Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stuff I Don't Understand

There are many things I don't understand.  I'm not talking about algebra or physics; I mean, I really don't understand them, but that's an intelligence thing.  We could discuss at length my intellectual shortcomings, but it would make me feel bad, so I'm going to table that discussion.

What I mean is that a lot of shit happens in the world that just doesn't make sense to me.  And today I'm going to list a few examples.  Any one of these probably could stand alone as a post, but I'm in survey mode today.  Feel free to chime in on any of these if you have a useful insight or know-it-all comment. 

Stuff I Don't Understand

Why people who need Prozac don't take it. 
Guess what?  You don't have to walk around feeling angry, out of control, and victimized by the world all the damn time.  Your brain chemicals are out of whack - it happens.  There are medicines that whip that mess into shape.  They won't turn you into a zombie (unless your doctor is into that stuff - check for maniacal laughter and an abundance of test tubes in his/her office).  Taking them doesn't signify that you're weak or crazy (sure, you might be either, or both; but don't take it out on the rest of us).  And they work (you may have to experiment to find the correct type and dosage, but who doesn't like to experiment with drugs, amiright?). 

Prozac is cheap magic.  Next time you think that injecting botulism into your face will make you a better person, try this instead.

Why anyone gives a damn if you're gay.
Stop. Give me an answer that is not based on religion.  OK, go.

Here's a fact of life:  In any population of anything, there are going to be deviations from the norm.  Most cats have five toes per front paw, but you do see some with six (or more) toes.  Most peanut shells hold two nuts, but a small percentage are single-chambered.  Most people are right-handed, but about 10% are lefties (and happy to be that way, thank you). 

Left to their own devices, none of these minority traits harms either the individual or the larger species.  And if half of all cats started being born with an extra toe, my guess is that we'd start looking for the underlying cause, not indiscriminately lopping off digits or drowning innocent polydactyls.

So if 95% of the Earth's population is inclined to act like idiots to attract the opposite sex, why does it matter if 5% act like idiots to attract someone whose plumbing is the same as theirs?  Most of the couples I know - straight or gay - prove one thing only:  We have no control over who we fall in love with.

Where we go when we die.
Again, I'm not coming at this from a religious perspective.  I just want to know what actually happens.

If we all get our 60 or 80 or 100 years and then simply stop - leaving behind only perishable words or pictures or memories held by people who also are going to die pretty soon - then that seems to me to be a pretty inefficient means of keeping things moving forward.  Why have a brain stuffed with emotions and experiences and personality if it all just gets snuffed out when we die?  I mean, for most people it's probably not a great loss.  But I'm pretty sure it's going to be a long while before humanity spontaenously generates another Einstein, like monkeys spontaneously typing out the works of...well, Einstein.

I've been wondering about this recently because I've been watching the demonstrations in Egypt and Bahrain and Libya.  There are people in those places who have stated they are willing to die for freedom.  Some of them have died, of course, without knowing if freedom would ever actually arrive.  And I have to ask myself, if I had no way of knowing for sure what was going to happen afterward, and no way to participate in it, would I put myself in the same position?  Or do these folks know something I don't know?  Or am I just a spoiled American coward?  The answer to one of those questions has got to be yes.

The author is a crazy left-handed Catholic who doesn't know everything.

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