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Youth of Moses, Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli, circa 1481
" … some days, I even suspect myself."

Those in the know come to understand that everything's a conspiracy, and this might well be true. I gratefully live out of the know, largely unconnected, absent that conspiracy-minded spirit. I see ample evidence of a vast right wing conspiracy rooted way back in the Confederacy and dedicated to utterly undermining any threat of representative democracy encroaching on their autocracy. Most of us were certified under some form of neoliberal indoctrination, with "friendly" corporations funding special programs, even whole departments, at our so-called public universities. We come to hate commies, love Jesus, despise taxes, own guns, and distrust our own government. We weren't born wanting any of that. A conspiracy was probably behind it, but so what? So what?

ConSpiriting, that hounding sense that some deep dark conspiracy's actually behind most everything, cannot be disproven.
The more anyone investigates, the more evidence appears. Suspicions deepen and a sense of overwhelming futility settles in, which the conspirators rightly count as also a definite win. Conspiracies produce damned whatever you do results for anyone tracking down the sources of the continuing insults. Even when finally identifying the root cause of the problem, how might one go about unseating them, those who so blithely thumb their noses at every accusation? No, you're not wrong, but who's able to restore your violated rights?

I try to stay well under the radar and remain aware of the nefarious forces surrounding me there. I'm paranoid without constructing my whole damned lifestyle around it. They
are out to get me, or would most likely get me if I was the least bit interested in threatening their hegemony. I figure that I'm no obvious threat to anybody and my freedom requires me to make a few choices. I try to stay well away from the park where the BIG dogs play. I see right through their conspiracies, but never enviously. They might expect me to try to grab my share from their zero-sum holdings where any other's success seems like a loss to them, but I might have out-smarted them. I don't want what they have, a condition I expect they cannot comprehend. They have no power to take away anything I hold as really worthwhile to me. I let them be, which might be privilege.

There was a time, however, when I'd first come to see through the veil, when I felt compelled to tell a competing truth; for what purpose, I honestly cannot recall. I probably figured I might be able to help others avoid falling into what I'd come to see as a trap, though I had not yet to come to understand that everyone probably has to fall into that trap, then find their way back out of it again if they feel so moved to attempt that. Prevention's probably a delusion. Some percentage of whatever one imprints upon later turns out to be a lie, but no filter could prevent assimilating most of it. A decent life's work seems largely comprised of getting over shit. That might just be the way it is, or if it isn't that way, I know of no reasonably life-affirming alternative. Wallowing as victim to some vast and faceless conspiracy seems like a lousy way to exist. I leave to Caesar what probably belongs to Ceasar and focus upon what I can rightly call my own.

Equality? A probable fantasy. Fraternity? One of those clubs I'd not agree to join if invited. Liberty? A consciously delineated space within which I'm free to aspire to become me and nobody else. I acknowledge that not everyone aspires to become themselves, and might reasonably aim to become like some exemplar other elevated above and beyond mere self. They might successfully conspire to achieve that selflessness, mammon to my eyes. Yes, there are truly nefarious bastards out there. I know another insult's coming, though I know not from where. I'm wary but hardly dissuaded from living. I can be forgiving without expecting anything in return. I expect the conspirators to eventually burn in Hell, but I'm hardly Heaven-bound myself. I'm not in the know, but I still understand that pretty much everything but me's a conspiracy, and some days, I even suspect myself.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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