

An accomplice would blow up a phone booth or cause some kind of distraction right before you started shooting at the ceiling and had everyone run for their lives.

Not the best plan (I gave it about one shit), but my friends gave it six shits.

For the last two years, I’ve given too many shits for people who don’t give a shit about anyone.

Nothing is going to change their minds or the world or anything. So for now, I give zero shits about them, or maybe three because of all of the harm they’re causing, but if I can’t fix any of this, why give a shit at all?

But I give more shits than I should despite myself, so I’ll keep on complaining, arguing, and being all doom and gloomy. And maybe through complaining, I’ll discover a better way to effect change.

When people say I’m a socialist because I want universal healthcare — or call me a liberal because I defer to modern science and medicine — instead of boring them with facts and figures (which no one gives a shit about), I’ll tell them that Sweden has universal healthcare, and that’s where the Swedish Bikini Team is from (they used to play for Old Milwaukee beer).

And if that isn’t American, I don’t know what is.

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Harry Seitz

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