Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Healthy Sense Of The Ridiculous

I am often taken by the necessity these days for a healthy sense of the ridiculous. Not only does it keep my blood pressure at relatively safe levels without the use of prescription medication, but it allows me to step back and consider some of the troubling issues of life without simply 'reacting' to them out of hand. 

Oh don't get me wrong, I probably get just as angry as anyone else at the nonsense going on in the world; but this approach allows me to consider them rationally (or at least as rationally as I consider anything). I simply think that my over-inflated sense of irony and sarcasm allow me to keep it all in something like a proper perspective. In fact, it only through them that I believe that any of us stands a chance of not falling prey to all the hype that the world seems intent to force upon us.

'Birthers' want to believe that President Obama was not born in this country. Who cares at this point? Setting aside that we should assume that someone vetted his citizenship when he first ran for office, we are failing to focus the silliness of continuing the argument at this point. Maybe we should concentrate on what the man does with the position he has been elected to and not where he was born.

Environmentalists appear to think that the planet would be better off without human beings, but refuse to take themselves out of the picture as a way to prime the pump. This seems a failure in principle as well as practice. As for me, I think that the Earth is probably far better off with me, my family and friends, and most of the people who read this blog still on it. Such thinking probably makes me a selfish bastard who would rather see the planet ruined as long as I get to live on it. OK, let's assume that this is the case, get some T-shirts printed up, and get this party started!

Organized religion, for all of the good that it has done the world, has perpetrated an equal or greater part of the evil in it in the process. Not being smart enough to understand the mind of God, the truth of His message as delivered through the Scriptures of the various religions, or the correctness of one message over another (like mi Amigo Roland Hansen looks at in one of his recent postings); I concede that an answer for the question may not even be possible to arrive at. What I do know however, is that the more something becomes structured, the more it becomes rigid (government has the same problem). Most organized religions today seemed concerned with telling us why the other guy is wrong than why they are right, and losing the original message and the moral high ground in the process.

Politics in this country has become all about political parties lately. No one seems to care if the right thing is being done as long as their team is ahead on points. Truthfully, there seems little difference between Democrats and Republicans, except perhaps the pace at which they run the country in the wrong direction. Libertarians have some great ideas, but can't seem to come to grips with the concepts of organization, and find themselves mostly on the sidelines as a consequence. And while both major parties have our attention focused on another meaningless debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, they're doing damage to all of us and lining their own pockets. (Have you noticed how many career politicians becoming millionaires while making $175,000 per year?)   

We are being told that electric cars will be a solution for our oil dependency and for the environment, but no one seems to be able to tell us where the electricity to charge the batteries on these cars is going to come from (or how to keep them from catching fire). Last time I looked, most of that electricity in the world came from power plants that burned coal, oil, or gas. Oh sure, there's some coming from wind, solar, and nuclear power plants too, but certainly not the greater portion (and we haven't built a nuclear plant in 30 years or more). So if we all buy the electric cars they want us to, where will the power come from? What strain will this put on an already over-burdened national electric grid? What will evil power companies be able to charge us for this electricity when we are forced to rely them instead of evil oil companies?   

We are once again in the middle of a religious holiday co-mingled with ancient pagan customs. While Christians remember and celebrate the sacrifice made on their behalf; they and others will nevertheless revel as they stuff themselves with chocolate bunnies (save the ears for me), jelly beans, and festively colored hard-boiled eggs. Few if any find anything curious in the apparently contradictory celebrations of death from life and spring fertility symbols and practices.   

But I can sit quietly in my man-cave, viewing all of this with the twisted perspective that has served me well for many years. You know come to think of it, even early in my college days, I was chastised by a tenured philosophy professor for my lack of reverence and attempts at clever asides to the pontifications of those hailed as men of wisdom. I was told in fact that I was, "the living example of the absurdity of life". Rather than becoming incensed with the remark, I found myself instead rather flattered by it. As the years have gone by, I have come to realize that life is indeed for the most part ludicrous, contradictory, and ridiculous. I find no shame in attempting to treat it as such, and in embodying such an approach to it. In fact, I would venture to state that it's only by doing so can we hope to remain healthy.


Roland Hansen said...

What a riduculously wise commentary!

Timothy W Higgins said...

Thanks mi Amigo, but I'll settle for the ridiculous ...