In the early months of my blogging career, which coincided with my pursuit of the well-respected law degree, I set out to understand the universe. As I read more and more laws, I found myself thinking often, wow, that’s really stupid, or worse, stupidly complicated. The justification that had sufficed for my entire life, because that’s the law, had lost its unquestioned credibility. For so long, that had been the end of my logical analysis. If it was written, it was written by people more knowledgable than I, and therefore they must have considered things I don’t even know I don’t know, and therefore it’s right.
Now, I’m not talking about the blatant stuff like civil rights, and I get that laws evolve. But let’s put that to the side for now. I’m looking at taxes and court rules and the regulations that require certain forms which stand in between a disabled veteran and his or her benefits. These laws weren’t sent down from a higher power. Some were crafted by egos, some by corporate interests, some by good but under-informed intentions, and some just slipped by. If life were a board game, and these were the instructions, I’d say fuck this game, I’m not playing.
Once the walls of the law had buckled beneath the rising tide of uncertainty in my mind, I came up for air and saw the world was fucking bizarre. People were doing the silliest things for the silliest reasons.
People were doing shit everywhere, seemingly because everyone else was doing the same shit. Wearing ties, telling children lies, and dressing a certain way on a certain day.
People were doing shit for the sole reason that some other dude, or one book that the dude read, told them to do it. Blowing people up because of cartoons. Telling other animals who they should and shouldn’t partner with. Tithing their hard earned money for institutions to buy robes for leaders and pay for the leaders’ lawyers.
People were doing crazy shit for currency. Leasing other peoples’ vaginas, making armies out of children, scanning your emails, and acting stupid for cameras.
And, people were doing shit because they had to do the same things all animals have had to do since springing into existence. Sitting in traffic and sitting in offices. Me need food and dental care. But the real silly part is the less noticeable shit people are doing in the process of playing their small role in the fictional play called The Economy. It works the same way as most successful scams: screw a lot of people out of a little bit of money. The net effect is you get a ton of value and the victims barely notice. Like paying the middleman to hold your currency, deceive you on you home loan, and make 6 billion dollars in one quarter of one year. Oh, now, now, the educated Mr. Pennybacker will tell me, there’s this vague thing called the financial market, and it increases the availability of capital, which really helps you because at the end of the day, that capital is invested into new ways to take your money. Yeah, well fuck you too.
When I started, you’ll remember, I was looking for a quiet place of truth. Yet all I’ve found is a babylon of arbitrary rules. I wanted to see that the human world — with Congress and Consumerism running the show, religion masking hatred, neighbors fighting over boundary lines, and weight-loss pills poisoning your liver — actually made sense if you studied it long enough. I wanted to conclude that these things were the undeniable results of an ongoing chain of reactions heading toward a universal truth.
Maybe I did find that ultimate truth. Maybe it just wasn’t the one I wanted. If destruction is the universal truth, then life on Earth, as a member of the human species, makes perfect sense.