The Bullshit Bag is an abstraction, A metaphorical sack for all your bull. You know, the nice eco-friendly brown paper ones with the handle? Yeah, one of those. You can decorate it with stickers if you like.
The bag plays an important role in the Bullshit Manifesto, it is a concept which will be referred to throughout. It is the storage location for all our bullshit.
Bags are as varied as people. Some folks have their bullshit tightly packed and well organized, others have random bullshit hanging out all over. Some bags are transparent so that a body’s bullshit is just visible to everyone. Some bags are managed by others, in cases like the military, prison and religious cults they just empty your bag out and shove their own bullshit in and fill it. Yes, I did just put all three of those in the same category. Because freedom is being able to manage the contents of your own bag, whether it is your own bullshit or that added by others.
Here is a truth, if someone else is managing your bullshit, you aren’t free.
Your bullshit bag
Don’t google “Bullshit Bag” to see if you can find one on out there in Internet land, there’s no need. I have wonderful news. You already have one. Yes, it’s right there. You were born with it in tow, and if you’re old enough to read this, it’s already full of shit.
Imagine it: Bright shiny spark drifts earthward from the source of all that is. We’ll call him Sparky. Sparky is all a joy at the adventure of life looming large and… [insert annoying warning buzzer] is suddenly stopped by Bullshit Central, AKA The Universal Department of Spark Services.
And handed a bag and assigned a meatbot, and told: “This is yours, guard it well.” The spark whimpers. “I don’t want this one, can I have that one over there?”
“Nope, no returns, no exchanges. Think of it as our way of saying “Fuck You.” And so Sparky brings his bag and all the bullshit that’s already in it into the wonder of life.
The shit you’re just born with. Genetic bullshit. and Family bullshit.
That’s the bull you just mostly can’t-do much about. I mean, if, dad, grampa, and grampas beyond were drunken wife beaters… well. not looking good for you champ. You got some genetic predisposition bullshit that you just gonna have to learn how to own. And you can. Suck it up, It’s all part of your brand new meatbot.
Unhealthy genetic bullshit
It’s that bullshit that is behind the ticking time bomb in Sparky’s head. It starts counting-down the instant Mrs. Egg and Mr. Sperm do their thing inside mommy, kicking off the meatbot manufacture process. Then reaches zero at the age of forty-two plus six months and 4 days. In the middle of a really boring presentation by Ted from accounting. Too bad we’ll never savor the irony of Sparky’s last thought being, “WTF? Sixty-two slides to go? Is this asshole never going STFD and STFU? Dude’s killing me. Whaaaa…?” *darkness*
The Cosmos thought it was pretty funny, and frankly, Sparky was the most exciting thing to happen in one of those meetings ever. And Ted became internationally famous as that guy who bored a dude to death. Video at 11:00.
Of course, we can’t forget personality bullshit. That roll of the dice that determines whether you are a gentle thoughtful person or a flaming asshole who just does stuff without giving a fuck about consequences. Asshole in the bag is one of the harder issues to deal with since assholes generally don’t realize they have asshole in the bag.
Genetic bullshit can be a lot of things. But that’s it a nutshell. It’s in the bag from day 0. It can drag the spark into the light in a private hospital suite in Manhatten or a squalid tent in a refugee camp in Syria.
The Spark never knows what bag of shit the Bullshit Central is going to hand it.
Closely related to the genetic bullshit taxonomy is Family Bullshit. A soon as the spark bonds a meatbot after being dragged from the darkness to a chorus of oohs and aahs. Hopefully a joyous environment, a parental figure notices… “Oooh, a bullshit bag, it’s so tiny and cute.”
Of course, the unsuspecting parental figure has no idea what might be lurking in the cute little bag. Could be Mahatma Gandhi, could be Jeffery Dahmer. There’s just no telling the outcomes of blended bullshit.
For instance Klara and Alois Hitler. Now there are two people who just never should have fucked. Were time travel bullshit possible, who wouldn’t want to go back and cock block that particular encounter. Give the dude a Trojan or something.
At any rate, the parental figures or figure immediately begins to load their own bullshit into the bag. Almost always it’s the religious bullshit first. The first thing the parents shove into the bag. Religious Bullshit can be benign or toxic depending. Some parents put in a nice little package of it all marked with the appropriate iconography and wrapped up in a bow. Then they slip it in the bag where it’s only seen at the appropriate times and places and often never again. Some fill the bag all the way to the top with it and just keep cramming it in until the bags about the pop.
The usual family bullshit
Afterwards, the usual family bullshit gets dropped in by parents and older siblings, grandparents, aunts uncles and all the rest along the way.
I could and likely will go on at length about family bullshit, but you know, it’s basically just:
- Basic Family Bullshit: Think Uncle Jerry.
- Convoluted Family Bullshit: Think Uncle Jerry’s widow, three mistresses and five love children meeting by accident at Uncle Jerry’s funeral.
- Unsightly Family Bullshit: Your sister Jill and brother-in-law Bill’s daughter, your thirteen-year-old niece Chelsea, just about any fucking time of day.
Anyhoo, family bullshit, you don’t load it into your bag, but you gotta carry it. Suck it up.
Other people’s bullshit
Now, other folk’s bullshit starts piling up in the bag. From television. From teachers. From society in general.
From most sources, it’s just random bullshit dropped in the bag in a haphazard fashion. Bullshit that may or may not have any long-term harmful effect. Could be the reason you are loyal to a particular brand of laundry detergent is because that was the bullshit on in between bouts of Mickey Mouse bullshit.
From the school system, it’s kinda structured and targeted on multiple levels. The top layer is mostly benign and not really bullshit at all. That being the fundamentals of mathematics and language. And that it’s wrong to clock Tommy over the head with Tonka truck. Sure he’s an asshole, but Sparky is a dick, and we both know how close together those things are.
The next layer is pure bullshit, that being the motive of indoctrinating Sparky into being a good little cog in the machine. As the great George Carlin once said, and I paraphrase, “We need people to do the paperwork and run the machines. We don’t want people who think, and realize how badly they are being fucked.”
So before Sparky even gets going good, he has a shit load in the bag.
At some point, Sparky is able to begin picking the bullshit he wants and starts bullshit shopping the minute he realizes he can.
Again, some folks are selective about their bullshit Smart shoppers you might call them. “You can give me a quarter ounce of that, and could I have it in that pretty green box?”
Others, most actually, are like that lady we’ve all seen in the grocery store, the one who just grabs everything off the shelf and fills the cart like the apocalypse is tomorrow. They just go through grabbing bullshit and shoving it in the bag, which of course expands to accommodate.
At some point they cram so much shit in the bag, all anybody can see is a bag full of bullshit. No spark visible at all.
Ooodles and oodles of bullshit
Here are some of the different kinds of bullshit you can have in your bag that can be acquired from others:
- Religious bullshit: it can take over the whole bag if you’re not paying attention.
- Military bullshit takes over the whole bag, tosses out everything it thinks you don’t need. Then spray-paints it [insert color of service here]. It then stencils your last name, first initial and service number on it, for easy identification.
- Political bullshit: what more can I say?
- Pop-culture bullshit: yeah that’s a category all by itself. Can’t really say I want to carry around the Kardashian bullshit in my bag, but hey, different strokes…
- Materialistic bullshit: Western civilization. So again what more can I say in 99 posts or less? In the land of the eternal consumer, the spark may not be able to shove in as much as it wants, but it won’t be for lack of trying.
The good news is no case is terminal until it is. You can pull other peoples bullshit out of your bag and throw it back at them. An activity that can be endlessly entertaining.
It’s like that time I visited the zoo and the monkey in the tree shit and threw it at me. Damn good aim. I didn’t get angry, I just thought about how much fun the monkey was having and wished I could return the favor.
Your personal bullshit
This is the bullshit it’s all yours. Well, not all yours completely. That’s the whole point of other peoples bullshit. It’s to get your own personal bullshit machine churning it out.
To that, we begin adding all the little bullshit stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, all the unsightly bullshit we do to others and etc. etc. All the bullshit that we believe about whatever. Which is mostly fine. Long as it stays firmly kept in the bag.
Note that the personal bullshit area of the bag, while quite large, is space limited. That means if a body generates more bullshit than the bag can contain it just starts falling out all over by accident or being offloaded into someone else’s bag, making your bullshit their bullshit whether they want it or not.
Also of note is that the universe started issuing smart bags some time ago. The bag remembers how much personal bullshit a particular human has generated and spread about.
Oh yeah, all that bullshit that builds as a result of being an asshole? That’s your personal BS as well. It’s in the bag.
The final crossroads
And so Sparky, dragging a bag, hits the final crossroads in a presentation given by Ted from accounting.
Awareness returns in a nicely appointed office. It’s back in the Department of Bag Services, also known as Bullshit Central, branch offices in convenient locations near you. On the other side of the office is a faintly glowing door. In between Sparky and the door is a desk. Behind the desk is a strikingly beautiful woman of middle years. She’s wearing a smart saffron business suit, and she’s not smiling.
It’s Hekate. Dark Goddess of the crossroads, mother of mysteries, daughter of night and terror, goddess of witchcraft, boundaries other arcane shit. Of course, the biggest boundary being that transition between life and death.
Hey if you’re religious bullshit wants to put the Great Kahoolie in there, two doors down on the right. It’s the thought that counts. I’m writing this bullshit so we are in Hekate’s office, Sparky being non-committal on any particular religious bullshit.
The Spark sits down in front of her. She holds up a bag. Still isn’t smiling.
She speaks. “My little pony sticker? Really dude?”
“But I like my little pony”. Sparky replies.
She opens the bag and empties it on the desk. And begins to sort through. She picks out all the bullshit the spark was born with and says, “We’ll just take that, we need it for someone else, a relative of yours in fact.”
The spark notices she almost smiles. She speaks again. “You know your niece Chelsea? Her kid.”
Sparky thinks about his bullshit and Chelsea’s bullshit blended in a person and thinks “that should be fun.” He asks, “Can I watch?”
Hekate almost smiles again.
She scoops away all the personal bullshit into a pile while humming a happy little tune. Then she looks up at the spark for a long uncomfortable moment and speaks.
“There sure is a lot of asshole in here Sparky. Looks like your going back for another go around to try and work on that some.”
Sparky looks at all his bullshit and asks, “Wait, how’s liking chocolate being an asshole?”
She silently mouths the words “fair trade.”
She almost smiles again. “Remember I mentioned Chelsea as a brand new mommy? She’s going to be yours. Think of it is our way of saying fuck you.”
She holds out the same old bag, sans My Little Pony, and finally smiles all the way. Sparky thinks it’s the most beautiful smile he’s ever seen. She speaks one final time.
“Enjoy your new meatbot. It’s a girl, and oh, forgot to mention. Remember Ted from accounting? He’s the father.”
The final thought
That’s the cycle. I included an afterlife to drive home the point. Perhaps that’s bullshit, perhaps it isn’t.
But the honest truth is you have a bullshit bag. Everyone does. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for whatever’s in the bag.
The sad thing is, too many folks go through life not even realizing they have a bag. All the while reaching in and throwing their bullshit around all over the place like some kinda demented Johnny Appleseed.
Ignorance doesn’t absolve a person of the responsibility of managing their own bullshit while mitigating the effect of all the bullsht they can’t-do a thing about.