Friday, July 24, 2009

So you want to CHANGE THE WORLD

It's a pretty muddled-up messy place out there, what with all those troublesome, confusing problems floating around. Problems like war and famine and puppies and pestilence and people who disagree with you. And then there's your self-righteous sense of moral indignation just itching to make it all better. If only there was some pointless gesture you could indulge in to communicate your simplistic sense of right and wrong to everyone around you. Because you just know in your heart or your gut or wherever it is you do most of your thinking that everything would be so much better if only other people could see the world the way you do.

So here's an idea. When you come across a problem, don't waste valuable time doing anything meaningful about it. Don't take any kind of practical action, don't engage anyone in any constructive dialogue, and certainly don't think or apply any kind of objective reasoning to the situation. Do that, and the next thing you know your comfortingly uncomplicated world view may start to crumble or - worse - you might even begin to change your mind about something. Instead, just reduce whatever you want to say into some trite slogan, weak pun, or irritating mixture of the two, print this vapid collection of words onto a sticker, secure this label of ignorance to the back of your car, and wait for the world to magically become a better place for anyone who is you.

Just think: every single person who has the immense good fortune to drive behind you, even for a moment, will see that childishly simplistic chunk of pure opinion and instantly come round to your way of thinking. It will be like a very dim light bulb has been switched on in their minds. Your ill-conceived ideas about the world will float out among the people, spreading like a rogue fart, touching so many lives in ways you can't even begin to imagine.

Congratulations, world citizen: you've just done your civic duty. You must be proud.