Sometimes life is a scavenger hunt. We want grand epiphanies, but we usually spend our lives looking for kernels of truth, trying to assemble those kernels into rational order. At least some of us do. Sometimes I feel everybody else is content with “the truth as we know it” and maintaining the status quo. Doing something would require effort, so let someone else deal with it and let them make any necessary sacrifices.
Finding kernels of truth is made harder when people are intent on hiding facts. How do we really know what’s going on in the world? Conspiracy theories wouldn’t exist if there weren’t cover ups. That doesn’t mean all conspiracy theories are true, but that doesn’t mean they’re all false either. The theories exist because the government documents action plans for swamp gas instead of trusting the public with the truth.
I had sex ed in 6th grade. In the days of black and white film strips, I learned about my internal plumbing, egg, sperm, etc. Okey dokey. I wasn’t traumatized by any of it, and it didn’t make me interested in having a baby. The only interesting aspect of the lessons was that the boys were segregated to the male teacher’s room while I went with the girls to the ancient spinster’s room. Why? Were the boys getting the same information that I was getting?
When the spinster was done with us, I went back to Mr. Strnad’s class with the other girls. He passed out index cards and said that if we had any questions, we could write them down anonymously on the cards and he would answer them. Well yes, as it turned out, I did have a question because while I understood all those internal plumbing diagrams, I didn’t understand how the sperm got in there in the first place. As far as I knew, it was a closed system. The best I could figure it, the man must put the sperm in a glass and the woman must drink it, because how else could it get inside? I know Mr. Strnad read my question because I was the only one who wrote in green ink, and I saw him read it before putting it back in the pile. I was both confused and indignant. It was a good question, and I thought he should’ve answered it, so I told on him to my dad, but Dad just thought it was funny and laughed. In answer to my persistence, he said “How would I know? We just found you in the garden one day and decided to keep you.” I may be a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. I had younger brothers and had seen a direct correlation between Mom getting fat followed by a baby, so I complained to Sis about how the adults were trying to hide things from me…
“NO WAY!!!” Yes, Sis insisted, it really did go that way. “NO!?” Yes, really.
So, when I hear about conspiracy theories, I pause and listen. People who can lie about the birds and bees can lie about anything including Santa Claus, assassination plots, UFO’s, and extramarital affairs. Long before 9/11, I listened to someone (whom I quite honestly thought was a nut job) telling me about Bush Jr.’s plans to get us into a Middle Eastern war as a way to funnel money into Halliburton. My initial response was about as receptive as my response to the birds and bees, but as it turns out, the guy was right. All we can do is continue our scavenger hunt for kernels of truth, whether it be about world events, what happens between people when the door is closed, or maybe string theory. Alright, I have to admit it, I haven’t bought into string theory yet – but there are other mysteries out there, and we’ll only learn answers when we ask a lot of questions.