Are you ready for me to fix the world?
Unfortunately, the world has repeatedly bludgeoned me over the head with the Message that it is not interested in shaping itself to my will. Something about an unwillingness to subsume the volitional abilities of the seven billion(ish) obviously-less-capable human inhabitants of this planet into my ego-maniacal Plan for Their Lives and blah-blah-blah-what sort of a deity do you think you are, Barkey?
As a result, I've decided to accept that I'm only ever going to do tiny little things. That this blog, for instance, will be little more than a place for me to, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "fart around."
Rather than sit here and presciently prescribe permanent palliative panaceas to the problems people perpetually put upon themselves, I'm just going to post pictures, play word-games, and pout.
See, I just spent a lovely afternoon with an old friend who disagrees with me endlessly about how to expunge the policy problems we keep proliferating, and I was totally tempted to come on here and blather on about how to fix them. I thought about tapping away at these keys to argue that, yes, I do believe that the upside-down kingdom Jesus was promoting was, in fact, meant to be taken as a guide for forging a national identity, and for creating policy (or perhaps dismantling national identities, and making policies of any kind unnecessary). I thought that if I could sit down and argue passionately enough, then maybe my friend (and also you and that other guy) might for once start seeing the absolute Rightness of my thinking and bend your ridiculous minds to my will. I wondered, if I could make a clear enough case for America to throw its considerable resources at being known as the "stupidly-generous country," if that might make a difference. I thought that if I argued for self-sacrifice and humility as a course of national-scale action, we might possibly hope to achieve the sort of revolutionary results of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and oh yeah... that Jesus guy. I considered making the argument that to say, "The world is just like this, so we have to be prepared to blow bad peoples' brains out," is just an ugly form of cynical defeatism, and that hope is to be found in nothing more nor less than the message of the Sermon on the Mount. But like, all of it - even the crazy parts.
There was this glimmer in my mind that if I could write all this with enough clarity and passion, that the cruelty of the mindset that "We've got to get them before they can get us" might reveal itself, and we could all just set down our weapons and, yes - you warbling, warmongering wombats - sing Kumbayah together in the park.
But then I realized that I was being ridiculous. The upside-down kingdom is insane: Do good to those who persecute you? Love your enemies? Turn the other cheek? Give 'til it hurts?
Nobody's ever going to buy that. That would require us to play the long game and, in the words of Tielhard de Chardin, to "trust in the slow work of God."
That's nowhere near as sexy as bombs and bullets.
Instead, I think I'll continue to steer this blog toward a place where I do nothing but talk about stories. Where I post video-clips, and quotes-on-art. Where I make jokes, and photoshop silly pictures of my face on Bob Ross's body, and all the other bodies of the funny ha-ha.
Not because I really believe that stories and jokes and silly pictures will cure the world's ills, but because I am a storyteller and I don't know what else to do.
Fiddle while Rome burns?
Because when you start to seriously believe you're a Cassandra (to mix my ancient cultures)... well, what else is there?
Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown.
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