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appropriate (-ATE & -ut)

March 22, 2021

33 of 40

I think I love English because I know no other language (eg “know” & “no”).

The humanity of hubris is on full blast in the Sequester Echo Chambers of the InterWebNets. These last years many things we invented are now known as inventions, not facts. Sometimes we appropriate to make the appropriate.

Maybe humans are not good with quiet. The noise and horror of the Civil War was quietly changed to, for some, the “Noble Loser” appropriation of a terrible disaster. That distortion dominated some places for a century after the veterans themselves left us.

In that quiet time between the Civil War and World War 1 Christopher Columbus came to be someone who “discovered” an entire half world that had always been there.

We forget this, because it is hard to remember, but cutting edge science had a wing in those years, in great academic institutions, that fully assumed that those scientists who were in science where the peak of an evolutionary mountaintop: eugenics. White males were scientifically verified by white males to be the apogee of creation.

We appropriate truths to make them appropriate for what we want to believe.

In the 21st Century, there are many who think that Jesus is right up there with Columbus and Stonewall Jackson. A human whose life is not history, but a validation of your beliefs. 30% of professing Christians do not believe in the Resurrection.

30% of all of us will not take a vaccine. 30% of us believe Donald Trump is still President. These are fully disparate groups, with nothing held in common but their humanity.

But our humanity, this fully distinctive fixation with fixation, that appropriates, that deems things appropriate, is itself a miracle in its fully unnecessary central importance.

We can follow down the rabbit holes of self-justification or we can, maybe, pause this moment between winter and spring. Between a year of plague, sequestration and fear, and leaving that fear in an empty syringe. Between a year spent in Lent and now a place of Easter.

Before we rush to appropriate some model of what is appropriate, just experience this moment’s ju-jitsu flip of our fixations. Of course horrors need prevention, correction, even discovery. But we deal with the worst.

The reality of our ability to completely distort the physical realities around us to make our own, personal, reality better, or simply acceptable, does not mean that we are worthless beyond being wrong. We are just human. We did not make ourselves.

The miracle of our surviving our own insanity is the best indication that our rationalizations ignore the beauty that is at the center of life.

Apparently with no surprise

To any happy Flower

The Frost beheads it at its play —

In accidental power —

The blonde Assassin passes on —

The Sun proceeds unmoved

To measure off another Day

For an Approving God.

Emily Dickinson

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