I am surprised to discover it has been five years since I released my brief manifesto “I choose whimsy,” which I reproduce in its entirety here:
I see and hear the cranky and dyspeptic political tones, philosophical arguments dressed up as a battle between good and evil, and I have seen and heard enough.
“There ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys, there’s only you and me and we just disagree,” the poet sang.
And yet the demagogues behind the curtains conjure images of battlegrounds. We don’t just disagree; you are the embodiment of evil walking on Earth. If your kind keeps/retains power, then the rest of us die.
Hogwash. I say again, hogwash. Pay no attention to the demagogues behind the curtains.
My freedom is not dependent upon someone holding or being ejected from office, and neither is yours. Human beings are born to freedom, not granted liberty by benevolent rulers. What part of “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights” is so hard to understand?
We have a choice to stew in our own bile – or in bile provided for us by willing political toadies – or to live our lives freely, joyfully and in celebration.
You may follow the path to fear and loathing and the infestation of imaginary hobgoblins. I choose whimsy.
A half a decade since I penned those words, choosing whimsy is more of a revolutionary act than ever. If the political conversation was cranky and dyspeptic in 2012, Lord knows it is more so by a hundredfold in 2017.
Is it foolish to seek out and embrace the whimsical in such a world as this? I argue that it’s more important than ever. It’s so easy to be aghast at what has become of the political debate; many people have decided to forget that we were presented with an impossible choice last fall, either of which was destined to lead the USA government into dystopia. The last four months has seen an extended primal scream, “No, not this dystopia! The other one!”
But for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, life has continued. Lives are still being led freely, joyfully and in celebration. The sun rises every day and sets at night, and stories are still being told of hope, of love and of inspiration.
The sweet taste of freedom is still in the air, waiting to be enjoyed. And it tastes much sweeter than bile. Choose whimsy.