Dearest Rachel –
For all the times recently that I’ve gone into detail about this or that dream, there are those that I can’t relate to you – at least, not here. Sometimes, like this morning, it’s simply because the moment I open my eyes, everything pops like an enormous soap bubble. The only thing that I can remember at all is the image of a shoulder tattoo on at least two of the characters within the ‘story’ that resembled the logo of the Rebel Alliance from the Star Wars franchise; apart from that, nothing.
Other stories, whether dreams or real life memories, simply can’t be related in a relatively public forum like this. I wrote down one from just this weekend that I know I can’t publish, just so that I can remember it, but it’s frustrating to have to accept that it will never otherwise see the light of day. To a certain extent, it’s as if I wasted my time committing it to text in the first place. Then again, it’s not as if you’ll read what I have written, regardless of whether it’s widely disseminated or if it’s confined to a single hard drive in my possession, so why should it matter? It’s a waste of time in either case, isn’t it?
But it is somewhat frustrating to have to censor oneself from time to time, especially in situations that might otherwise be considered fairly common. I recall reading about one of Charlie Chaplin’s divorce proceedings, where among so many other things, he was accused of a certain practice, to which he responded, incredulously, “but all married couples do that!” causing something of a scandal at the time. That’s as may be, Charlie (and I still recall to this day, honey, about a friend of yours from one of your ladies’ Bible study groups who bragged about how her husband was particularly adept at that same thing, which caused me to view him in a different light ever thereafter), but they don’t admit to it, especially since, at the time, it was still a violation of the state penal code to do so. Of course, California has come a very long way since then.
But the Internet can be a fairly dangerous place for certain public proclamations. It has often seemed to me that one needs to have one’s Miranda rights read to them every time they log on, because it’s quite true that everything you say can and will be held against you in the court of public opinion. And that can almost be more dangerous than a real life court of law.
I recently heard about a book entitled something like “Three Felonies a Day,” indicating that there are enough and obscure laws on the books that any ordinary individual violates at least three laws every day without knowing it – the point of the book being that anyone could be put away for anything at any time because of it, and the authorities would be perfectly within their rights to so, since the laws exist. A simple drive on the interstate – or even your average side street – should be sufficient to prove this hypothesis. Not that our government is the first, or unique, in this practice – to a certain extent, it was something of the whole point of the Hebraic Torah, that mankind is simply incapable of existing without violating one or another of God’s laws, and is thus in need of some form of external salvation from His wrath.
Of course, we don’t get pulled over on the highway for exceeding the speed limit by some five or ten miles because if the police did that, they would literally have to corral the entirety of the driving public – and while this might be a boon for a municipality when it comes to collecting fines, it would likely raise complaints of selective enforcement if they couldn’t catch and punish every single violator (and ironically, by definition, the most egregious violators would be the least likely for them to do so to) – thus hindering traffic in a way that goes against the whole purpose of a highway system in the first place; that of facilitating a faster and more efficient means of getting to particularly significant points A and B. So, despite the laws on the books, there is a certain unwritten leeway granted to us that we just have to be aware of as we make our way between those points, lest we be run over by the speeding mob.
But that speeding mob that makes up society is also filled with various unwritten rules that restrict us from certain activities, even as they free us up to move faster in others. Running your car too fast is acceptable within limits; running your mouth, not so much. The penalties can be harsh, too; social ostracism, loss of influence among others, and in certain extreme situations, there can be real-world consequences, such as the loss of one’s employment and the harassment of ‘doxxing’ which, while theoretically illegal, seems to be part of society’s arsenal of weaponry in punishing individuals in pursuit of a ‘righteous’ cause.
The trouble is, society isn’t particularly good at determining ‘righteousness.’ Made entirely up of flawed human beings, who are (as mentioned above) incapable of keeping all of God’s long-established rules as to how to, if not be righteous, at least avoid unrighteousness, we are as effective at deciding right from wrong on a corporate level as a colony of ants might be in impersonating a human. They might be able to assume a humanoid form, and might even find a way to mimic bipedal locomotion, but the results would be horrifying to observe, and human thought would be far beyond their ability – to say nothing of being able to express such thoughts.
Which brings me back to those many things I feel I cannot say to you. Even if I were to assert, like Charlie Chaplin, that ‘everybody does this,’ I have to hold my tongue, lest I be held accountable to one of these walking ant colonies that claims to be a judge of what is or is not acceptable speech these days. Worse yet, since the rules are unwritten, what is fine today may be grounds for cancellation tomorrow, since nothing is set in stone. Would that I wasn’t concerned what other people thought!
But that would be only if I was truly writing to you, where no other people would see it. Maybe it’s my own motivations that ought to be brought into question.
While I sort this out, honey, keep an eye out for me, and wish me luck. I’m clearly going to need it.