The need for moderate voices in public discussion (or Cover your mouth when you cough)

So I keep hearing that my body is mostly made up of bacteria. I am apparently nothing more than a containment vessel for all kinds of microscopic flora and fauna. More of me is not me than is me.

In a way, I am kind of relieved. I like to believe that human beings are basically decent people. But every day I see and hear of people who do horrible things to one another. From child soldiers to suicide bombers to faith healers that steal the life savings from sick and desperate, I was at a loss to explain the evil I saw in the world.

But now I think I have the answer. We are just outnumbered. We are at the mercy of biology. Like the Martians from War of the Worlds, we have no defense against the onslaught of miniature warriors that assault us daily. And for some reason I can’t explain, these parasites want us to do the strangest things.

Like the recent attacks on health care. There are some people in the media and politics who would have you believe that women taking control of their reproductive systems was a bad thing. It has been five decades since we invented the birth control pill but we are still debating, in a world bursting at the seams with people, whether or not it is a good thing. There are actually people who lobby against vaccines, arguably the biggest life saver of all time. The catholic church comes out against condoms even though millions are being infected with AIDS and other STI’s. But drugs for impotence get funded by insurance five minutes after the drug companies come out with them.

It doesn’t make sense, unless…of course! There is a vast viral conspiracy to take control of the world. They want a lot of humans and they want us sick. The little one-celled critters are using us as breeding grounds to make more of their evil kindred. They will eventually evolve into a superior life form and then get rid of us once and for all!

Or it may be that the vast majority of sane, rational people choose not to engage in the extreme rhetoric that marks modern political discussion. The media have turned reporting the news into selling false controversies because it makes for better ratings. Small minds with big ambitions are driving our society towards the lowest common denominator.

But I would argue that is precisely why we need moderate views in the public forum. If all that people hear is the nonsense, they begin to believe it. Getting involved with the world around you is the difference between having a dream and living the dream. So if you are of sound mind, cast off your doubt and apathy and jump into fight. We need you now.

Also, if you make a complete fool of yourself you can always say the microbes made you do it.

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Crazed recluse and sociophobe who has taken up writing after failing at everything else. Send pizza.

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March 2012
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