Chuck Klosterman wrote that science fiction is philosophy for stupid people. I don’t disagree. I heard somewhere or from someone that philosophy is all about probing and nuance — the philosopher seeks to find the meaning behind the meaning. I guess if that’s the case, then the clobber you over the head style of Star Trek really doesn’t leave room for guesswork. I’m not slamming Star Trek. Hey, I’m a fan. But sometimes it really — well… ok, you’ve got a multiethnic, multiracial, intergalactic cast (did we hit all of the bases, here?), top it all off with TV’s first interracial kiss (despite the fact that Kirk and Uhura were forced to do it), and a Russian guy who pronounces his ‘v’s like ‘w’s — well, do we have to look too hard to see where this is all going? * you want to know how unsubtle Star Trek is? There’s an episode where there are these dudes that have black on one side of their faces and white on the other. They are having this big conflict with people who have white on one side of their faces and black on the other. That’s symbolic of… well, can you guess? By the way, the Russian alphabet has a ‘v’ in it. I know. I endured two years of that blasted language in high school. My point is, is that, even as a philosopher, I kind of like my thinking to go easy. I don’t like subtle or nuanced. I like in your face, I like flashpots, and fireworks, and subtitles! I like movies with full frontal nudity for absolutely no reason whatsoever that show violence in slow motion (wow, I drifted a little into Dennis Leary-land there). I used to sit in class and try to find ways to explain the most complex philosophical theory in one sentence of less. Because, I realized, I’m really a stupid person. What’s worse is that I’m a stupid person who realizes how stupid I am, yet maintains the delusion that I am smarter than other people. I guess, now that I’m thinking the word isn’t so much smarter than cleverer. Afterall, I managed to snare a philosophy degree, didn’t I? But then, if I were clever at all, I would have pursued something a little more marketable than a career in philosophy, wouldn’t I? No, no, this won’t do. I’ve got to lay off the negativity. It really is counterproductive. Now I know what all of those yahoos on Jerry Springer are going through! You know, the guy on the panel who is married to the woman who is sleeping around with his dad, his brother and half of the guys in (insert derogatory redneck term here) who insists that he still loves “his woman”? That’s me. I’ve gotten nothing but pain from philosophy. She sleeps around and makes other little theories that I don’t like and don’t want to take care of with other people, makes me feel intellectually inadequate and humiliates me in public, but I love her. I’ll stick with her even if she takes me on national TV and parades every guy with no teeth and hockey hair that she’s slept with in front of my face. I’m smitten. I’m the faithful idiot. I’m not even a useful idiot! Wait a minute. Where is all of this going? I think that, besides going absolutely nowhere with this, what I want to say all of this is working up to what I am about to confess right here and now: I once accused someone that I know (and that’s “know” in the sense that I more know of him than know him) on several occasions of being a “fence rider”. It all has to do with my objections to agnosticism and my position that someone who wants to profess any sort of belief in God should pick a side. Either go full-on atheist or pick a religion. Since I have picked a side (also condemning myself to eternal hellfire and damnation), I, for the life of me, can’t figure out why someone would ever claim being an agnostic. But that’s just a personal problem. Apparently others can handle ‘we can’t really be sure if there’s a God, so I’m not going to make a guess’ better than I. Well, I confess. As someone who had the gall ( I would have written ‘balls”, but that would have been a little crude) to say that I’m a “secular christian” I admit that I am the biggest fence rider of all — the atheist who claims that they still have “christian” values. Besides being a bit of a contradiction, it’s just plain stupid. But then, I don’t deny being that, either. Oh wait, I think that Star Trek:TNG might be coming on Spike right now. Gotta go. Enter the banjos!