If it hasn't happened already, there will come a time in your life when you have to show your ass in public. If you're lucky, you'll be really wasted and your face will be blurred when the video shows up on YouTube. The more likely scenario is that you will show your ass in a more metaphorical sense: Expose yourself publicly to the withering criticism and derision of others. Some people like to call this type of vulnerability life. They tend to suck it up and get on with it. Others will try to forestall this eventuality by ducking below the radar. After all, as the saying goes, the tallest blade of grass gets cut first. So, to avoid embarrassment, they bury themselves in remote corner cubicles of sprawling government bureaucracies, spend their days filing mimeographed (that's right, this is the government we're talking about here) triplicate copies of mimeographed triplicate copies. Others go entirely off the grid, toiling away on some sustainable organic farm, spending their days plowing, weeding, watering, and milking things like goats, cows, and father time. Then there are those who go underground – hole themselves up for years in the windowless basements of their mothers' houses, day trading, surfing porn, and playing World of Warcraft. These are all fairly low-risk strategies. Yes, it is risky … brave even … to offer yourself up as a meatshield for your fellow Blood Elves in your skirmish with Skullsplitter trolls in Stranglethorn Vale, but even if you do get gloriously ganked in WoW, you'll still be alive (although nearly invisible) in the real world. You might even think you're safe, but it's just an illusion. Often an uglier fate awaits those who try to avoid fate altogether. As it says in the book of Matthew, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Sounds like a halfhearted pep talk for all the suckers getting left behind in the rapture. Awesome. You definitely get some nice real estate in that deal, but you also get places like Mogadishu, Peshawar, and Port Arthur. Thanks for nothing, J-Dawg. Or, maybe the "inheritance" thing is meant to be a confidence builder. People who own a lot of stuff seem to have a limitless supply of confidence and self-worth. Look at Jerry Jones … Mark Cuban … The Donald. Those guys don't seem to be embarrassed about anything. Imagine the type of arrogant dickhead you would have to be if you owned the earth. You would probably end up walking around like a 2-year-old saying: "Mine! Mine! Mine!" In reality, whether you believe it or not, you do own the earth … at least as much as anyone else does. The big question is whether or not you choose to be a selfish dickhead or a generous caretaker. Ideally you'll want to peacefully share yourself and the world with others, thereby enriching their experiences and yours. To do so you will have to show your ass on occasion, expose yourself to injury, take some risks. It's really not so bad, and you may learn along the way that your ass isn't all that special anyway. Throughout January, Fronterafest plays host to a whole bunch of people hell-bent on showing their asses as it hosts its 17th annual fringe festival, five weeks of fringe theatre from all types of performers from all over the country. At 7:15pm this Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Salvage Vanguard Theater, Chicago comedians Alan Metoskie (Texas expat) and Zoe Schwartz bring you An Evening With Chastity and Alan Jr., a country and western musical comedy revue. Chicagoans doing a country and western comedy revue in Texas is risky, but that's what fringe theatre … and life … is about, isn't it?
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