At some point in everyone’s life, you think like a burglar. It’s when you’re trying to sneak out of the house as a teenager, or you’re trying to sneak downstairs to look at Christmas presents, or you’re doing anything where you’re trying not to get caught, sneaking in, out of, or through a building in any way.
Fandom carries with it an inherent curiosity, and I think curiosity is what allows us to be open and optimistic and to allow into our lives experiences that we would otherwise be closed off to. We’re confronted all the time with so many instances and so much information that almost requires a shutting down—almost requires us to become inert… to become frightened. There’s something about fandom’s relationship to curiosity that keeps us moving forward into the world and into the process of discovery, and I think to balance that with the things that feel more frightening and uncertain… It helps me keep optimism as part of the ingredients in my life, and it helps me live in the present. Even if you’re discovering something old for the first time, the process of allowing something new into your life I think speaks to an allowance that’s important.
“In time-travel stories, we tend to imagine that the people in the past are hicks and rubes. And when we imagine people in the future in time-travel stories, they’re always weak and decadent.”
It is ridiculous not to escape from one’s own vices, which is possible, while trying to escape the vices of others, which is impossible.
As predicted, I’ve been on a stoicism bender. This was a good one to dive into early, as my recent Heraclitus and Seneca might have tipped you off. This bit on friendship was one of my favorite parts:
Nothing, however, gives the mind so much pleasure as fond and faithful friendship. What a blessing it is to have those to whose waiting hearts every secret may be committed with safety, whose knowledge of you you fear less than your knowledge of yourself, whose conversation soothes your anxiety, whose opinion assists your decision, whose cheerfulness scatters your sorrow, the very sight of whom gives you joy! We shall of course choose those who are free, as far as may be, from selfish desires; for vices spread unnoticed, and quickly pass to those nearest and do harm by their contact.
I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love.