Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rough Night Of Considering Entropy

Despite being completely exhausted and (for once) sensibly going to bed as soon as the boys were down (around 9:00), I only slept for about five hours. Part of that was the cat - he tends to get annoyed when people are sleeping in the loft bed, and frequently starts meowing plaintively in the middle of the night - but I told him to shut up and he actually did, and I really should have been able to go right back to sleep after that. I think I've been doing that thing where I'm really not getting enough sleep, so I'm exhausted, so I push harder to get things done, so I get even less sleep. Though come to think of it, I also took some Theraflu before I went to bed, and slept pretty deeply - this could easily be a combination of sleeping (and breathing) better than usual, and my body being on a schedule where it thinks it's supposed to wake up after five or so hours.

...Which is fine, insofar as I do feel rested. Unfortunately, I feel rested at 1:30 in the morning, which is probably not going to help me at work tomorrow. And I woke up both depressed and adrenalized. There are several things that are probably contributing to that, too. we're in the middle of a season of big transitions at work, which is both frustrating (as it has a lot of things on hold) and slightly terrifying (as I think some of our systems are going to break down in ways that our current staff won't be able to fix). Our elected officials seem to be making a concerted effort to tear down the government that employs them - I'd single out Trump and Bannon, but I can make a decent case that tearing down the government has been part of the overall Republican platform for a couple of decades now. (I think that a lot of the people who voted for these clowns specifically to tear down government programs - repeal Obamacare, get rid of "entitlements", rid of governmental oversight and the "nanny state" - are going to be unpleasantly surprised when things actually start to fall apart as a result of all that tear-it-down policy, but somehow that isn't making me feel any better about it.) On top of all that, a friend of mine died a couple of weeks ago. I can't say he was a close friend, and we were friends mostly online (but not exclusively so - when he came to Texas a few years back, I organized a sort of "welcome to hell" party for him, and he dragged me out to a couple of concerts while he lived here in town, with some really excellent music that I wouldn't have known about otherwise). So, yeah: we weren't incredibly close friends, but he was one of those bright, erudite, funny people who, even if they never accomplish anything super dramatic, make a big difference to the world in countless small ways. I miss him. The world is a darker place without him.

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. I almost never used to feel that way, but by God I'm feeling it now. I can totally see how God -- if He's out there -- could look at the world and think that human beings weren't such a good idea after all. Admittedly, I'd still try to sway Him with the old "What if you only find one righteous man?" argument. The world we have may not be perfect, but I still think it's worth preserving.

But I'm honestly not worried about any sort of divine judgement or retribution, not even if our country is guilty of the sin of Sodom (the one described by Ezekiel 16:49, mind you, not the one everybody thinks of as sodomy). That's one of the advantages of being an atheist. No, if everything falls apart it will all be on us.

And I suppose that's what really worries me: I'm coming to grips with the deep, visceral realization that human beings can look at all the advantages we have, all the programs we've put in place to make our collective lives better, or at least less miserable -- from support for the arts, public libraries, and school lunches right on up to public schools, political compacts designed to keep Europe from erupting into world-engulfing wars every 20-50 years, vaccines, drinkable water and breathable air -- that people can look at all those things and conclude, "Eh, we're better off without 'em." I'm pretty sure there was a time when I thought that wasn't possible.

Now I'm pretty sure it's happening.


  1. It is pretty scary. I hope that maybe..just maybe, we are on the verge of a quiet revolution and good will overcome. Of course that has never happened. I think of how stoked I would be now if I were still a believer. Jesus is certainly near, even at the door.

  2. I like the way you think, Alice. I sure hope you're right.


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