Magical Thinking

Sometimes I resort to magical thinking—not because it makes sense, but rather, because sense itself is relative and I’m not so inclined to say this is right and that’s wrong. The modern era has given rise to heads that are more than willing to nod along to the music, going on to believe that institutions like science have brought us a better understanding of the world because they’ve hooked us up with fast burgers and slow methods of killing ourselves in socially acceptable ways.

In order to take a break from consumer pressure backed by white coats and bottom lines, I do the kind of magical thinking that tries to disprove the “knowing” about mental disorders or atoms. “Schizophrenics” are just more creative than normal people, because talking to trees and other unknown agents of nature is the type of communication reserved for only the most sensitive and patient of minds. Atoms? What are atoms? It’s all stuff to me.

Who cares if we ever found out that atoms exist? They have always existed, and will continue to do so whether or not we know about them. The awareness of such infinitesimal units of structure has done nothing to change their natural properties or their intentions for us. Intention is a facet of humanity, not of the universe. There is no inherent need for this knowledge except in the interest of manipulation for profit—to manifest yet another clever creation with a stock ticker symbol, claiming to be about the betterment of mankind. Having settled this matter, I move on to something else more fun.

Maybe a meteor didn’t kill the dinosaurs and they just found a better place to play, blasting off into space on a massive ship to colonize some other planet with more land—and less bullshit, like tar pits and mosquitoes. These were the thoughts that drowned my thinking as the narrator for a nature show tried pushing the idea that sharks and dinosaurs ruled the earth. A smug undertone injected into every syllable, his voice swelled with enough confidence to block out the sun while he painted prehistoric creatures as dumb animals just roaming around for food.

But maybe life back then was awesome and dinosaurs could talk. How would we ever know? Some white-coat would probably tell you that the absence of a stock exchange or a McDonald’s meant that dinosaurs couldn’t talk; I say, it’s evidence of superior intelligence. Just because they didn’t build a computer or a Starbucks doesn’t mean they couldn’t talk about other things—like how all the aforementioned are probably bad ideas, and that they should just stick to mating and the occasional blackjack night.

Maybe this is all very silly, and I get that; but pay attention to silly. People forget silly, and it’s really the seriousness you have to watch out for; there’s enough of that. There are times when, if only briefly, I have hope for science. Yet, the sincerity of its sales pitch often turns sour every time someone mentions wanting to stay in a hotel on the moon, or take a pill that makes your dick hard for an entire weekend, so I wonder: is all this really worth it? Or will our quest for perfection and certainty destroy us completely?

It’s important that I be clear about something: I’m not against science, for indeed it has paved the way for much needed social change as well as technological. The problem isn’t with “knowing” per say, but rather with how it’s sold: as a solution to everything. Curiosity is fine, but there’s too much concern with an outward search for perfection, and science encourages this with a firm declaration of objectivity. The lure of “knowing” has become a cult for the legitimate pursuit of control and ultimate perfection, when truly, none can ever be found or understood completely.

Despite its few beneficial contributions, science is also really great at providing us with the necessary language and guile to exploit others and create new markets based on “facts”. Without science you couldn’t sell anything well enough to make a few people rich while everyone else starved, and maybe that’s a good enough goal for some people, but I don’t get it, and so, I’d rather dream of something else until the final curtain drops on this show.

Matthew Rosario

American / Writer / Musician