We went to Washington D.C. this past weekend. There’s something about our nation’s capital that makes me want to crap words. You know? Feeling dumb-struck with wonder, yet petrified by the feeling that our own government may somehow blink me out of existence, makes me want to say something. I mean, standing there amidst all that progress and death- the towering stone edifices and temples to long dead heroes- gives me the sense that something of tremendous power has built all of this… and neither my delegates nor I have a clue about its true nature.
And maybe that’s just me letting the fantasies about what we’ll never know affect me too much. I could give myself a premature heart attack stressing about all the secret evils past and present. Truth is, I don’t know squat. And maybe it’s better that way. If our government (or parts of it) really planned, executed, and covered up 9/11, and there wasn’t a damn thing you could do about it, would you really want to know? Screw that. I don’t want to watch some poor bastard getting his arm bitten off by an alligator for the very same reason.
And then there are the people who are fighting the evil- the saviours of our collective soul. That’s a hell of a job, that one. Why not just try and evaporate all human excrement with rose petals and nursery rhymes? You can do it. It isn’t going to get done if you don’t try. And don’t forget to flip-off all the lazy conformists who think their efforts are better spent elsewhere.
Does that sound bitter? Well, I’m sorry. I am glad there are people in the world who are standing up and saying things suck when they most certainly do. These people do make a difference. It’s just terribly disappointing when you meet someone who, from the anti-war and anti-torture signs they’re holding, seems like a genuine humanist and they tell you that you’re a worthless pile of shit for not protesting the eternal tragedy of our existence right along with them. Shouldn’t the humanist welcome your interest and rejoice in meeting one more soul that pains to see suffering? So I’m not going to stand in front of the White House all day with a sullen look on my face and a shocking Abu-Graib photo in my hand. Does that mean I’m contributing to human suffering? Does that mean I don’t care about our society’s willingness to ignore human rights? Maybe. Maybe it does. My mere existence makes me responsible for everything around me. Because I’m a lucky SOB, others are eating dirt, watching their loved ones thrive in misery, and strapping bombs to their chests. Everything I do or don’t do has infinite consequences- and only half of them are good.
Depressing, right? Our world is a depressing place. But it is only half-way so. Every moment of our lives we are creating something. We either create something wonderful or dreadful. And we may not know which is which. But each one of us has potential energy that comes from the stored momentum of millenniums prior. And each one of us has the joy or pain of experiencing the next kinetic release. It’s a beautiful thing, our existence- even if half of it seems to hurt so deeply. But here’s the important part: it’s beyond us. You and I cannot blame each other for our respective actions. What I have done, and will do, is beyond me. And what you have done is beyond you. So knowing that, can I choose to forgive you and me for all the terrible things we have done?
I’ve got the rose petals. Know any nursery rhymes?