A good use for guilt

by Heather

Last night at dinner, I was the only one who ordered dessert (let the record show that I shared this rich and wonderful dessert with five other people). One of the other women commented that she really liked a local restaurant chainlet–known for limiting the calories in each dish–because the desserts are small, and she can order dessert without feeling guilty.

I said–with complete honesty–that I don’t feel guilty about ordering dessert, and that I wished people could stop feeling guilty about food. (Really … does it ever help?)

I posed a question to the table: If people stopped feeling guilty about food, and started feeling guilty about being assholes, wouldn’t that make the world a better place? My dining companions seemed to agree it would.

Imagine this for a moment … all the unproductive guilt about food felt by people (and I assume overwhelmingly women) in the first world, gathered up into one big prod that could be set loose upon those who are starting wars. Who are conceiving legal strategies to give corporations the standing of real people. Who know about harmful contamination taking place in huge factories and are turning a blind eye.

Frankly, Dick Cheney comes to mind.

Not only did he pull the trigger on an entire war, costing hundreds of thousands of people their lives, and countless others their sanity, homes, sense of safety, and assorted limbs, he was also the evil genius behind the Halliburton exception, which exempts fracking from both the Clean Air Act and the Clean Drinking Water Act. I literally shudder to think of the karmic consequences of just these two things (and you know the guy’s got more where these came from).

One could be pardoned for assuming that someone like Dick has no conscience, but still I’d like to see him pitted against this massive ball of guilt. And then I’d like to see both of them placed where they can do no more harm.

That is my fantasy, and I’m sticking to it.