0185 - Randos - 2021.04.19

Comic!

Comment:

"Rando" is an interesting term. When someone you don't know hits on you at a bar or slides into your Twitter DMs, they are, to you, a randomly selected member of the human race, generated from the ether by a series of inscrutable dice rolls. But, of course, from the rando's perspective, they are quite specific and intentional, and have reached out to you for intentionally specific reasons that relate to their own wants and needs and emotional journey. We are all, presumably, randos to someone else - indeed, we are all randos to the vast, vast majority of billions of people.

But that's not quite how the term is used, is it? Like many neologisms ("troll", "Karen", etc), the word isn't just what it says on the tin, but also carries signifiers of race, gender, age, and class. A "rando" is far more likely to be a straight white cismale, which, I would argue, is quite unlikely to be what you'd get if you randomly selected a human being from our diverse planet.

...but, then, a "rando" is not usually someone that you select, is it? A "rando" is generally a person who takes the initiative and approaches you (generally, initiating an interaction that you neither want nor need) and perhaps being straight, white, and cismale renders one more likely to be thusly proactive with one's unwanted advances - or for said advances not to be wanted. The term is never a compliment, and almost always carries the implication that this random person is yet another chore or obstacle or irritation to be avoided, blocked, or tolerated, an insignificant blip in an otherwise rando-less day. It says "your own beliefs and motivations and emotional journey that have led you to contact me are unimportant. I don't know them, and I don't want to know them. You are a bug on the windshield of my life."

Have you been called a "rando"? Did you feel insulted? Did you feel that it was justified? Were you able to change the person's mind, and show them that your motivations and thoughts and emotional journey were important, and that the thing you brought to them was worthy of consideration? If a friend changed their account before contacting you, and you accidentally called them a rando, then they revealed that they were, actually, someone you knew, would you feel you owed them an apology?

If a randomly-selected member of the human race is someone that you consider unworthy of consideration, what does that say about you? What does that say about our species?

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Transcript:

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0185 - 2167/07/06/16:33 - elevator.
LC: ...thanks for handling that, Zoa.
Zoa: Hey, that's what Emotional Support Aids are for.
CP: No it's not.
Zoa: Well, it's what I'm paid to do, and we've decided to label that service "Emotional Support".
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LC: Yeah, it would fuck me up, emotionally, to have to deal with randos, ergo, making them go away is support.
Zoa: I wouldn't exactly call them randos. That was Pamela Zimmerman and Quip Bruncklemeyer.
LC: You know them? Have... have you serviced them before?
Zoa: No, but they're also in Intro to Philosophy, and I paid attention during roll call.
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[emerging into hallway]
CP: Yeah, wasn't Pamela the one who stood up to leave when Mezzer Twofeather claimed the class was advanced aeronatics?
Zoa: Nope, that's Quip, Quip's the green one with the tattoos, Pamela has the blue fur and prosthetic tail.
LC: And I'm guessing, given the way you volunteered to be a party favour, that they both have genitals you can work with?
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Zoa: I did scope'em, yes, but I am unable to disclose what either student is packing, unless you run and get a doctorate in urology real quick.
LC: ...But you offered your reasonably-priced services.
Zoa: One of which is now cuddling, I remind you, and the only anatomy you need for that is a torso.
CP: Cuddle parties are quite p-popular these days...
CP: or... or so I've h-heard.
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