Yeah, it”s our parents” fault. They were the first to distort our reality. More than likely, they were the first ones who ever whispered a lie to our tender ears. They were the ones who told us that Santa Claus brought us toys in his big red sleigh on Christmas. They told us that we came special delivery as babies from the stork. They told us that the kids at school made fun of us because they were jealous of our accomplishments. Despite the fact that, as adults, we all recognize these childhood “comforts” as pure dingo shit, these aberrations of the truth have nonetheless left the impression in our minds that real-life problems can be solved through such pleasing distortions of reality. Sure, it was harmless back then, but some of us simply don”t want to let go of the easy answer.

Paul Wong
Dustin J. Seibert: Enter the Manifesto

And so we haven”t been quite right since childhood. We fabricate in our minds little half-truths and justifications to help us feel better about a given situation. Unfortunately, as we grow older, it gets so out of hand with some people that they formulate complete realities exclusive to their minds that are separate from the real world. Kinda like “The Matrix,” only without bad actors and a confusing plot.

With that, the premise of “keepin” it real” comes into play. Made famous by wannabe hard-assed churchgoing, charity-giving, retirement-house-working rappers who flow about toting guns and doing bids, “keepin” it real” seems to be the newest phenomenon this side of Jennifer Lopez”s ass. Though so many people profess how “real” they are, the burning question remains: What entails sheer realness? Do dreadlocks, baggy clothes, and militant disregard for authority imply that you are “keepin” it real?” Doubt it. Does talking about how thugged-out your life was when you were a shorty imply that you are “keepin” it real?” Hell no. The truth is that each and every one of us has crosses to bare things we do behind closed doors that we would rather keep from the God Almighty.

Allow me to formulate a simple hypothesis: To stay completely and wholeheartedly true to oneself is unarguably impossible. Every man, woman, and child has some inhibitions to their credit. This is quite a shame because even so-called “ideal” citizens have skeletons in their closets that may otherwise ruin their credibility. Look at Bill Clinton standout President and cool mo-fo to boot, except he gets brain from some lady that wasn”t the “First” one, and now he is such an awful human being not worthy enough to remain in the Oval Office. Spare me. I don”t even want to imagine how many card-carrying members of NAMBLA are in the Republican Party. With so many organizations, religions and people in existence to condemn you for the things that you do, is it any surprise that folks are scared to express themselves? I feel that it is my duty to allow certain examples of everyday bullshit that is often taken for granted:

People get the impression that the University enrolls only the best of the best, cream of the crop, super-geniuses who are absolutely guaranteed success with that diploma in hand. The reality is, there are a lot of stupid muthafuckas in this school. And I don”t mean “freshmen living in Markley” stupid I mean stupid to the point where they can hardly function in social situations. As for that diploma, it certainly does not guarantee anyone a position at any job after graduation ask those second-semester seniors struggling to find employment upon departure from our fine establishment of higher learning.

Lies get spread on thick as Rosie O”Donnell when it comes to attempts at relationships you may as well temporarily substitute a new and improved version of yourself for that first date. Everything from the makeup to the fake bank book to the wig to the rented Beamer are all examples of that necessary front in the pursuit of the draws. We all do it no one is above it. Couples gradually reveal all of those little dirty secrets as time unfolds, and so it shall always be. I mean, do you really want her to know how broke and nasty your ass really is?

Finally, I can”t help but identify the fact that so many people today use religion as nothing more than a limited set of values that they were born into. So many folks who claim that they are “devout” make it a point to violate every rule and stipulation of their religion that they feel can be broken without losing that ultimate salvation. I grow tired of those who feel the need to distort or alter the ideas of religion for personal benefit doing so effectively eliminates the point. The concept of “God is forgiving” is so overrated that people use it as an excuse for their malevolent actions and a comfort zone for the accompanying consequences. Religion made easy for all!

I would hate for people to gather from this column that I am so high and mighty and above all the issues that I speak of. There are many things that I would not do or say for benefit of my greater interest. It took me years to open my eyes to the reality of the world around me, and there are still some things that I have yet to accept (ask my mother). Forgive my arrogance, but I feel that there are many people whose eyes are still wide shut, and that”s why I am here. That”s why I am The Manifesto.

For the benefit of confused 12-year-olds and residents of the state of Connecticut, allow me to clear up those aforementioned aberrations of the truth: The popular kids messed with you in middle school because, well, they thought you sucked “Santa Claus” is actually your irate dad who would rather not have dropped $300 on a Playstation 2, yet would have preferred a cold Heineken over week-old two percent milk and your birth was actually a result of one misspent evening involving the sandy beaches of the Bahamas, an excess of Jose Cuervo Gold, and edible red panties.

Knowledge.

Dustin J. Seibert”s column runs every other Tuesday. Give him feedback at www.michigandaily.com/forum or via e-mail at dseibert@umich.edu.

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