This week I struggled to decide what I would write about.
It's not that I found it difficult to write about something in particular; there were plenty of things that came up. Chris Dorner's wacky, Hollywood escapades occupied most of my previous weekend. The whole ordeal was like watching Mark Wahlberg in black face going up against a malevolent institution riddled with corruption. (That was in the movie playing my head.)
But at work I had the opportunity to hear all about it, which was amusing and educational simultaneously. When people get into a room, they are bound to disagree. I think cults are the only places where people agree with one another. Even then, I would wager that everyone thinks that they all are contemplating the same thing at any given time.
Generally I find in these conversations certain trends:
Wealth determines the position: I find a lot that the Rich are liberal, and, strangely enough, the poor are conservative. I don't know exactly why this is. I care little for my country beyond it's ability to provide a general atmosphere where I don't feel like I'm going to die whenever I go to work. Nevertheless, I supposed my affections could be described as cynically guarded. The rich often sit at a place of convenience or luxury, which is why they have the time to think about all he things that they think are wrong with the world. The poor, those that I have known are simple urchins that mostly believe in simpler things, namely an honest government. It's probably why so much of the deep south rallies for it's conservative politicians. I'm not one to deny that the government is corrupt, but I won't say it's overtly evil either. I say this because this country, birthed on the cusp of modernity, has the advantage of being not as bad as all the others that existed before it. Rome was pretty kickass. That was what the medieval people said to themselves when they walked to their hovels after grueling 14 hour workdays, knee deep in horse shit. That's saying a lot considering Rome was pretty awful once the window dressing was rubbed away.
Positivism vs Skepticism: Also when people argue, they generally tend to be either overly blinded by their position's credibility or are mired in constant disapproval. Take religion for example. I know people who will undress it and rape it into oblivion, motivated by some nursed anger from childhood. It's like Bill Maher puts out a movie and people eat that shit up like it's angry atheist catnip and go out to all their friends to evangelize.
I'll let you sit in the irony of that for a bit...
Anyways, it only gets better when he comes up to me and says something like, "Hey did you know Jesus is based off a cult of Mithras?" and I say, "Oh? You mean the cult that was founded a hundred years after the Apostle Paul wrote 1st Corinthians 15?" (It contains an proto-gospel announcement, considered to be the first creed. And the creed, has been dated by scholars to only have been written ten years after the death of Christ, and the letter written in the early to mid 50's.) I never knew that stand-up comedians were known experts in ancient archaeology and capable of parsing Koine Greek! When you talk to someone so skeptical that they probably don't even believe that it's air that they are breathing, it only gets worse when you talk to someone who doesn't even question what they believe.
I see this all the time in my liberal friends who have all these pie eyed understandings that people are civil and kind. While I won't deny that people can be, at times, good. I am somewhat reticent to say that they are, deep down, really awesome. In fact I would go as far to say that this is a very Western, American, idea that people conceive of when the worst thing they've ever had to face in life was the imaginary death of an imaginary character on their favorite sitcom.
In other news, a friend of mine Phil Kiner and I are planing on writing and publishing a web comic in the coming months. He's a fantastic artist currently going to school at the Arts Center in Pasadena. It's where famous people go to learn how to be more famous.
I hope my rant didn't scare you. I have issues... like most writers. Next week I have some good things for you though so stick around. It's gonna be pretty fun!