Silence is indeed golden. 2019 has thus far been my least contentious year of life precisely because it’s been my quietest year of life, hands down. Like you, I’ve learned that when I just keep my damned mouth shut, unnecessary problems are easily avoided.
We’ve established that most people are genetically programmed to subscribe to a worldview that infuses life with meaning and will often suspend disbelief (or, if you prefer, ignore their faculties of reason) to accommodate such a view without conscious hypocrisy. We’ve also established that both you and I have a very hard time accepting this perplexing but very common mental game.
In 1983, Lou Ferrigno played the titular role in the film “Hercules”. At about the age of 14, I tuned in to a showing of this fantasy crap-fest on WABC’s The 4:30 Movie and spent the next hour and a half in absolute hysterics. Even by early Eighties standards, the visual effects were laughably atrocious. And Ferrigno’s dialogue was, of course, dubbed. Take a look at this GIF of Hercules tangling with a bear, culminating in, I assume, the creation of constellation Ursa Major:
Yeah. According to IMDB, Hercules made over $11,000,000 in box office sales. I’m certain that at least some of those movie goers didn’t show up at the local multiplex to laugh at terrible production values and I’m also certain (by law of averages) that some of those people left the theater feeling they’d gotten their $8 worth, and then some. But how can that be? Weren’t they watching the exact same film that caused me to bust a gut on that fateful afternoon in 1984? Of course, they were. And those who enjoyed the movie were in possession of a skill that I do not possess: the ability to make themselves believe that what they’re seeing is the very antithesis of what I described. Kinda like Christians and Muslims and Jews and Hindus and Buddhists and Sheikhs and Scientologists and Zoroastrians and everyone else whose theological views require a deliberate suspension of disbelief.
But much like “Hercules”, I can discern nothing of substance (save for comically mock-worthy material) in any theological system of which I’m aware. Ditto for political conservatism. Any philosophy, be it secular or religious, that requires fear from its adherents in order to function is masochistic and more than a little unhelpful to the potential evolution of our species.
That brings me to today’s question: do you believe humanity will continue to thrive long enough for another great evolutionary leap to occur or do you think that this is it and mankind in the year 2019 represents the pinnacle of our history? Might some form of negative evolution already be underway as a result of the ubiquity of communications technology? Is there anywhere left in the Continental United States where a guy can get a decent Ruben sandwich for under $10 and if not, should we even desire for our species to go on?
It’s lunchtime. Gotta go.
P.S. What kind of person uploads a picture of Fred and Wilma to their blog media without immediately and proudly displaying it on their page?