Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Conspiracy Theorists

I'm with the woman in brown.

Yesterday was beautiful I did some work in the morning but not much and none at all through the rest of the day. I had one of my morning time outs in the sun after my chores. I love having something to read, drink and eat on an outdoor lounge chair in the sun. Soon, it will be too hot for doing it.
I met Anna and Gunther as usual in the afternoon, and another fellow we’ve met before was there (Mr. X.) and later, Carmen joined us.
Anna has some strange ideas. I’ve long known that for a long time, but I don’t care. But yesterday, Anna started talking about some of her Covid-19 ideas, and Gunther, Mr. X and Carmen were all on board with her, and they really got into a sharing various reasons to disbelieve in the “official” narrative concerning Covid-19, the JFK assassination, 911 and the moon landing.
Then, at one point, Mr. X turned to me and asked,” And what about you? You’re not saying anything.”
He was right. I’d been silent for about twenty minutes when he asked me, and I didn’t quite know what to say. But before I could answer, Gunther elaborated on something Mr. X has said before turning to question me, and Mr. X. was drawn back into the conspiracy discussion.
After, perhaps, another twenty minutes, I went to Anna to say I was going to head home, and I broke up the party. 
Then I told the others: “I have a chronic mental health condition that requires that I follow some simple rules and one of them is to avoid controversy altogether. I have good mental health if I minimize my exposure to stressors, so I keep out of conversations that may cause me to relapse.”
No one said a thing relevant to what I’d said, but they all said something about seeing each other again soon, but Anna and Gunther both touched me on my back or shoulder as they spoke or as we said goodbye. It made me feel very good.  
Driving home alone, I wondered who they think is engineering all these “hoaxes;” who is the mastermind of all these engineered public deceptions? And what’s their purpose?
I’d hate to live with their doubt and their confidence of the unprovable or unproven.
As I’ve written here before: I worship at the Church of Science and Truth. Truth is the God of my proof-based philosophy; at my church there is only one purpose: To seek proven truths, for without truth, there is nothing—only chaos.  
My problem is in knowing what is true. I live in a world peopled with individuals with strong opinions and who feel free to express them. I am besieged with opinions. My friends from Rollo Park have a jingoist sense of confidence in convictions unacceptable to my Church of Science and Truth.
They believe that there is some kind of conspiracy working against them whose members control governments, the military, the press, religion, etcetera.
I, on the other hand, can’t win an argument because I am aware of my profound ignorance about many, many things—especially “big” ideas. The closest I can get to “knowing,” is to know what is publicly accepted—what is convention, that which is recognized by professional accreditors. 
What I know best is my experience and the lessons I learned from those experiences. (Lessons like not to be the only member of the Church of Science and Truth in a discussion about conspiracies.)
Plus, I “know” what I’ve been taught—all of which is, by definition, second-hand information. My capacity to “know,” is very, very limited. I live in a little tiny world of teeny-weeny concerns. I self-identify as insignificant.
Sure, I have opinions. But I know that’s what they are, so I’m insistent about nothing.
Often, as a teenager, I found myself in the company of boys who’d suddenly swerve into a discussion about faggots and queers. I found myself in a “lose, lose” situation. Damned by others if I spoke up; damned by myself if I didn’t. 
I never did. I was too chicken. And I was too chicken to say anything yesterday, too. I chose to be quiet and excuse myself with the explanation. 
It’s raining today. It’s not heavy rain, but it’s rain and I’m happy for my gardens and for a quiet day indoors with a book. 

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