Reading Rant: "Assholes: A Theory" by Aaron James

Some time ago, I wrote a piece entitled Bullshit which was inspired by a little book I came across by Harry Frankfurt . Currently, I am reading another scatologically-titled book by Aaron James entitled “Assholes: A Theorywhich has inspired me to reflect upon all the assholes I have come across throughout my life. We all can act like assholes from time to time – like spitefully cutting someone off on the highway because you were cut off a few miles back – but the assholes described in this book are assholes to the bone. They wake up an asshole and go to bed an asshole .

The author defines an asshole as follows. The asshole-

 (1) allows himself to enjoy special advantages and does so systematically;
(2) does this out of an entrenched sense of entitlement; and
(3) is immunized by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people 

Have you ever stood in line and someone just forged his/her way ahead of you? Have you ever spoken to someone who repeatedly spoke over you before you could complete your thought? For the former, the asshole feels justified to skip the line because he/she ‘has places to go/people to see and can’t be waiting in a slow-ass line with losers like you‘. Sanctimonious selfishness is the mark of the asshole. For the latter, the asshole feels that whatever you have to say just doesn’t hold up to his/her more enlightened and relevant view. He/She is immunized by a sense of entitlement against whatever your disgusts/complaints may be – have a nice day! 

Assholes are everywhere. At work, at sporting events, on the road, in restaurants, theaters, public transportation, airports, churches….you name the place & you will find an asshole there without a doubt. Sometimes they’re in your own family –and sometimes it can hit you that YOU have been the asshole all along! But that takes some serious introspective work which many will not do and thus live in denial for the rest of their assholey lives. Or as the fictional character Raylan Givens once said, “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole….. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.” (Here’s a nifty Asshole Rating Self-Exam (ARSE) to verify if you are indeed the asshole people say that you are behind your back: A-Hole Test)

Add this book to your collection!



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