If the RNC doesn’t bother you, are you sure it really exists? Are you sure you really exist?
I want to take a vacation from politics because I don’t want to watch, read about or discuss the Republican National Convention.
Unfortunately, not talking about politics leaves me in a bit of a bind, as there is very little else I can talk about that we all share an interest in. Canasta, anyone? Shuffleboard? Charades?
Let’s see, could we talk about moldings and dovetails? The history of the floral tropical shirt? The origin of nested Russian Dolls? Hardly.
I’ve always been fascinated by the migrations of Central Asian ethnic groups and communities. You know, your basic Huns, Tatars, Cossacks and folk of that ilk, and their running around and shuffling among themselves. I find reading about such historic goings on serves as a pleasant reminder that 99.999999 percent of all the politics here and now will be equally obscure to most of the world someday. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
I’d like to recall the Republican National Convention next January the way the average American recollects the Uyghur Khaganate. Or any khaganate, for that matter. Name one. Can’t do it? See? Isn’t that refreshing?
Oblivion is joy. I’m sure that’s one reason so many people resort to drugs and drinking. They’re escaping the Republican news of the day. But listen up, kids. You don’t need drugs to become oblivious to Republicans and Fox News. You just need another hobby, preferably something cheap, like penny-pitching or mumblety-peg.
One of my favorite hobbies is thinking about invariance. Invariance is the idea that when some things change other things stay the same. My hobby doesn’t consist of noticing things staying the same so much as thinking about what’s good about things staying the same.
For example, you may know that there are stars. You may never have thought about how you know that, but here it is: For thousands and thousands of years people have looked up at night and seen stars with remarkable frequency. The word was passed on to you at some point. I can remember asking someone, when I was three, what were these “stars” he spoke of occasionally, and being told to check out the night sky sometime. That night I did, and thought, “Whoa.”
Suppose it wasn’t like that. Suppose instead, that no one looking up at night ever saw stars except on the night of, say, August 22, 1485. Then you probably wouldn’t have heard of them, and if you had you would probably not credit the story with much significance. You certainly wouldn’t say, on the basis of one night of sightings that stars “exist.” You’d say, “I once read that people reported seeing lights in the night sky. In the 15th century.” It would be a chance observation, not a fact.
Anything can happen once. But if a thing doesn’t keep happening, it isn’t a thing “that happens.” To be a thing “that happens,” is to be a thing that happens persistently.
It kind of goes back to the question of what the meaning of “is” is. If a thing persists in being, then it is being more than if it doesn’t. Or, to put that in personal terms, the more “is” you are, the more you are.
Does this planet have a polar ice cap? Do you know? We’ve had one for, gosh, since I was three, at least. So I guess it’s true that we have a polar ice cap. But the truth of that is only bankable as long as we have a polar ice cap.
All of that may sound stupid, but as I listen to so-called modern conservatives talk, they often act as though the proposition, “The earth has polar ice caps” can’t ever be false, because the truth of it comes from it having been said in a book.
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