When we see a dog engaged in the obviously futile effort of chasing down its own coccyx or treating the toilet bowl like a desert oasis, our most common reaction is to shrug this behavior off as just “a dog being a dog”.
So when will we, the blabbing hairless apes of the Animal Kingdom, make peace with the fact that every single frightening and atrocious thing we view on the nightly news is just another example of “a human being a human”?
I can’t really claim that this pandemic hasn’t affected me, though I undoubtedly have made such a public claim more than once. I don’t talk about this very often because many people would find it cold and callous, but I honestly think that the effect this whole situation is having on those who aren’t tangibly fighting for their lives is downright hysterical. The fact that most people are absolutely terrified of themselves and the workings of their undistracted minds has never been brought into starker focus. There was a touch of Buddhist influence in that statement, of course, but far from causing me to meditate on “the suffering of all beings” and pray for the alleviation of their collective ignorance, all I can feel in the presence of people struggling to retain some small grip on their “sanity” in the face of such an “unfair” turn of events is smug amusement. That’s right, Morons – the problem all along has been Y-O-U!
There were an awful lot of personal questions in your latest letter, most of which I’m going to ignore. Not because the answers would be uncomfortably private or confidential, but because even I don’t care about the answers to the things you asked, even though they were the types of questions most people would love to publicly field. So I’ll answer all of ‘em in one big catch-all reply: Don’t know. Don’t care.
Right now, I am telling myself and anyone within earshot that I am in a holding pattern until Election Day. It seems to make sense to those who hear me explain it and it serves to kick the can of figuring out what to do with myself down the road for at least a few more months. But what if November 3 does mark the beginning of the end of this retarded chapter in American history, as the pundits predict?
Don’t know. Don’t care.
You see, the current state of the world has nothing to do with my lack of passion for…well, for pretty much everything, really. My lack of passion is caused, quite simply, by a lack of passion. A realization of the intrinsic banality behind the illusory excitement of the news cycle and the social media trends. Nothing’s shocking. Very little is even worthy of analysis. But I still enjoy ice cream and bong hits and bad TV and playing with Jesse – and that’s a lot of priceless stuff in one deceptively short sentence. Those things, along with a detached curiosity about my species and its self-defeating tendencies, are what keep me motoring along, such as I do.
But I try not to think about the “I” or the motoring. And that, right there, is the only spiritual advice I have left to dispense. The blandest subject matter upon which one can ruminate is “me”, however each of us may define that. Though I doubt any significant lessons will be learned by humanity at large when we finally come out the other end of this pandemic, it would still be a very pleasant surprise to see people come to the collective realization — however slowly — that in order to be happy, all they need to do is get the fuck out of their own way.
The dumbest thing anyone can do, of course, is sit around waiting to be pleasantly surprised.
Sitting Around Waiting To Be Pleasantly Surprised,