By John Thomas Tuft
It was decreed at the beginning that every ten years there would be a humanpalooza. Early on in the history of the human race, it was decided that humans would be the center of the universe and every ten years the humans would gather to rededicate themselves to this same principle. Now some may see this as the actual mother of all iterations of conspiracy theories, some may see it as the birthplace of the “white man’s burden” form of thinking, yielding empires, angel food cake, and bowling. It was an early humanpalooza that codified the rule that every new generation declares their parents to be sadly misinformed, unable to dress themselves or appreciate good music. So, it came to pass that sliced bread is continually reinvented in some cultures and never invented in others. One of the few exceptions turns out to be the invention of the wheel unless, of course, the History Channel can find a way to anoint it as the product of some alien visit.
Now, being the center of the entire universe, that is to say—assigning meaning to all of existence while being the derivers of all meanings–forms a perfect circle. You don’t argue with humanpalooza. Stories have beginnings, middles, and ends. Thus it was decreed. Unless… it is my own story. And one of the earliest humanpaloozas declared that love can never be a weapon. Unless… it is my love. An ocean of laws later, we still feel like we are drowning in our cleverness.
This was around the same time that the early humanpaloozas came up with the concept of language. Forty gazillion words later we still have not figured out how to talk to each other. They forgot to handle listening. Some historians claim that the early humanpaloozas were simply looking for a way of dealing with silence. Some claim that every humanpalooza since then has been trying to figure out how to regain silence.
At one point, the humanpaloozas declared the need for religions. If humans are the arbiters of meaning and the meaning of arbiters, then by God, let’s act like it. From that early humanpalooza to the next, ten years later, umpteen religions were invented. Ever since, humanpaloozas have wrestled with the question, can meanings change? If the founding principle of the human race is to be the center of the universe, then how can meanings change?
Early on, the humanpaloozas tried to deal with the quests for cultures. One early challenge was to the pleasure of licking the spoon from making chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Some said the work is the pleasure, the licking the reward. Some fussed about raw eggs, but they were shouted down. Others claimed that the reward was a right, and rights cannot be challenged. In the fullness of time it came to pass, that after the latest humanpalooza, in some parts of the world one can touch a finger to a piece of glass and, by some devil’s magic, within hours chocolate chip cookie dough will be delivered to your doorstep for instant licking. Leaving the question unexamined for future humanpaloozas, is religion a right or working on a permanent question mark?
Some humanpaloozas have been utter failures. The Dark Ages and the 1950s come to mind. Some humanpaloozas have seen fit to enshrine themselves as monuments of revolutionary change and that shabbiest of divinities, progress. The decision to change marking of time from BC to AD remains a head scratcher. Those resisting are seen as outliers and attempts are made to exclude them from the humanpaloozas. The decisions to keep kicking the cans of population and climate problems down the road has some questioning the value of the humanpaloozas, but when you are the center of the universe, who will ever present a worthy challenge?
The first post pandemic humanpalooza is scheduled for 2022. Popular workshops are expected to include: Making Narcissism Work for You; Boredom: Worse Than Genocide?; and the always standing room only panel: If We Have Unlimited Imaginations, Why Are Human Suicide Rates Climbing? Oprah is expected to do a globally watched interview with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, MBS, because we all know that royalty are secretly wishing that they could trade places with us. The keynote address on Race and Justice: Are Guns the Answer? has been put on hold until the sponsors can figure out a way to make money on it. And I have it on good authority that there will be a booth at this humanpalooza, off to the side, back in the corner where first come, first served, you can sit in five minutes of silence, and lick the bowl from making chocolate chip cookie dough.
Hope to see you there.
Words are magic and writers are wizards.