Sitting at the keyboard, I found it ironic that I'm waiting for inspiration to hit me with how to start this piece about the infectious nature of ideas. We're all infected. No one idea is original, though, we're all just putting our little twists and marks on each and rocketing them off into the world of open ears and minds to find a new host. It is the dangerous, spine-tingling ones that take root in action and become more than just an idea. It becomes reality. Consider everything humans have created and invented. It was all a dream, as Biggie said. Nothing man-made was not first man-thought.
On the heels of watching Tiffany Shlain's documentary Connected, I'm rapidly adopting her framework of life as a universe of moving parts and all the connections between the them. It is the Yin and Yang that makes us all One. Inspired by her father's work in writing books to bridge the disciplines and find patterns between philosophy, art, physics sex and more, Shlain transformed her father's theories to observe the world's problem with technology. The idea was that the left side of the brain, responsible for order is primarily associated with the male gender while the right side of the brain, responsible for pattern recognition was predominantly a female association. With the invention of a written language and literacy, a patriarchal society developed out of the order of written language. Shlain wonders out loud if we need to start recognizing the patterns of the world to see that our interdependence of communication and survival is real.
As my mind fires throughout the week, I find myself sitting in front of the screen ready to make sense of what's burning the top of my mind. Currently, I'm riding the coattails of a Facebook discussion (yes, of all places) where someone was calling for a boycott of a comedy show that markets itself as cruel and offensive, making fun of the darkest parts of humanity. The Someone on Facebook vilified it and suggested to her friends that it should disappear. Fair enough, but it immediately got under my skin. Talk about infectious ideas.
And I wrestled with it for days, as I tried to hold down what I believe in the discussion. Why did it bother me so much for someone to suggest the show go away? I'm not even a fan of the show. Why did I ever open my mouth? I barely know this girl. Why do I keep talking about it? I have other things to do!
The topic of discussion is not the point for me today, it is the discussion itself. There is no question in my mind that we need each other to thrive. Zombie movies make this glaringly apparent. What brings us together, moving onward, is our communication. Until there is some way for you to peek into my mind, I have to express what's going on in my cabeza to you with my words, glances, reactions, or touch. And when we communicate and infect one another, I believe we move that much closer to understanding that we are all connected.
There will be sparks. There will be explosions. Hell, as I type, the world is at war. The trouble with infectious ideas is that they can inspire action, for better or worse. Our biggest problem and greatest achievement as human beings is using the ideas of others to create.
Where I believe people go wrong is when they blame the source of the idea for how others interpret it. No one gives you permission to do anything you don't want to do. It was the broken argument some Americans clung to when the media found out Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris of the Columbine school schooling liked Marilyn Manson's music. It was the "revelation" when the media discovered homophobic fans of Eminem, praising his music like some kind of anthem.
The crux of my thought here is that there will be suffering. Conflict is inevitable in our lifetimes. As long as we're different, we're not the same, and clashes will happen. And there is beauty in that pain. It makes everything real. There is no pleasure without pain, there is no beauty without ugliness. There is no connection without parts to connect. Through the sparks between our minds, we move mountains, and as long as we can understand, we need this interaction. There is no sense in silence or ignorance or running away.
Dangerous ideas are my religion. My dangerous thought now is you can't control the world, you can only start to build yours. Invent, teach, and breathe. Know that even though there are good and bad people in this world, we are all One. You don't have to agree with any or all of my words, I just strive for people to appreciate my mind, my questions, my twist on ideas. And then as soon as I write them down, they live in your head, hopefully starting sparks we can talk about. Thanks for letting me infect you.
Until next time...
I explode into space.