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Bubble People

I was recently gifted with the eye-opening event of having my own personal soap bubble of beliefs, dreams, and hopes popped by an angry, dyspeptic orangutan.  Yes, he got elected to the most powerful position of leadership on the planet Earth.  And, as I was hurt in the fall from my rudely popped bubble, I began to think about the nature of the bubbles we live in and plot my evil revenge.

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You see, people all live in bubbles of perception.  There are limits to what you can see, hear, learn, accept, believe, and understand.  Those limits are the walls of the soap bubble we create for ourselves in the empty warehouse of our own mind.  I know I have just revealed that what I am talking about is completely metaphorical, but all you people out there who live in literal-minded, practically impenetrable bubbles need to be reminded that metaphorical truth is still truth.

In politics, there now seem to be two main classes of bubble that exist separately and prevent many people from seeing and understanding the perceptions of many other people.  There are conservative bubble people.  There are also liberal bubble people.

Conservative is supposed to mean that they like what they currently have and want to preserve it.  I include here not just possessions, but values, goals, religions, hopes, and dreams.  Liberal traditionally means that they are dissatisfied with what they currently have and want change.  Looking at this construct carefully reveals that anyone who is liberal should be seeking change, but once they have it, should then become satisfied and change into a conservative.  Similarly, if they are conservative, but things change into a new set of things that they don’t like, they should become liberals.  But in our political system, these labels have become set in stone.  And I should warn you, putting stone letters on a soap bubble will invariably pop it.  Conservative bubble people have added concrete mix to the walls of their bubbles to harden it, so that it won’t pop.  Liberals have done the same.  Though, I believe Republican conservative bubble people have somehow found a concrete mix that, when it hardens, makes it impenetrable by facts, science, and logic.  Not to be outdone, though, liberals have added bizarre chemicals to their mix that makes their bubbles impenetrable by feelings, emotion, and religion.  The collective effect of all this bubble-fixing is that all bubble people’s bubbles have become dark and no longer transparent.  You cannot see through them.

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It is no wonder that when liberals look at conservative bubbles they think, “These people are just selfish, money-hungry, and evil, and will do anything for a profit.  They don’t care what’s best for everybody.”

Conversely, conservatives look at liberal bubbles and think, “They are unfeeling control freaks who want to take away our freedom to do what we believe in.  They want to tell us what we can do.  They are trying to take away our rights.”

So, humorist and crack-brained nitwit that I am, I have come up with an evil plan to undo this opaque-bubble nightmare.  I intend to look inside lots of bubbles and find ways to make them more transparent again.  I also intend to invite everyone I know, and everyone who reads this, to do the same.  That should help.

But I should warn you, I am not the only one looking to manipulate bubble people.  There are a bunch of rich and cynical folks out there too who are busy playing billiard games with a majority of the fossilized opaque bubbles .  Once bubbles start popping, more people will be hurt.

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Wise Guys

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There are certain people that I spend a lot of time listening to on YouTube.  These are people who are nothing alike.  They are very brainy people and good at making cogent arguments that really make sense.  They have a gift as explainers.  Some of their ideas I agree with, and some I do not, but I am always willing to listen.

The first one I have pictured here is Russell Brand.  He describes himself as a comedian.  But I find much of what he has to say is the kind of comedy that Mark Twain and Will Rogers once did, and John Stewart and Bill Maher now do.  He explains things about how our basic rights as Americans, and human beings, are being compromised and even taken away from us.  He often hits themes of economic inequality, racism, and love for your fellow man.  I was fascinated by his interview of members of the Westboro Baptist Church.  He absorbed their hate-filled insults and deflected them back with grace and wit.  He routinely examines the fear-mongering tactics of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News.  He ridicules them and undoes their propaganda with such reasoned defusing of hate-bombs.  He talks fast and uses big words, and even though I know many people who absolutely hate him, I listen to him constantly.

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This second man is Russell’s opposite.  Stefan Molyneux is a Libertarian philosopher that my more liberal friends are absolutely horrified by.  He goes into the problematic behavior of liberal heroes like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior, debunking, defaming, and generally de-mythologizing them.  He believes things about not helping the poor and taking apart the government that I soundly disagree with, an for basically Republican Libertarian reasons which seem very self-centered and self-serving to me.  But he is able to put forward cogent arguments that are so clear and inter-connected that you have to admire his Occam’s Razor thinking and over-all consistent philosophy.  He even seems to have a decent Christian concept of love that is ironic in the face of his seeming atheism.

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My first encounter with John Green came about by buying a copy of Mental Floss in book form from Half-Price Books.  His wonderful wit and sharp intellect is demonstrated in detail in all the ironic twists and shocking tidbits of information that fill his books and video series like Mental Floss, Crash Course, and his best-selling novel (now a movie) The Fault in Our Stars.  Like the other two, he talks fast, uses words you often need to look up, slips fast one-liners by you, and connects ideas so smoothly that very complex things become simple and elegant.  I find that, of the three of these men, I would most like to meet and talk with this wise and gentle man.  I definitely intend to acquire and read his book as soon as I can… I mean his novel.  I have already seized and devour as many of the Mental Floss books as I could find.  I guess I really think that he is more like me than either of the other two, although, I know that that is somewhat conceited to say out loud… or even in writing.

So what is the point of this post?  These are three wise men who I listen to and allow to shape the edges of my intellect and basic beliefs.  I really believe you should investigate them for yourself.  But what do I know?  I am still on the Quest to be a Wizard.

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