Keep your shirt on

It doesn’t matter what other people think of you; it matters what you think of you. Words to this effect are often said to make people feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, like many things uttered by humans, they amount to very little. In actual fact, the exact opposite of that opening statement is true. What other people think of you, believe it or not, is what you are. I could believe myself to be the greatest living person that has graced the face of this planet. However, if everyone else thinks I am a bellend, then a bellend is what I am. That’s how it works. I am in no place to make aspersions on my character, I’m far too close to the character to see the bigger picture.

This is something everyone should bear in mind when going about their day. It may slowly make the world a better place.

This week has been quite a hot one across most of the UK, and much of continental Europe has been on fire. The planet is so broken that I’ve no doubt that the land will one day be burnt into glass. Even then, I suspect, as the last human drags their scorched body along the smouldering wasteland, leaving a trail of their own melted skin behind them – when the first merciful raindrops fall from the sky, they’ll mutter ‘well, so much for the British summer.’

How does this relate to the opening paragraph? I’m not really sure, it’s very much a stream of consciousness thing I have going on here. But bear with me.

Because it’s hot, people have flocked to the streets hungrily soaking up as much vitamin D as they can. Unfortunately, the intense heat has left some people with the mistaken belief that it is acceptable to walk around without a shirt on. Now, I am not a prude. I do not simply recoil at the sight of exposed flesh whilst throwing up a hasty prayer to some god; I see this act for what it is. Exhibitionism. Egotism. Bellendishness. Certain men (for it is always men – unless, of course, we are in a nudist colony) with certain viewpoints, still hold onto obscure notions of masculinity. It is not because they are so hot that they need to shed layers to avoid passing out. It’s a bold claim that they are the alpha male.

You can see it in the way they hold themselves and the way they walk. They strut in a bizarre fashion with their arms spread further from their body as is natural. You can see the strain on their faces, the bulging vein in their temples as they tense hard enough to give themselves a hernia or shit themselves, or give themselves a hernia before shitting themselves. They do this to give their abs as much definition as possible because they’ve been conditioned to think that ‘masculinity’ means mass. Might is right.  Ironically, to further their chances of being accepted as the alpha male, they spend a vast amount of time shirtless and sweating in front of other shirtless and sweating men, neurotically checking themselves mirrors that stretch from floor to ceiling.

Maybe this is a flaw of evolution. Our minds have progressed further than our animal ancestors, and yet some of the distant memories remain. There are certain innate notions for some that are hard to shrug off. The shirtless put no thought into the idea that there may be an intellectual and personality side to humanity that needs to be toned just as much as one’s apps. Much like tightrope walking over a shark infested waters, it is a difficult balancing act. The shirtless have one aspect, and arrogantly assume that is enough. They think that they will strut into town and immediately sit at the top of the hierarchical ladder. They believe themselves to be the ‘alpha male’

Everyone else thinks they are a bellend.


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