Let’s talk about people who live in a fake world they create.
They have a philosophy called Solipsism. And when you strip away the academic claptrap and the pinheaded arguments it boils down to “I am the only thing I’m sure is real.”
Boil a little longer and it becomes “Only I exist and you and all else are products of my imagination.”
Sounds silly, right? Well, it is. And it’s also widespread and spreading faster.
Solipsism allows you to pretend there’s life out there. But it also gives you the fallback position: It’s only my imagination.
It comes in three broad forms: Orthodox/Traditionalist, Conservative and Reform.
The Orthodox/Traditionalism observes like the original Solipsist who fervently believed that he or she is the only reality on earth. They observe the Solipsist Holy Day (their birthday.)
The Conservative branch follows most of the teachings of the Orthodox/Traditionals, but allows for the possibility that the bus racing toward them at 45 mph might actually be there. So, they are conservative in the sense that they are slow to change but not dead set against it.
The Reform movement is Solipsism Lite. As in beer, it tastes more or less like it should, makes fewer demands on your system and is hailed as an easy way to live in the society they’ve created in their imaginations. But it’s still solipsism.
Those who don’t subscribe to this loopiness often wondered what happened when two Orthodox Solipsists met. The question is less critical for the other two denominations.
Now, what is the practical result of all this highfalutin’ philosophizing?
That’s the easy part.
Rude behavior of every possible description. A disrespect for life unless it’s a blob of unborn and partly formed protoplasm. A disrespect for the miserable driver ahead of you -- the one man (or woman) traffic jam. A person of great girth who blocks the supermarket aisle while taking forever to decide which vegetables to put in the cart to lovingly carry home and eat between the chocolate cake and the Wendy’s triple cheeseburger.
But these are just minor annoyances. Some Solipsists are doctors or dentists. And some of them are patients.
Don’t worry about all that blood. Head injuries tend to bleed profusely. Plus “I’m only imagining the blood.”
And some run for public office.
“You are not the only pebble on the beach.” -- Pearl Richards (1908-1987)
-By the time Sears drops dead -- which looks like it’ll be soon -- no one will care or even notice.
-A small Sears had 15 grand worth of eyewear stolen the other day, proving that with no one on hand to watch the store and no one on hand to buy anything it’s open season on whatever’s lying around.
--A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania announced a “second amendment rally.” Admission is free, advance reservations are required and there will be metal detectors at the door. Anyone who doesn’t set them off will be ejected.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016