Q. I’m hearing a lot of talk about duality and dualism. I get that dualism is when you have a sword fight at dawn. But what is duality?
A. You’re getting the term, duel confused with the term, dual. They are two completely different aardvarks.
Q. Like an orc and a warg rider?
A. Excuse me?
Q. Oh, and sometimes it’s pistols at dawn. So here’s what I wonder: to get into a duel do you always have to slap the other guy across the face with a glove? Or can you just use your bare hand? And as long as you’re doing that, can you just punch him in the face? I know, I know, he then gets his choice of weapons, right?
A. Let me explain the dual that is spelled d-u-a-l instead of duel, spelled d-u-e-l.
Q. What about the dool spelled d-o-o-l?
A. Let’s start with something very basic like the co-eternal binary divide between two moral opposites.
Q. Where did you learn to talk like that?*
A. So, basically, in a discourse on philosophical duality, everything that happens in life is either light or dark. Right or wrong. Black or white. Good or bad.
Q. Chocolate or Vanilla?
A. The classic moral dilemma. Nobody said philosophy was understandable.
Q. But then, where does Cherry Garcia fit in? It’s nature’s only perfect food.
A. Perfection is beside the point, except, of course, when perfection is the point. If you follow.
Q. I think I’ll just grab an Uber.
A. Just remember the basic law of duality: ak-SENT-you-ate the positive, e-LIM-in-ate the negative and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.
Q. Who gets to say what is POS-i-tive and what is NEG-a-tive?
A. There’s a committee. Very distinguished. Very positive. Appointed by the Koch brothers.
Q. But what if their stinky is my stanky?
A. You’d be messing with Mr. In-Between. Also, the Antonym Police.
Q. What about Mrs. In-Between?
A. We don’t talk about her. Faced with the moral dilemma of guitar or mandolin, she ran off with a dueling banjo player.
Q. So what’s the point of reducing everything to just two choices?
A. It makes life easier. You don’t have to agonize over 17 flavors of ice-cream or what to get people for Christmas. It’s either socks or underpants. And political parties are easier, if not completely meaningless. No more Whigs, Tea Partygoers or Bernie Sanders. Just good old fake Republicans and Democrats.
Q. Speaking of stinky or stanky.
A. Keep in mind, one of those choices is always the wrong choice — from the stand point of the right people — or the right choice from the standpoint of the wrong people.
Q. How ingrained in life is duality?
A. Oh, it’s spreading like blood on a toga. Consider the classic version of duality at the start of an NFL football game where the choice is heads or tails.
Q. Yeah, but sometimes people don’t have a tail. Or if they do, they can easily spot it by standing in front of a shop window, pretending to admire the goods. In the reflection they see the tail behind them. Sometimes it’s hard, though, especially if it’s a toy store and the goods are little toy trucks and cars and trains.
A. Yes, well, let’s just say I’m flipping a coin at the Super Bowl.
Q. Oh, and sometimes there’s a tiny rubber Tyrannosaurus Rex just about to eat a tiny plastic guy out for a walk. And then, here comes a tiny plastic school teacher firing a tiny plasma cannon. It’s a good thing you can still legally get those at tiny outdoor stores.
A. Do you want heads or tails?
Q. Are you the Super Bowl referee or just some guy in the stands flipping a coin?
A. No, I’m the referee.
Q. Wow. How did you get a job like that? And do you have to supply your own coin?
Q. I really love it when the ref says “Heads, it is.” He always sounds like Yoda.
A. As in “Nuts, you are.”
*From Wikipedia.Hope you didn’t think I knew what I was talking about.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2018, all rights reserved.