You know how you luv something so much you believe you can’t live without it, and a few years later you hate that thing, and you hate yourself for loving it so, and you now want to disappear because you pledged your life for that thing, on Facebook. You know, like your ex-girlfriend. Or that motivational speaker patch immortalized on YouTube by the words, “DREAM BIG, DON’T STOP, PEOPLE ARE JEALOUS, are my tits showing?”
The latest collection of self-improvement porno is how often you can change your mind. And, by order of Lord Calvin Klein, the frequency of this change must be in sync with your undies. So somewhere between a month and at max, the eighth day of ignoring your groin itch.
Changing our minds used to be a big deal. You could get set on fire for it. Now, it’s just hygiene. Our brains are floating in a sewage of information and questioning what we believe to be the ultimate truth is how we drain the swamp. The fragility of our divisions can only be replaced with the flexibility of our identities, but this feels impossible not because we don’t want to change our mind, but because we don’t want to be wrong.
Fact shaming is the new bullying.
“Eat carrots, fatty.”
No, not that.
“Harry never CHOSE Gryffindor, he only said, NOT Slytherin — people who have read the book only once should not be spreading their ignorance and wasting everyone’s time.”
Being wrong in public feels horrific because the public is a petri dish of assoles that mutate by artfully shitting on everyone who is wrong. It’s why manufactured dissent has become our default response. You need to be on the same wavelength of stubborn idiocy as the rest of the world to be taken seriously. To strengthen the microorganism of your division, you need to produce more and more bullshit.
Here’s how we arrive at the truth now: Whatever the popular opinion, rile against it until the opposite becomes the popular opinion and repeat this process until everyone is convinced they are God. It’s not the age of enlightenment meeting the age of technology. It’s the age of absurdity, meeting the age of certainty.
Truth thrives in contradiction. And we shame that. Because contradiction shows a fickle mind. The zeitgeist is to either have strong opinions or no opinions at all. The real problem is not that we don’t change our minds, it’s that we can’t. Because it requires you to come out as stupid.
It requires you to be wrong.
Comedy is a victim of this paradox. Even as it battles political correctness, a condition where you feel good by hating yourself for laughing — it is losing the war on social change. Comedy used to be fun. Now it’s news with dick jokes. It’s a putdown of the primal human condition to make mistakes, a parody of emotions by selecting and shaming people each time they are wrong, a proliferation of contemptuous puritanism through camp penile factfulness.
The willingness to be wrong does not mean you are agreeable. It means you are thoughtful. It’s what compassion looks like. This blog is a patchwork of the things I have agreed with, and then disagreed with, and gone back to agreeing on. It’s a public record of learning to be less full of shit. And a continuous reminder of how wrong I will always be. Which is why chick sexing, heart surgery, and religious leader aren’t potential career options for me.
Changing your mind is not a fad. It’s what we used to call realization. Most truth is a realization that our knowledge at every point is a sum total of our accumulated delusions to that point. To be wrong is a weakening of these delusions. That’s the freedom we really need.
To fall in love with the truth is as embarrassing as being in constant denial of it. No underwear lasts that long. The only thing true about truth is that it can be wrong.