Right to Light

Harry Drabik

It doesn’t appear my call for there to be light has found favor. Oh well, give it time and we’ll see how long before such a basic human right gets the attention it deserves. I recognize I may be out all alone on a limb, a position very familiar to me. When you’re fourteen and can’t name a single popular song that you like or want to own you pretty much have to accept the fact you’re not on the main trunk of the tree. 

Gets me to think. I wonder if you’ve noticed how challenges to think outside the box often come from thinkers so inside their own box assemblage they’d have trouble recognizing an outside idea even if it had fangs in their posteriors. I don’t claim immunity. Virtually everyone finds it easier going to follow the flow of their own internal logic and convenient stereotypes. We’d have a hell of a time functioning without the ease-along of stereotypical assumption. In fact, generally speaking, it’s a blessed relief to not only assume people will drive on the right side of the road, but enjoying the fact they’ll actually do so is conformity and assumption brought to life. 

Actually being outside our boxes and trying to function can be daunting. Is it really a form of fun to be in a noisy Russian train station trying to grasp snippets of info coming from sets of remote speakers? No, it’s actually rather stressful; same holding true in Hungary, Greece, Turkey, India, Egypt, and so on. A person has to figure things out on the ground and act accordingly. A diverse approach featuring info printed in fifteen scripts or repeated in fifteen languages over a PA would not only be very tedious to endure but might prove useless if the accent was impossible to decipher. Was that a greeting or something about a hollow statue? A diverse approach might only lead to additional confusion because you’d have that many more people bewildered getting things half right. I suspect any immigrant could tell you their language likely involves using the specific dialect they are accustomed to. All versions of Spanish or English (etc.) have to roll into one form. In a practical sense, then, uniformity or conformity might be more useful and easier to live with than diversity.

Thinking is not outside the box if it includes the unquestioned preconceptions already in the box of thought. To get out of the box it’s necessary to reject (intellectually or argumentatively at least) what we think is solidly true. I’ll stick with diversity because it’s already been introduced, is current, and is fun to play with. So the question might be “How big a strength is diversity?” If you have two dozen languages and competing points of view it’ll be a lot more difficult to find a consensus than with a smaller number of inputs. If one of those inputs is absolutely opposed to any compromise then the blessing of its diverse addition may be somewhat limited or altogether missing if that one is countered by an equally opposite input. Adding more diversity might not help at all, so we might consider that diversity by itself isn’t a key or what we’re after if a social solution is the goal. Diversity becomes a form of dividing up; in other words it might actually weaken society. But rest confident that the view of diversity stereotypically represented will be conflict free, at least superficially.

Picking on diversity as a topic to dispute is a decent outside the box target to work with. In the past when competition was routinely held up as diversity is today as a mythic splendor I took swats at it. I didn’t think competition was anywhere near the big deal it was made out to be. Oh, it played a part to be sure. But was competition the backbone and driving force of a society, of any society ever? I didn’t think so. If a society has no more than a common language that one element alone represents levels of cooperation not competition. There is societal agreement on the sounds used, the words and their meanings (wood means wood and not granite for example), and on the way those things are strung together. Understanding a common language represents a whole lot of cooperative acts and behaviors. Language can be used competitively, but it along with most all we do is/are cooperation much more than competition. But being strong because of competition sounded good so we kept it even if it wasn’t particularly correct.

Taking tours outside the box can be refreshing or even liberating. The other day I was perusing the benefits of progressive socialism and had to lament that others had already taken all the good things like guaranteed education, income, and medicine. Damn, it’s annoying to come late to the table, but if you’re outside the box you might spy a very attractive leftover the conventional reformers have overlooked. The needy, less fortunate, have-nots, and immigrants all get play regarding status and state recognition. Even their dreams are protected as sacred rights. So OK, I’ll go along with that, but why are we leaving out the sexually underprivileged? Seems to me sexual socialism would be just as applicable and viable as any other human need; say money, housing, food, and health service.

Sexual socialism is something deserving of a good hard look. Just because some people are old, unattractive, odorous, or have a nasty disposition doesn’t mean their human needs and rights to erotic congress can be ignored. Those favored, fortunate, and blessed with an abundance of human capital have an obligation to share with the less fortunate. It’s about time the favored few (more than 1% I’d estimate) are told to step up to the plate and serve the good of the rest of society and especially the downtrodden, ignored, and downcast. We have the available people power to send out to those areas in need. To sleep with the homeless is a true virtue. Think of the happiness of the homeless hobo having something to cheer them on a winter night.