by The Deity
I’m done having opinions. Mostly because I can’t keep up with what I’m supposed to have opinions about.
When I was young, it was easy. Do you think the government should help more poor people? Yes or no? Okay, you personal responsibility people can go over there, and you bleeding hearts have a place over here. Do you like war or do you not like war? Don’t worry, your answer to this question doesn’t actually matter beyond determining what clubs you will join in college. This is America!
Like I said, easy.
But now it’s like: single payer or a hybrid system? I mean, if you haven’t listened to every back logged Weeds episode on the subject, you can’t even begin to articulate a position. Even then, how do you really know whether Canada’s healthcare system is better than Germany or Switzerland? Is Call the Midwife a fair representation of the NHS?
To what extent is America’s interventionism in the world a good thing? There are all these obvious bad examples, like Iraq and Libya and Vietnam. But then there are those gnarly good examples, like Kosovo and World War II. I then think I can listen and read the right people and they will tell me what clearly is the right answer. But there’s this one guy who is at Harvard who says totally and this other guy at Harvard who says totally not, not to mention the other people at the other universities and think tanks who take a position somewhere between the very authoritative voices at Harvard.
The worst part is there is no escape. I thought Game of Thrones was an escape, but then I’m asked at drinks with friends what I thought about the violence and the rape and the presumptuous changes the Double Ds made? I thought at least BBC adaptations of Austen novels could save me, but those books just erase the lived experiences of those who lack privilege or they are a tribute to the small ways women exerted autonomy. And then I turned to Bridgerton because that had to be a show that everyone could agree was a wonderful, sensuous fantasy. But no. No. I have to have an opinion about its politics.
I don’t want to have an opinion about any of these things beyond “like” or “don’t like.” Perhaps I’m a cog in a crushing cultural machine reinforcing rape culture, toxic masculinity, deficit narratives, racial politics, television stereotypes; all of which I imbibe, mouth wide open, without true consciousness. To be honest, my brain can’t handle the analysis because there is too damn much of it.
If I truly spent the time to figure out what I think is the right answer to every cultural and political question, I would not have enough time left to do something I actually like. I like being nice to people. I like cooking dinner and watching tv and reading books and talking to people about what I cooked for dinner and watched on tv and read in a book. So from now on, I’m taking a line from Socrates every time someone asks my opinion.
Are you pro-life or pro-choice? I don’t know.
Are you pro-war or anti-war? I don’t know.
Do you support single payer healthcare? I don’t know.
Are you concerned about violence on television? I don’t know.
Are you concerned about violence against women on television? I don’t know.
Are you concerned about violence against animals on television? I don’t know.
Are you concerned about violence against children on television? I don’t know.
Do you think America should honor its alliances across the world? I don’t know.
Do you think people should lose their jobs if they say racist or sexist things? I don’t know.
Do you think we should have higher tax rates for millionaires and billionaires? I don’t know.
This hypothetical person asking me all of these hypothetical questions will at some point get fed up and ask: What do you know?
To which I respond: I know that I know nothing.