Regardless of your politics, one thing I think all Americans can agree on is that President Obama achieved the seemingly impossible by uniting all parties, races, ages, and faiths in a collective nod of agreement when he publicly called Kanye West a jackass.


When, exactly, did the yardstick by which we measure individuality and self identity become smug, cold indifference? Excusing mistreatment of other people with “Sorry, not sorry” and a sterile explanation of where they figure into your personal hierarchy of priorities is not “being real.” It’s being a sociopath. Even THAT word, which is something no sane person would ever have previously sought to identify with, is now a buzzword. Calling yourself a “high-functioning sociopath” is the thing to do for the too-cool-to-care crowd. It’s supposed to flag you as an intellect unfettered by those petty, inconvenient emotions, while providing a blanket excuse for your rudeness and self-absorption. It may feel like protection, but it isn’t. It’s the billboard upon which you advertise your weakness.

If you’re truly a towering intellect, you care. You care very, very deeply, with an intensity that can be terrifying, even debilitating. And you can’t stop, ever. It hurts, a lot, and there’s nothing apart from drugs, brain surgery, or suicide that you can do to stop it. That’s because geniuses are geniuses with their whole brains, not just the cold analytical parts. You don’t get to pick and choose.

Two things define you: your actions and your loves. Half of a human is what they care about. Maybe more than half. So if you care about nothing, then that’s at least half of what you are. Nothing. Unwhole. Incomplete. If you really want to be an intellectual, you will find who and what you care about, and you will love with passion. Any idiot can pretend not to feel, and that’s often exactly what they do. Caring, which requires bravery and smarts, comes from someplace much more worthwhile.