Woke Up In The Fort Again

Woke up in the fort again—who knows how long it will stay up but it’s still awesome so it’s still up.  The sun didn’t make it for sunrise because foggy clouds have been dropping a light snowfall all throughout the night.  A lightly dusted, untouched, wintry morning always reminds me of the White Christmas’ I always wanted as a child but rarely came true.  Thanks a lot, Santa.

After loading up our friend Brandon’s dark-magenta-colored would-you-like-any-candy-kids rape van with photobooth equipment from an event Heather did last night, we trekked down our unpaved, unplowed, unassociated-with-the-city-of-Arvada-road.  I’ve noticed that most people in Denver seem to drive more cautiously than our compatriots in New York who let their loud mouths and minds supersede their understanding of the concept of friction.  Nonetheless, the highways are still lined with hazard lights and people standing with their hands on their hips.  We eventually, safely made it to Brandon’s storage locker to drop off the equipment.   Then it was off to lunch and a political meeting about the importance of midterm congressional elections.

The righteousness that fills these pep-talk, echo chamber political meetings eerily reminds me of being in a church: how there’s so much certainty about what we all believe that the enemies of our ideologies become identifiable and in the case of politics borderline-yet-not-quite-literally demonic (although in extreme cases it is absolutely literal).  On the one hand the passion and the words are inspiring, in accordance with my beliefs and absolutely necessary; and on the other they feel condescending and cultish.  Putting myself in these institutions or attending these events can be so reaffirming until I think that this is exactly how we create the spectrum of beliefs and lay claim to each of our respective extreme ends of it. 

            If you think about it, certainty is a dangerous position to hold because there’s no possibility in our minds that we can be wrong.  When we take this mindset into a conversation it creates this adversarial atmosphere of righteousness rather than a rational discourse aimed at understanding.  After all, if I know that I can’t be wrong, the person I’m talking to ­must be wrong (although there does exist a possibility that we both are, but lets be honest, a certain person like myself can’t be wrong, sarc.).  Certainty is a scary mothafucka, friends.

            Just like the New York drivers who honk their horns, screaming expletives about your mother, the people who are overconfident in their certainty or righteousness; whether political, religious, or otherwise, leave a huge piece of the pie on table for the rest of us as food for thought.  Bite after bite, the progress of thought has launched us from a geocentric, flat earth to the multicultural paradise that we live in today.  Losing sight of the rest of the pie, even in mundane or barroom, beer-driven debates disrupts the logic that evolution demands of us; it stalls the discovery of unseen truths that are uncomfortable to understand but are nonetheless necessary to our cognitive and physical adaption to the natural world.  I may be from New York (and at times can be a little aggressive on the road), but I make sure that I never let my predisposition of certainty supersede my understanding of the laws of friction.