rationale

Human beings are rational creatures. In the sense that we’re pretty good at rationalizing our fucked up actions and beliefs.

I like to think that I’m a pretty rational person. I look at a problems logically and dispassionately, analyze all available information, and make a decision based on empirical evidence rather than emotion. Unlike all those other people out there who have ever disagreed with me about anything.

But emotions are insidious little bastards. They worm their way into your rational thinking and start twisting buttons and pushing knobs and totally derailing your otherwise logical thinking until the next thing you know you’re frantically hoarding tin. To make tinfoil hats out of.

I hear they’re in style this year.

You know what’s funny? You know that feeling you get when you just KNOW that you’re right? That deep, satisfying sensation that tells you that despite all evidence to the contrary, you are correct and anyone who disagrees with you is a gaping moron?

It’s total bullshit. Studies have shown* that there is absolutely no correlation between how right you think you are, and how right you actually are. That sense of certainty—or doubt—is just your emotions messing with you.

Don’t believe me? That’s them. THEY’RE DOING IT TO YOU RIGHT NOW.

If you think about it, this pretty much explains irrational people. And stupid people. And assholes. And pretty much everyone, really.

Everyone except me, that is. I am the center of logic and rational thinking that the entirety of human consciousness revolves around. How do I know this? I just KNOW I’m right about it. I just…..

Wait a minute……

Fuck.

The other day a friend of mine called me a moodle. What’s a moodle? I’m glad you asked. According to Urban Dictionary (and I’m paraphrasing), a moodle is a man poodle; a guy who goes to great and pathetic lengths to impress the girl he’s obsessed with, and while the girl likes the attention, she will never, ever sleep with him.

I was fucking pissed. Yeah, that was a pretty accurate description of me from about 2003 to 2009 (the Moodle Years), but I’ve moved past that. And I’m proud of the fact that I’ve moved past that. And him calling me a moodle now is like a slap in the face.

Well, apparently he meant it as a slap in the face. He said he was just trying to get my attention, so he could give me some advice on how to not be a moodle. Well, as anyone who has ever been slapped in the face can tell you it’s a great way to get someone’s attention, but it’s not exactly a good way to get someone to be receptive to what you have to say.

Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. Walk into a bar, slap a complete stranger in the face, and then start lecturing them on the finer points of sea otter fornication. See how far that gets you.

As I said, I was pissed. So I did what I always do when I’m furious to the point of near-incoherence: I wrote him an Angry Email. Because in my experience, this is always a Good Idea.

And the thing is, I honestly believed at the time that I was being completely rational. Because I was Right, and he was Wrong. And I thought that if I just calmly and clearly explained to him why he was mistaken, he would quickly come around to my way of thinking.

But in retrospect, my 2000-word essay entitled “Why You Are Wrong and Also Probably Impotent” may not have been the best way to convince him. Of anything.

Again, this illustrates just how sneaky emotions can be. Seriously, the moment he called me a moodle, my emotions took over without me even realizing it. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I can’t believe he called me a moodle!! How dare he??!! He doesn’t know ANYTHING about what’s going on in my life!! A moodle!! A man poodle!!  Wait a minute. A man poodle. He called me a man poodle. That’s what I’m pissed off about? Seriously?

And just like that, it was over. My emotions released their viselike grip on my brain, and I was back to my normal happy-go-lucky self.

Now I can’t even remember why I was so pissed off. It just seems extremely funny to me now. If nothing else, it’s reminded me to not take myself so damn seriously. I’m not a man poodle. I’m way more aggressive and tenacious than a poodle. More of a man terrier. A merrier, if you will. And the friend who called me a moodle? He’s seen me like 3 times in the past 5 years. He’s in no position to objectively judge my moodliciousness. Moodlocity? What’s the verb form of moodle?

Regardless, he’s just as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine. His is just wrong. And that’s ok too, because the best revenge I can have on him for calling me a moodle is to laugh at him for calling me a moodle.

That’s rational, right?

*I’m not making this up. There really was a study that showed this, but I can’t seem to find it now. But trust me, it was awesome.

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About Critical Awesomeness
I'm a 32-year-old American with a PhD in chemistry and a green hat. Only one of these two things is really important.

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