My buddy Rob came over yesterday to help me start up my garden. He got a friend of his, Joe, to lend his truck and tools. The bed was filled with dirt, and I scooped it into a wheelbarrow. Joe took the wheelbarrow and poured it on a six by six square of cardboard, which Rob then raked to an even six inches depth.
I put my bluetooth speaker out and we listened to Rage Against the Machine while we worked. It was lovely to have people over, for a few hours, even if most of that time was spent working on the plot.
It’s something so simple, but that now has a lot of strange dynamics to it: someone goes in for a hug…is that hug safe? We take our masks off because we’re outside. Is that a good idea? All these ideas flit through your mind, and I realize that I’m someone who largely thinks these ideas are fine, and even I’m thinking about them.
I’m truly worried for the state of social relations in this world. I am moving on to a new chapter of my life, and won’t have much time for socializing, so it matters less to me. But I can’t help but think of five years from now, going to meet up with some pals and having them skittish, unsure of how to interact, afraid.
There are people who are not going to be okay until the v*rus is eliminated from the world. Which is never going to happen. It’s dark, puts me in a bad place.
I wonder how this whole thing became so divided based on political affiliations. I find it hard to find left-leaning people who are not completely pilled on the virus, and conversely, I find it hard to find right-leaning people who take it seriously at all.
The middle completely disappeared. I discovered this the hard way. When I posted about my misgivings over c*vid data on social media, the response from my (almost entirely) left-leaning social circle was swift and harsh.
But what does it mean when half of people think on one extreme, and the other half on the other? It probably, almost always, means there’s a spot in the middle where reasonable people can hang out. Where you don’t have to be terrified to go outside or interact with people, but hey, maybe you also put a mask on if you’re feeling sick. Better yet, maybe you stay home!
The binary nature of every idea in the world right now makes my head hurt. Yarvin brings up a great point in one of his latest blogs: people have confused the good and the true. There are evil truths, and there are noble lies. But no: if we believe something to be good, that necessarily means it is true. Facts get confused for morality, essentially. And you can’t think a bad thought, because there’s no way a bad thought can be true.
I’ve beaten this drum over and over again, but your neighbors (by and large) are not the enemy. It’s very clear who the enemy is, and it’s a shame to see people on both sides collaborating with the enemy when it suits them, to really own the libs or stick it to the MAGA chuds. Your neighbors might have some evil ideas that turn out to be true. You might have some virtuous ideas that turn out to be false. And if you think you’d rather be good than correct, you’re robbing yourself of a holistic picture of the world that can be put to work actually helping your immediate family and community.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but the only way to really be good in this world is to coldly analyze your scenario, assess your risk, and move on with your life. Help your friends. Forgive them their trespasses. Otherwise you’re carrying water for a powerful superstructure that only wants control, domination, power.
I would like it if more people actually thought about stuff.