... of belief and sh*t


hello Mr Chris,
I’m a follower and reader of your column and I’m impressed by your social sensibilities. However, I do believe that your nihilistic approach to politics and religion can sometimes be undesirable. What do you really believe in?

Dearest Naomi,
This is my response to your question, not because it’s fancy but just because I have been asked that question a lot lately.
The only difference between myself and a great many of my other professional cynics is that I honestly don’t give a sh*t about religion and politics. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect both. Roger me well, please.
Just imagine how boring this planet would be if all of us just stuck to our guns and forged ahead regardless of the consequences, to which there are many and varied! But these roadblocks can spur on serious contemplation that may lead to a more evolved thought process, which may or may not elevate us to an almost immaculate level of understanding. I know I’m a prick and I have accepted the picture society has painted of me. After all, your impression about someone depends on one’s mental artistic ability.
The same is the case with politics and religion; each of them has an equal right to their own truths. Some even change or reform with age and experience. A great deal of us with swag and haircuts in our youth begin to redefine the world we’d pigeonholed years before when faced with the inevitable nagging pains of loneliness, poverty or ridicule.
Belief brings a sense of belongingness and direction, let alone filling your heads with contradictions. That is if you choose to accept this old unreality - which a good portion of society has done - regardless of the heaping evidence to the contrary. It is in that seminal moment when maturity gives birth to clarity, which allows us to fully realise our flaws.
As a people, we are nothing more than fragile creatures who possess the audacity to convince ourselves of invincibility. We nurture this insatiable need to fool ourselves into thinking we can’t exist without forgiveness, love and guidance and that although we’re yanked from the womb kicking and screaming alone and end up in the ground in the same fashion, we’re still all measured by those who have benefited from our empathy in our lifetime.
It is easy to have a philosophy but the difficulty lies in living it. Concepts and ideas can sometimes define people when they’re often unsure what they believe in, in the first place. This is an aspect of life that politicians and preachers take advantage of. Religion, to me, is something akin to a curable disease once feared, but at least for me, now quelled by a vaccination.
No dead human being has ever come back to tell us how it really is on ‘the other side’ (that is if there is an another side to this life, at all).
You mentioned politics in your question. Well, as much as I appreciate the disapproval regarding my insensibility to the political culture, I can also admit to the label of being a cynic. I am often intrigued - at times even mesmerised - by politics and the people who inhabit its rocky terrain but I have no real use for it as a solution for anything binding or true.
I have said before that looking for truth in politics is like boarding that train to Durban and expecting to end up in London.