Everyone has trips.
By that I mean everyone has thoughts, desires or fantasies they fear might disgust other people. Often they’re right about this.
Even if you’re straight, even if you’ve been happily married for 30 years, even if you’ve always been true and plan to remain true, you probably have trips. Hopefully your loved one is aware of them. Maybe, if you’re real lucky, they share them. And if you’re extremely lucky those trips impact no other lives but your own.
One of the key political differences of our time involves what to think about our trips.
- Conservatives deny trips. They want no official acknowledgment of them. They have a wide-ranging view of what constitute trips. Your trips disgust them. So, often, do their own trips. But there is a frisson of excitement for them about trips. Take away the forbidden fruit aspect of trips, they think, and trips become worthless.
- Liberals accept trips. They often think official acknowledgment of some trips is a good thing, as in the case of homosexuality. Just close the door, all of you. They may have a narrower view of what trips are, and their own trips generally don’t disgust them. Yours, on the other hand, maybe you should keep them to yourself.
Unlike many observers I find no hypocrisy in the idea of "closet queens" supporting anti-gay legislation, or of pedophile preachers condemning themselves to hell. These people genuinely disgust themselves. They see their own desires as evil, their own souls as twisted, and they seek to compensate by demanding that trips be viewed widely and kept out of sight.
Conservatives believe privacy means that your non-trip behavior
stays secret, while your trip behavior must be kept even-more secret.
Liberals believe privacy means your trips are your trips, and so long
as your trips don’t get in the way of anyone else’s trips that’s cool.
The idea of trips as being something other than forbidden, as
automatically evil, is a pretty new one. It is, on the whole, a
bourgeoisie concept, an idea that only becomes viable once we have the
food, shelter, and free time to indulge in our trips with some degree
Most of the world isn’t there yet. Outside the world’s
wealthier nations life is still too constrained by basic
needs to make the higher rungs in the hierarchy of needs relevant.
Trips are a luxury. For most such people, trips don’t exist, or they don’t
seem to exist, and the popular attitude is to deny they exist.
Yet trips do exist. Homosexuality exists in every class, in every
culture, in every country. Liberals don’t consider such desires a trip
at all. Conservatives consider maintaining the veil hiding trips from
public revelation an absolute necessity, fearing society becomes chaos otherwise.
Before condemning conservatives as troglodytes, recognize that even
the most committed liberals have some trips where they find common
cause with the most radical conservatives. Pedophilia, for instance. The more extreme
forms of sadism, where death becomes a real risk, even a reality.
Murder. Here we back up inside ourselves. Not just don’t do it, but
don’t view it, don’t show it, don’t even think it. It doesn’t exist, it
Yet it does. Not all trips are harmless. Some trips are evil. Some trips are meant to be. (Image from Little Girl Saved.)
Where is the border between a good trip and a bad trip? Whose trips
should be legitimate, whose condemned? Whose trips are private, and
whose must be exposed?
The Internet Thesis, or the open source thesis if you will, has a one-word answer for this question. Transparency.
Narrow your view of what constitutes a really bad trip, accept as many
as reasonably possible, strive to keep the intimate details fairly
private, so we might shine a brighter light on what we all see as evil,
and stamp it out.
And it is at this point that the Internet Thesis, where trips are
known, will come face-to-face with this reality. Most people, around
the world, reject this idea. If we had a vote among the 6 billion
citizens of Earth, this refined, 21st century, transparent Internet
attitude toward trips might lose 10-1.
But we’re just at the start of the Internet Era. We who believe in
the Internet’s values, its myths, and its role as a global medium are
behind on many points. On nationalism. On global warming. Even on war
as a solution to problems.
Yet that’s where we begin, at the beginning, with myths and values
we share, and which distinguish us from our fellow men and women. Just as
movement conservatives did 40 years ago.
I pray our era turns out better.