When older son was four or five, one of our — childless — friends tried to chide him by telling him he was impossible. At which point son fixed her with his most pedantic stare and informed her “No. I’m merely improbable.”
He was right about that. As am I. As are a number of people here. The amount of coincidence and strangeness needed for us to exist, much less exist as we do would strain the pen of the most fantastic novelist.
However, today, in church — of all places — I was meditating on the power of being impossible. Of doing the impossible. Of saying what is not said and doing what’s not done.
No, I’m not actually talking about the resurrection, or being G-d incarnate. This being Palm Sunday we didn’t touch on those, but on the interview with Pilate. I was thinking about the sheer unmitigated impossibility of someone looking at a Roman governor, backed by the might of Rome and giving pert answers like “You say that I am.”
Later on, that utter, unmitigated gall and impossibility helped the growth of Christianity to an enormous amount because these insane people went into the arena singing, happy to die for the faith. Who does that? That’s impossible.
And don’t get me started on picking up unwanted kids and raising them, not as slaves, but as their own. Who in a highly tribal ancient world would even do that? That’s impossible, right?
Doing the impossible gets you noticed, even when — particularly when — you do it from a position of weakness, and yet you dare.
America is, in many ways, an impossible country. We are, actually, despite every attempt to make us otherwise, a functional, cohesive multi-racial nation. (No, we don’t rise to multicultural. Sighs. Guys, seriously. Yes, there are differences between our states. We’re not monolothic, but America identity still transcends all that. In fact, as an identity/base culture American is as persistent as Roman and that…. is still around in many ways, in lands the Romans never trod. There is more difference between adjacent European villages than between NY state and TX.)
And we have a way to do things to rules and mandates from above, that frankly no decent country would do. And by “decent” I mean predictable. (So I’m glad we’re not decent.) You can distort America, but you can’t control her.
No, not even the covidiocy managed it. Yeah, some places got really bad. But mostly? Bah. Spring of 2020, traveling across the midwest, we found more signs on the highway saying some small town was “Fully open for business” and “no masks” than I care to say. (And btw, the fact those towns weren’t dead means that the entire thing was crazy. And yes, of course we stopped. Do we look stupid to you?)
I suspect Europe was more easily commanded, at least from what I’ve seen, but it’s hard to tell, because their media is stupider than ours if you can imagine that.
I do know that these food shortages and things they’re expecting? Well, I don’t know about you, but all our neighbors are merrily turning lawn in to vegetable beds. (We intend to start this week. I hope I can find onion sets not sold out. I should have done it last week, but we’ve been busy.) I suspect our “overlords” are going to find their eyes spit upon when they try to put on the squeeze. It’s not just all those weapons we keep losing at the bottom of watercourses. (Seriously, guys, would you learn to canoe already? Or stop taking your guns on pleasure cruises, no matter how bored they get?) it’s that… well, we’re a tinkering people.
I won’t say other countries don’t have hobbies. I do say other countries don’t engage their hobbies like we engage our hobbies. Heck, in the seventies, when bread makers in Portugal went on strike people were baffled because they’d never made bread. (To be honest that is very Roman. Bread comes from the bakery, after all.)
Here? I know people who make cheese, beer and bread for fun. Son and daughter in law made mead. (Never figured out if it was drinkable. I don’t LIKE mead.) People can and pickle, and preserve. (I WANT to buy a freeze drying machine, but they’re spendy and I haven’t braved myself to doing it. Sigh. I’m afraid we wouldn’t use it enough to justify it. OTOH we do have nearby friends I’m sure would be happy to have a turn. Um.) I know soap makers, quilters, weavers. I know tinkerers, who can keep machines going more or less indefinitely. Younger son is working very seriously on his 3-d printing skills partly so we can keep things going if pieces are scarce.
I suspect that as we get squeezed, the impossibility that is America will come out in all sorts of odd and interesting ways. Impromptu schools, Victory gardens in every corner, new ways of doing things with what’s on hand.
I suspect it, because we’ve done it in the past. And before you say that we weren’t the same people: The spirit is still there. If you don’t see it, you are in an odd/depressed area of the country. And hey, maybe you should set the example by doing the impossible.
Do the impossible today. Say no to an authority figure. Speak the truth, when a lie is adamantly demanded. Subversively cast doubt on what everybody knows by saying “Well, sure, but maybe–“
If you can’t be impossible, be highly improbable. Totalitarianism requires widgets and predictable subjects. Refuse to be that.
Oh, they won’t let your kids go to school? Start a homeschool pod. They say there will be famines? Sure, start an edible garden (Some are even pretty.) They are making war on beef? Arrange with friends to purchase a cow to grow. They close or try to close churches again? Bah. Gather with some friends to pray.
Be polite, be clear, but do not fall in.
They try to get you into a defensive mode? Refuse to apologize. They call you names? But why should you defend yourself? Just give them the cut direct.
Being impossible is hard. Trust me on this. I’ve been impossible for years, while people kept trying to bring me back in line. (Peculiar you say? Impossible.) I ramped up the impossible by doubting the whole covidiocy, while people came over to yell at me, about being so…. impossible, and while my mom was screaming at me in panic over the phone every year. I ramped up the impossible by refusing to be black pilled. And I intend to continue not being blackpilled, btw. Yeah, it’s a depressing time and sometimes holding on to hope seems impossible.
However not being impossible — giving in, folding, behaving as they expect us to — that’s the true impossibility.
So you see, I really have no choice but to continue being impossible.
And I suspect neither do you. I mean, I think the most compliant among you are at worst — best? — highly improbable. And some of you are in the realm of impossibility of an entire universe in the flame of a match.
This is good. Again, I tell you: Totalitarianism requires predictability.
Be unpredictable. Be impossible.
Prepare, organize, work, thrive.
Refuse to let the chintzy bastages of the Junta and their fellow travelers hold you down.
Who are they to give orders to Americans? Who are they to hold us down?
We are eagles, and we were meant to soar. And we’re going to.
They ain’t seen nothing yet.