Assholes: a Discussion

Will Jacobson

Olivia Waltner

Olivia Waltner

I. Asshole as a body part:

What do you think of when you hear the word “asshole”? Asshole has been thrown around at will for so long by so many that it rarely conjures up a clear image in time before it fades into our memory reserves - an interchangeable preposition or transition to some greater point. However, in reality, it is a fully functioning and important generator for energy. Assholes have been overlooked and underdeveloped throughout history, in their most physical and literal sense. Its anchoring, centripetal location gives us balance; it constantly facilitates, recharging, refreshment. Yet, due to its hiddenness and unfortunate position, we often make unfair assumptions about it. Because it is hidden, we are unaccustomed to it; when it is revealed, it is disorienting and ugly. Because of its bodily purpose, we deem it unsanitary and irredeemable. However, the reality is that it always expunges itself of excrement, and comes out victorious.

 

II. Asshole as a playful jab:

Olivia Walnter

Olivia Walnter

Now, the real confusion lies in how it is interpreted in the metaphorical sense. One does not refer to a grueling, under appreciated hard worker as an asshole. On the contrary, an asshole is a lazy or inconsiderate ignorami who just won’t go away. Everyone knows an asshole. The asshole is the ever-present drunk teen clawing at your car window, or the grumpy and neglectful dad who spends all of his Sundays glued to his TV set, stocking all the chips. However, there is an nuance in the word; the state of assholery is in constant fluctuation. It has become a multi-purpose weapon, deployed at anyone who is exhibiting some behavior that one might consider unappealing. Everyone knows an asshole. Simultaneously, everyone has been an asshole at least once in their life; if they haven’t, they should not be trusted. Its leakage into mainstream vernacular could be attributed to its lightness. Now, its over-usage has removed its sting, as it is unlikely to truly offend someone who has been desensitized to the word asshole. Ultimately, the assertion of one as being an asshole is essential to our society; it is a metric by which one can self-correct.

 

III. Asshole as a serious social problem:

Olivia Waltner

Olivia Waltner

The constant use of asshole must have originally stemmed from something, which, in my opinion, is due to the strong prevalence of permanent assholes in our society. When examining the typical characteristics of an asshole (brashness, apathy, ignorance, annoyingness), a discomforting realization can be found: our world is controlled by assholes. In fact, the biggest asshole known to mankind now leads the most powerful nation on Earth. The expression assholes finish first” has now been transformed into a prophecy. One can claim that assholes and hatefulness have permeated our livelihoods for as long as there has been a finite amount of resources on our planet. In dire situations, one must exhibit the traits of an asshole to survive; or, so we have been led to believe. The term asshole in itself has masculine connotations, as patriarchal societies are synonymous with assholagarchies, and to be honest, the asshologarchy is a damn dangerous system. Why? Because the asshologarchy allows for the silly drunk teens to blurt out a disparaging critique about an insecure freshman’s grating soprano and to feel no remorse whatsoever. Because an asshologarchy can invalidate many people who feel uncomfortable in their bodies and skins. As such, it is very important to be able to differentiate between the fluctuating assholes described in Pt. 2 and the assholes who are currently in question.

 

IV. Reconciling the image and personification of the Asshole

Olivia Waltner

Olivia Waltner

What is it that gave humans the idea to associate the hero of the excretory system with the bane of our everyday lives? Although previously glamorized in Pt. 1, it must be conceded that assholes, in their essence, produce shit. And if shit—which is the leftover culmination of something that was once glorious and is now useless—is produced by assholes, then assholes are the perpetrators of uselessness and/or unpleasantness. If one thinks about it, a useless thing could be regarded by some as unpleasant, and as objects that give us no benefit. Although they are not explicitly harmful, they have a negative effect since they are taking up space that could be occupied by beneficial things. With that being said, it is unusual that someone who is providing a neutral or useless energy to a conversation will be denounced as an asshole. If that does happen, then the person who deemed them as such should definitely be referred to as an asshole, as they are the ones who initially brought negativity into that space. To conclude, all this pontificating overlooks an important and universally recognized fact: shit is gross, and so are assholes. As such, assholes are simply crappy. 

 

V. Do we need Assholes?

Yes, we need certain kinds of assholes: the ones that give us  relief and allow for more nutrients to enter our body. But do we need asshole-people? Well, as a famous saying goes, “Life’s too short be an asshole.  Let’s face it, assholes are unfortunate impediment to everyone on this planet getting along and living in harmony, whether they be the temporary or permanent kind of asshole. Should we  accept this fact? Are assholes an inevitable result of chemical imbalances in our brain? Are they bad habits that can be corrected? Do asshole-people promote productivity in our  societies by generating capital? Should we tolerate temporary assholes to allow for self-reflection and self-betterment (e.g: “That person is an asshole, I sure as hell hope I am not like them”)? Or would we all be a great and productive community without the existence of assholes? Unfortunately, we may never know the truth. Yet one thing is clear: permanent assholes should be called out as such, and be pressured to reevaluate their assholery. Temporary assholes, you are off the hook. For now.