Friday, May 12, 2006

Consumate Iconoclast

Today was a busy day. Today was a very hard day to stay awake. It's the worst allergy day that I think I've experienced here in the Bay Area.

I had coffee with a classmate and her 2 children today. It was good to reconnect with her, get to hold a baby, and have some quality time with her dog, Bandit. I also got to spend quality time with 3 kitties that I was feeding for the past 2 days. All around, it was a good animal day.

After seeing clients, I ran some errands, then went out on the last of my "first" dates. This is where the title of this post comes in...I'm calling him ConsumateIconoclast (CI) because that's what he called himself during dinner. I have to admit, though I know myself to be an intelligent well-schooled woman, I did not know exactly what the term iconoclast meant. So I looked it up - I love Wikipedia! - and here's what I learned:

"The more common meaning in current usage is that an iconoclast is a person who carries out symbolic or quixotic acts of protest against authority figures, the connotation being that the iconoclast opposes the imposition of authority itself rather than any particular policy or action.

"The term may also refer to a person who reacts against popular culture or ideals."

His iconoclastic beliefs came to the forefront immediately when I mentioned that I am a vegetarian. This occassions some comment in most circumstances (usually having to do with knowing somebody who also is, or the brief attempt to be in college), but this gentleman was more direct. "Why are you a vegetarian?" So I explained, in non-threatening and non-judgemental terms (you'd be suprised at how defensive some non-veg folks who ask this type of question can become). Much to my surprise, he then launched into a diatribe about why he chose not to be...mainly consisting of the fact that he feels the need to ignore any corruption or bad behavior on the part of the meat industry because every industry is corrupt in some way we don't know. I didn't follow all of the argument entirely, but it seemed to basicly boil down to the idea that he likes meat and felt the need to construct an argument justifying his feelings therein.

It was during this discussion that he brought out the idea of being a consumate iconoclast...hence the name. I soon discovered that anytime CI would say something to the effect of "Now I respect such and such..," I was in fact about to hear a thorough explanation of the ways in which such and such was actually not respected by CI. I suppose this could have been okay, had we stayed to topics safe, like political figures or pop culture icons (Martha Stewart, Oprah, Dr. Phil), but I happened to mention Dr. Laura...and a pit opened up that he stepped right into.

He prefaced his comments with "I won't go into comments about her religion because I don't want you to think that I'm antisemetic. But I do notice cultural patterns that just really bother me that she seems to embody." He went on to insinuate that he would avoid doing business with jewish people and wouldn't find a conversation with jewish people interesting (although he never said these things directly). Now given that I am an honorary Jew, I was properly horrified, but it felt like the subject was almost too nebulous to hang anything on. To be fair, he did go on to bash almost every other religion imaginable, too, other than paganism (as he is a pagan, so it must be okay).

CI may indeed be someone who rejects authority or popular cultural influences and this may work for him. But I just thought he was a consumate ass.

I might add that he asked only one question of me the entire night...and he tended to be more tangential in his storytelling than my mother. A feat I never thought possible.

Well, folks, I'm off to take the contacts out of my itchy, scratchy eyes and go to sleep (hopefully after I've stumbled to my bed).


Hippy Chick said...

ugh! hopefully you will take pleasure in giving this one the big boot in the ass! And btw I can relate to the allergies - not the same type as you but my "allergic to everything" hives get very triggered by the heat and i've been popping the antihistamines like crazy! it took me awhile to get out of my groggy pill-induced haze this morning, yuck!

Aravis said...

An ass indeed. It sounds as though you were very patient with him. I don't know how you did it. At least you don't have to repeat the experience!

Flash said...

You've got more patience than I have Spins. I want you to know how thrilled I am that everything seems to be going really well for you these days.

Hyde said...

He sounds absolutely miserable!

PS: What ever happened with TwinMan?


MrMystic said...

Being a son of an extremely dificult Jew, I can understand why he might not want to do business with Jews. I have found that some Jews my father being one of them have to live up to a certain stereotype.

My father always feels that he has to bargain and find the best deal because its a stereotype he admires.

I have seen him in action and sometimes he is just a pain in the arse. He has a few Iraeli friends who really propagate this theory of the Jew being a great wheeler dealer.

So sometimes I can sympathize with these anti semites. But in the end after reading your post I still think this guy is ...How do you say? hmmm whats the word I'm looking for? Oh yes! An Asshole!

hammer said...

*Rolling eyes at Mr. Mystic*

Also, Spinster: I think I went out with an iconoclast yesterday. But I don't think that he *or your CI* deserves such a fancy name. How 'bout just "Shmuck" for short?

spinsterwitch said...

"Schmuck" is a perfect name, hammer!