Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Close your eyes

I have been reading an excellent book on global warming, This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein. Unfortunately I am reading it too slowly and so keep having to return it to the library and request it again. But somewhere, already, in reading this book, I have learned one huge and important and useful thing.

No, it is not about how we are on the brink of irreversible climate change and epic disaster that will shatter the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It's not about the grave pitfalls of capitalism, or the end of life as we know it.

No, it's about belief.

It turns out you can believe what you want. This is your right. It can be contrary to all evidence. It can be tantamount to the manslaughter of a billion people. It can be evil. But you can believe what you want.

I don't want to be evil. I don't want to obliquely murder people. I am not interested in not believing in global warming or the holocaust or some such mad thing. But just because I don't want to be an evil or destructive denialist doesn't mean that, used carefully, this concept can't be used effectively. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater!

So then, what shall I not believe in?

I have settled on two simple rules. It should be something that, if I were right in my disbelief, would make the world only a better place, and it should be a disbelief that only causes offense to those who deserve it.

I have settled on Republicans. I henceforth shall no longer believe in the existence of Republicans.

Now that that's done  I can support this new understanding by saying: what sort of cynical person would even imagine a country so dark and absurd as to be half full of Republicans?  Do you want me to believe there are a hundred million delusional lunatics walking the streets of America? I don't think so.

"But," You cry "My father is a Republican!"

Oh, don't be silly, there's no such thing as Republicans.

"My sister is!"

Ha ha ha, yes. My pet rabbit is the tooth fairy.

My family once had a dog named Cashew, a golden retriever. Cashew believed if she lay down and hid her head and shoulders under one of the living room chairs none of my family existed. Who is to say she was wrong. How happy she must have been.

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