The People-Monster


This is a stream-of-consiousness essay resulting from this week’s US elections, the personal, real-life situations I am in, the in-game drama that any DM goes through as they host a campaign, and the fever I have. It really is more IRL, but the parallels my muddled brain is creating between IRL and gaming somehow makes it work for me. I hope it works for you.

If not, it’s a glimpse into me. My thoughts. My struggles. My hopes and dreams. And perhaps where my righteous indignation stems from.

Enjoy. Or not. Up to you.

The People-Monster

I don’t like people.

Sorry if you’re a people.

“People,” you see, is plural. With “people” always comes hidden agendas, egos, conceit, condemnation, and selfishness. With “people” you have the mob mentality that can turn a single “person” into a part of a seething, emotion-driven monster. The arm that bears the torch. The mouth that spews the hate. The foot that kicks the fallen. When a person becomes a part of the people-monster, they gain the strength of that monster and do terrible, horrible things. They believe their own selfish agendas are part of a greater good and therefore even as they become one with the monster, they work against it, angering it, causing it to rage all the more.

“People” swallow up individuals and either devour them or assimilate them. Resistance is futile because the sheer numbers of “people” usually dominate and we want to be part of a number. We are social creatures. We want to work with the body of the people-monster, otherwise we become a discarded wing, a broken shell, a lost tooth. We want to be more than a faceless statistic but we don’t want to be left out of the numbers, either.

But when you are a people-monster made of different ideas and parts and beliefs and expectations and fears and angers and needs and desires and silences — eventually you have to start sheering away the painful parts in order to save yourself.

This toe, here. This toe won’t balance with the other toes. It wants to twitch and itch and walk this way not that.

I’m sorry, toe, you are part of the monster that causes it pain. You have to go.

This eye won’t look the same way as that eye. We can try to correct it, but eventually it will become useless, or, worse, a burden.

This hand keeps scratching that one.

This lung refuses to breath in tandem with the other.

The refusal of the parts of the people-monster to work as a whole is ultimately its own demise from within and what is left is a broken pile of abandoned body parts that are more than just body parts, but they are people. They are more than people they are a person and they are left broken and angry and the light that could be The People fades.

We, The People, used to mean something. It used to be strong and have weight that the person belonged to something to assimilate to would fight for ideals and hopes and dreams against the “people” who turned into monsters. Everyone working together to find their own place in The People to help the whole and not just achieve their own agendas. An ideal where a finger can be a finger and an elbow can be an elbow and a fingernail doesn’t have to feel bad it is not a heart. Or lungs. Or a brain.

We all know how much a broken fingernail can hurt, yet we only see them when they’re broken, not when they’re stoically protecting our fingers from the constant beating they take as we navigate this world. We don’t think about our eyelashes standing guard over our corneas until one falls or curls the wrong way and pokes us. Our retinas don’t see the neurons in our brains firing to interpret their work. They simply trust that somewhere, some place, somebody’s got it covered.

“People” have a tough time with that trust. We deny what our organs do every day – we don’t trust that the brain’s got it covered. Because –  you know! – they eyes have sent crappy material to us before, so we shouldn’t trust them.The brain has sent us faulty interpretations. “People” don’t trust themselves, so how can we ask them to trust another?

“People” do not trust themselves because they are so afraid of disappointment and failure. Instead of working to compensate for a mishap, malfunction, or misunderstanding, instead of working to enhance something else (like sense of smell develops to compensate for lack of sight), the people-monster cowers, broods, rages, destroys. And ultimately, it destroys itself.

I have this hope, that one day people can come together and not become a monster that devours itself from within. That they can find their natural function in the The People and accept their role, the importance of their function, and the fact that things change so sometimes they have to adapt. The eyes are not the most important part when you’re sleeping. The taste buds are not important until we eat or drink. They wait patiently for dawn or supper time and don’t spend wasted energy worrying about things that are beyond their function.

How, Cwen? How can I do such a thing? How can I accept…

Part of accepting is enduring, recognizing, and believing. Enduring the fact that sometimes, the world does not revolve around you (or me). Recognizing that others are far more capable than you realize and that a world of fear is a world where terrorist and the Dark Lords win. And finally, believing that it is possible to love, respect, or even admire someone or something while not understanding or believing in it in itself. That I can extend my hand to you and you can extend your hand to me and together, our parts will not turn on one another because we trust each other to look out for one another because even though I think you’re wrong, you’re still a person and I still care.