Guilt, more often than not, has the loudest voice.
The only reason I can make such an arrogant claim is that I am subject to it myself. In my experience, any time I jumped off the bat to defend something, it was always because I was guilty of the offence myself at some point or another. I remember jumping to defend a band I listened to, or a decision I had made previously. I would also defend a horrible habit like smoking or something, just because I indulged in it and wanted to justify the fact. I have defended poor judgement, bad purchases and horrible clothes in this way too, often with the curse that is hindsight. In the beginning, I wanted those around me to stand by my decisions based on how well I defended it or by how I sold the idea to them by describing it in eloquent detail. Education to smother guilt is a very clever trick indeed. I can remember getting into heated debates in order to defend my actions that I had maybe done, for example, while out drinking the night before. I can remember judgements made on people that i rigorously tried to defend to the bitter end until my conscience got the better of me and I admitted defeat. Perhaps I belonged to a poorly represented organisation and want to justify my sticking by them. Quite often though, It seems, the louder my voice is, the more right I am and the more entitled I am to continue on my road to denial. Yes, guilt has a massive set of lungs and screams every single word imaginable except the ones you want to hear. "I made a bad decision! And I'm sticking to it for shame, god forbid that I should admit I am wrong!"
Every other day a friend or acquaintance or friend of a friend can be heard justifying their bad decisions and poor judgement. And they will NOT be quiet about it. That's not bad for a guy like me. I can glean hope from it if I feel like it, which, I have to say, doesn't happen often these days at all. I want to believe that X-boxes and PS3's are as good as each other. It's gotten to the point where I just don't give a shit any more. In the end of the day they are insignificant pieces of plastic. A time-box and a time-box 3. They just use up time in our lives by replacing our boredom with cartoon heroes. I want to believe there is a God or Gods who is/are fair and will one day prove that they are not big jokers or complete sadists by releasing each and every human life, past and present away from the torment that is humanity. I guess blind faith has it's merits. Bad shit can happen everywhere and you don't have to give a shit about it because you imaginary friend does that for you. You can be greedy and ignorant and you ultimately answer to no-one, but you will defend it LOUD and PROUD because thinking for yourself is just so damn difficult. I would like to believe that there is at least one relationship that works and has no hidden agendas, no over dependence, separate individuality, openness to instinct and has both parties feeling 100% happy with each other all the time. It gives both separate parties enough room to sort out their own problems. It needs no agony aunts and the sex is as good as the communication. I want to believe that every morsel of food is good for your body without fluctuating opinions by this and that scientific body. I want one person to honestly say "I am HAPPY to be a smoker and everyone I know is happy with my decision, no questions asked". Guilt sure does speak loudly. Everyone who doesn't care is subjected to it as well.
Don't get me wrong here, This subject, like all I write about, is open to criticism. Go right ahead and give me your feedback. Fortunately for you, I am not jumping on any band wagon and judging by my followers (currently none) I am not preaching to any choir. I am defending this on my own. I write about it purely from my own experience and using said experience (I have a ton of it from bad decision making in the past) to make a fairly balanced opinion on it. I have rigorously defended bad choices, people I was standing by, music I was listening to, clothes I was wearing, the list goes on really as I mentioned previously. I may not agree with some things folks I know are involved with in some way or another, but this is only because I see said people reflect back a mirror attitude that I once carried on it before. I have stood by bad relationships in the past. I have seen friends do this too only to end up following the exact same road as I had done. It's like a real-life, never-ending movie but with different character actors. It's the same script, the same scenarios and like a movie, you can do nothing to change the outcome. Of course it's not all bad. Well, so we're led to believe. I know that after a certain amount of wear-and-tear, as a result of my own stupidity and ignorance to loud guilt, that I am compelled to speak the blunt honest truth. A lot of people I associate with these days are inclined to do the same and it just stands to the same reason. We should have been more honest with how we were feeling at a given time. We all went through a period of bad decision making only to come out and wish we'd been more realistic about it all. However I find that perhaps there is a buffer zone where maybe, after years of bad experience I may be wrong. I am open to it as I am open to everything, but can't help being a wee bit cynical. I am still assured by new friends and very few old ones, that perhaps there is room for loud, justifiable innocence. People who are sure that the decisions that make are justified by real anecdotal evidence. I'm not convinced by the God argument because there is no evidence but there may be, I'm told, real evidence of a working relationship. The cynic in me says that maybe someone isn't being honest with themselves and that maybe someone is in denial, or just going out with a complete liar. Deep down I have a glimmer of hope, but it's embers are dying fast. People ask me "Matt, why do you CARE so much?" I was under the guise that I didn't care at ALL! How's that for horrible horrible horrible irony?
In the end of the day, It's just the loudness of one person's guilt over others'. We pass it on to our children and everyone we know in order to quieten down and justify our personal guilt. It's so damn loud we want it out of our heads and into the free airwaves to be swallowed and digested by anyone who will listen. Guilt always speaks first in the face of new ideas followed by it's good, trusted friend Fear. Unfortunately these guys have an unbroken bond. They always roll together.
"So", You say, "Matt must be feeling pretty guilty in order to write an article this long about guilt having a loud voice". Let me be the first to say "YOU ARE RIGHT!!" Go ahead, have a beer on me. I might pay you for it eventually. I am just as guilty as you are. I have stood by bullshit in the past and most likely will in future. The only difference is, I am incapable of standing by bad decisions and I was never that good at verbal disputes anyway. What you see is pretty much what you get (and i say this only in relation to your expectations of me). Thing is though, I won't shove my guilt in your face if you don't want me to. People who bellow and shout about their beliefs and habits and poor decisions and judgements in front of others leave us with no choice but to bear the brunt of their phenomenally loud guilt and pressure. I will write it and you will read it if you want. I just want to break this damn illusion that blankets society. I will give you a choice and honesty.
I expect the same treatment too. Is that too much to ask of anyone?