Thursday, June 07, 2012

I'm Not in Norway

What's it like to not be in Norway. This is an odd question. I've never been to Norway. I can't answer by describing how things ARE in Chicago. For all I know they may be exactly the same in Norway. I can't describe what it's like to NOT be in Norway. I only know the positive statements about what it is like to be in Chicago, Indiana, Puerto Rico, . . . the places I've been.

So, what's it like to not be . . . here?

At all.

Well, I've only been here and have no knowledge of not being here so there is no way to answer a question like this. To suggest an answer because the question itself frightens you (ok scares the shit out of you) doesn't mean your answer carries any weight.

Jesus promises everlasting life for those who believe. He rose up out of the grave (allegedly) but no one has ever seen anyone else do it.

No one.

You see it's a faith thing. If you are willing to sacrifice all of your logic and good thinking you'll be rewarded by living for ever. Question: What does Jesus get or not get for our faith? Why does he need that to save you? Why are we 'good' people if we believe the fantastic and 'bad' people if we are skeptical? If we are somehow cursed by having logical brains that can't wrap our minds around crazy thinking about angles, demons and heaven, and hell why not just save us. Hey, who gave us these brains in the first place?

Well, I'm happy to be here and when I'm not here maybe that will be like not being in Norway.

Strange Encounters of the Chicago Kind

Walking down Halsted street today just south of Diversey. What's that booming noise I hear? There's a fire station across the street from me and outside of the fire station there is a young fireman pounding on a giant tire (off a fire truck I presume) with a sledge hammer. This looks very hard and I guess this is how firemen workout. Or receive punishment.

Having made my purchases at the Home Depot I'm walking back the way I came. A new noise but the same tire. This time a fireman is lifting the tire onto one edge and flipping it over again and again like a giant coin. This also looks hard and that it would be quite a work out. I'm dying to say, "Looks like you're getting TIRED - get it"? I refrain, for once listening to the little good sense voice in my head. However, there is another civilian ahead also watching the workout. When I reach her I deliver my oh so clever line, "That looks TIRING, doesn't it? Get it?" I smile.

"I think he needs a psychiatrist", she responds and she is not smiling

"Looks like a pretty good work out to me."

"He probably can't even touch his toes." Is she getting angry with me?

"Well, as long as he can carry babies out of burning buildings", I counter. She is getting actually pissed at me now I can tell. Why?

"Babies aren't that heavy anyway". She's oh so clever but I'm up to the task.

"Ok then, I want him to be able to carry ME out of a burning building". Check and mate?

"He'd probably hit your head on a door and you'd need stitches" - visibly pissed at me now.

"But I'd rather have stitches than burn up, right?" MATE!

She gives me the talk to the hand signal and shaking her head she continues north on Halsted while I head down Diversey. What the hell just happened? Was it the substance of the argument itself or the fact that someone kept shoving logic in her face and it countered what she was already thinking.

Sound familiar? I think we've all had the experience of presenting perfectly logical arguments to a theist (in this case maybe a crazy person but what's the real difference?) and have those arguments get nowhere AND really piss them off. Sometimes it makes me feel bad but most of the time I just figure that that is a price you're going to have to pay for hanging onto magical thinking. You cannot support it or defend it with logic and actually I'm ok with that. If it helps you get through that scary dark night I say use it. But, when you're challenged to defend it maybe just say, "I can't use logic. I just prefer to think this way".

Hey, it's America and you think think anyway you want but just don't expect the entire country to be with you. Don't expect all of America to believe in your invisible friends just because you think it's such a great idea. Keep it as your own little secret and enjoy your freedom. Why isn't that enough?