Thursday, June 25, 2015
No good thing is so good that someone cannot -- or will not -- fuck things up. Religion, social programs, kindness ... the list is endless of approaches that have a positive aspect and yet can be twisted to bruising ends... or have a negative approval rating and yet have some twinkling nourishment within. War is endlessly corrupting and evil, for example, but medical advances are invariably a part of the bloody battlefield.
And still, I will vote, more or less, for a contrarian stance. This is not so much a desire to have others agree, like some teenager, with a sweeping skepticism. Rather, I really do think there is a fruitful component to looking in the bathroom mirror and trying to see how much I rely on the accord or applause of others and how much is what I actually believe in or credit.
Relying on others is a tricky matter. On the one hand, it's socially cozy, of course, but human beings are social creatures. On the other, the more experience anyone accrues, the more likely they are to see that relying on others is relying on a house of cards. If my identity and peace of mind relies on the will or wisdom of the majority, how happy could I possibly be?
So I guess what I like about the contrarian point of view is that it takes me to a place where I assess whatever truth I choose to be happy with. It is a business to which individuals may apply themselves so as not to live uncertain lives. "Keeping up with the Jonses" is not simply a problem for the suburban bourgeoisie or other social feather merchants. It affects the mind of even the most virtuously endowed.
Is it worth it? Maybe. Maybe not. Any answer stands ready to excite a contrarian riposte.