Playing Doctor

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Wednesday, March 16

Uncynical Wednesdays

Two years ago, my aunt had a lovely party for my sister and I. She had just seen a Disney ‘documentary’ on ‘Searching for Atlantis.’

She talked about the search around the world for the lost city and how they had found it. At first I was going to challenge her, but at my first objection, she countered: ‘Erik, Disney is a huge corporation. They are not going to put this on the air if it isn’t true.’

I thought about pointing out they had just released an animated film about Atlantis, but saw that would go nowhere, so I decided to sit back and just enjoy the ride.

She was telling us that satellite photos had now confirmed Atlantis’s location between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula.

I was saying, “Really? I had no idea!”

She showed us clippings and articles from newspapers and magazines.

She’s so intelligent, loving and trusting.

Though Cognitive Science is not advanced enough to prove it, I suspect there are neurotransmitters in our brains that cause us to doubt the veracity of information we recieve.

I clearly have an excess of it.

I wish I could donate some of mine to the needy.


Blogger hot babe writes:

So some Wednesdays are less "uncynical" than others?

I really miss the days of believing in the Loche Ness Monster, Big Foot & Atlantis. Sometimes, I wish I could go back to those days but I don't think I could live through my acne days again.


Anonymous Another Dan writes:

When I think of "Atlantis" I think of the poet Mark Doty's book of the same name. "Atlantis" becomes a metaphor for the disappearance of whole gay communities that died of AIDS and that have been lost to this generation with a trace.
Young gay people have no sense of this history or the loss it seems. Over 50,000 people have died in Florida from AIDS. Would Bush have won in 2000 if most of them were still alive to vote? Sorry this isn't in the theme of Uncynical Wednesdays as you have defined it, but these are just some thought I felt I should share.


Blogger Erik writes:

Um...Non-sequitur anyone?

Mark and my sister used to hang out in Iowa City. They would walk their dogs together in the park. Mark wasn't very good about keeping his dog’s nails trimmed.

The notion that youth has no sense of history has been leveled since the advent of notions, where the non-notion elders leveled it at the youth that had notions. Americans are particularly good at forgetting our history, and it is one of our strengths as a nation. The MidEast would do well to have our sense of amnesia.

And while Bush would have lost in 2000 if they were still alive. Had instead the 50,000 come back from the dead in 2004, and each of them convinced six members of their family to vote for Kerry, Bush still would have won. I’m not sure either of those two non-historical speculations has any meaning.

But maybe it does speak to wanting to believe in Atlantis. If we believe we were better in the past it allows us to hope we can return to enlightenment.

But, Hot Babe, doubting something’s veracity ≠ cynicism.

Being Uncynical doesn’t mean being naive. It means believing in my aunt’s earnestness. It means believing that, even though she was saying things I thought were foolish, I didn’t think she was foolish for believing them.

Maybe that is a strange distinction to make, but haven’t you noticed that even the most brilliant of people believe all kinds of silly things. And dullards and assholes can often cut to the root of a problem.

Part of being Uncynical, for me, is remembering that my ability to discern what is false makes me liable to miss untypical truths.


Blogger hot babe writes:

I was referring to your last line that you should perhaps share you overabundace of truth detecting neurotransmitters with the needy. It implied to me that you were wanting to demystify things for those that do believe in the unbelievable.

On the other hand, it could be interpreted that you were hoping to rid yourself of your excess so that you could see the hidden truths.

My cynical nature led me to the former raher than the latter.


Anonymous Another Dan writes:

Maybe this post would be better for Uncynical Wednesday, but I do want to beleive in Atlantis too. For if there is an Atlantis, then there can also be hope that we all should be able to rise out of whatever abyss we may be it physical, emotional, spiritual...and become known again.


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