Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On the Pool of Profundity, and Why One Shouldn't Always Dive Right In

Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of diving into a body of water, only to have it be far more shallow than you were expecting? If so, hopefully it didn't paralyze you, and hopefully you'll agree that it's terribly unpleasant. I recently had this happen to me while driving behind a vehicle in Augusta.

I should add that this was a metaphorical dive into a metaphorical body of water, and that the injury was no so much to my spine as it was to the well-being of my mind.

The springboard of sorts was a bumper sticker. You see, whenever I read something that has even the slightest chance of being interesting, my brain leaps upon it with a ravenous hunger. As I came to a stop behind this vehicle at a traffic light, one bumper sticker jumped out at me. It said:

"If you can't change your mind, are you sure you still have one?"

And so my mind mind sprung into action. The result, as I've indicated above, was very similar to diving into the shallow end of a pool. If the pool of profundity can be said to have a deep end, that's the one I feel most comfortable in. If this bumper sticker could be said to have been floating in the pool of profundity, it most certainly was floating by the steps in the shallow end. Maybe even half-draped out of the pool.

But really; change my mind about what? I can think of plenty of instances where not changing one's mind about something is a perfectly reasonable attitude. In fact, I can think of circumstances where the only reasonable stance is that of steadfast adherence. Would the maker of this bumper sticker really say that a person who refuses to change their mind regarding the necessity of pants in public might very well be lacking a mind? Or what about a person's opinion on the permissibility of murder? I'd say that if someone is convinced that it's probably not a good idea to senselessly slaughter innocent people, then it's actually a little rude and stupid of you to insult them by suggesting that their unwillingness to budge on that point suggests some sort of mental deficit. And I'm also fairly sure that the person who changes their mind to decide that jabbing their finger into their own eye every few minutes is a good idea is the person who maybe should be unsure as to whether or not they still have a mind.

The sad thing about the fact that such a bumper sticker exists is not so much that a company employs enough dim people to let something so obtuse slip through to production, but that there are individuals out there who think that the quote it contains is profound enough to warrant slapping it on the back of their vehicle. And last I checked, bumper stickers, when left on for an extended period of time and exposed to the elements, do this lovely thing where they sort of fuse to the back of your vehicle and help drive its value down. Especially really stupid bumper stickers. Which, incidentally, also help to drive down people's opinions of you.

In sum, I refuse to change my mind when it comes to entertaining such a bumper sticker as something with any value whatsoever. If that means I've lost my mind, then haul me away.

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