September 5th, 2008

edog uphigh

the problem

Reading Klosterman is the literary equivalent of that old adage about sitting in a cafe; sooner or later, he writes about everything, some of which eventually sounds completely familiar. This is from an essay in which he uses the example of Americans' love for the Olympics to criticize wholesale acceptance of a concept without thinking about it.
It strikes me that every wrongheaded sentiment in society ultimately derives from the culture of inherent, unconditional rightness.

As I grow older, I find myself less prone to have an opinion about anything, and to distrust just about everyone who does. Whenever I meet someone who openly identifies themselves as a Republican or a Democrat, my immediate thought is always, Well, this person might be interesting, but they'll never say anything about politics that's remotely useful to me. I refuse to discuss abortion with anyone who is pro-life or pro-choice; I refuse to discuss affirmative action with any unemployed white guy or any unemployed black guy. All the world's stupidest people are either zealots or atheists. If you want to truly deduce how intelligent someone is, just as this person how they feel about an issue that doesn't have an answer; the more certainty they express, the less sense they have. This is because certainty only comes from dogma.

People used to slag on Bill Clinton for waffling on everything and always relying on situational pragmatism; as far as I'm concerned, that was the single greatest aspect of his presidency. Life is fucking confusing. I don't know anything, and neither do you.
I also find that the excerpt above pretty much nails a personal philosophy of mine, although my own version isn't as extreme.

Also, I love the Olympics. I just don't root for the US (or any other) team.