Patience Worn Thin
A headline I just read, from the Washington Post:
‘Patience has worn thin’: Frustration mounts over vaccine holdouts
My patience has worn thin with propagandized “frustration” against any human being who believes he still has the right to make his own decisions, and judge his own needs.
My patience has worn thin with people who assume you will believe exactly what they believe about everything, and then treat you as a Neanderthal or a dangerous lunatic when they discover you do not.
My patience has worn thin with people for whom “The government says so” is enough for them (as long as “the government” means the party they support), and who demand that it must be enough for you too.
My patience has worn thin with the consistency with which “It’s not your decision, and it never was” has revealed itself as the status quo presupposition of every government agency and every mainstream public voice, the world over.
My patience has worn thin with the Normal world’s complete unwillingness to treat open questions as questions, to acknowledge genuine unknowns as unknowns, and to grant minimal humanity and basic rationality to people who happen not to feel comfortable, for their own reasons, taking unusual actions mandated or quasi-mandated by governments they do not trust — and which they have very good reasons for not trusting.
My patience has worn thin with an age that pretends to care about “minorities,” while routinely expressing such vehement and unrelenting “Us versus Them” disdain, not to say hatred, toward a minority of fellow citizens and fellow human beings who are pleading for what they see as their natural rights to self-determination and the development of their own understanding of things — their right not to defer blindly to the demands of their government or (as amounts to the same thing) to the injunctions of certain prominently displayed, government-approved “experts.”
My patience has worn thin, as well, with the increasingly empty routine of subjecting myself to the futility of this shouting-into-the-hurricane approach to life and thought — and writing.
I am enslaved, as are you, and as is everyone that either of us will ever care about on this Earth. For that is what tyranny means. This condition will not change in the foreseeable future, except for the worse, which is to say our chains will simply continue to tighten for the rest of our lives. It is far too late to dream of any other outcome now.
It is also necessary, however, to recall that the outcome of which I speak is only relative, as are all practical outcomes. There will be other outcomes, in the long run.
It is time to stop attending to, let alone participating in, the noisy whirlpool of dictates and diatribes that is sucking us all into the nothingness. We have arrived at the time when the only reasonable path, the only road that makes sense, is to live and think for the “other outcomes,” which means to set our sights beyond the world of relativity and noise.
You believe Trump is The Answer? Pray on. You believe socialism is love? Love yourself to death. You think capitalism “works everywhere it is tried”? I say “You’re right — it’s working wonders in communist China right now, paying for all those Uighur slave camps and morality score algorithms.” You hope the next election will turn the tide? You are living in 1900.
If, on the other hand, you think that the only answer to today’s morass is the earnest, private, non-performative search for the true, the good, and the beautiful — and have further arrived at the certainty that none of those three will be found anywhere near modern politics, modern “news,” modern entertainment, modern lifestyle choices, or modern idol worship — then you are in my “tribe.” The “other outcomes” tribe, if you will.
Unlike the tribes of our hyper-pragmatic today, ours makes no demands of uniformity, except of sincerity; no demands of allegiance, except to reason; no demands of purity, except of the need to rise above the noise. For the other outcomes tribe is not a tribe at all, of course. It is a desire for a life worthy of human beings, and a conversation born of this desire.
This is the non-tribe for people whose patience has worn thin with a world in which patience wears thin so easily. In the search for other outcomes, patience is still a virtue, almost the defining virtue.