Logan: I’ve been doing some binge reading on the NSA and privacy and Our Police State. Binge and purge really, because I’ll read a bunch and then I’ll get freaked out and stop and then I’ll revisit, and then I’ll stop. And mostly what this process has left me with is an even greater sense of impending doom than I usually have. E tu????
Mike: What do you mean about impending doom? The thing is, nothing I’ve read so far has surprised me, nor has it made me change the way I live or do anything. What kinds of things have you read that fills you with this feeling of doom?
Logan: Well, I always make everything about me, so, I keep thinking: What if I find something that I have to leak, or someone I love finds something they have to leak: WHAT TO DO!? I mean what if someone contacted us through a secure channel and was like, “The Billfold is the only place I can share this information, you have to help society.” Would we do it? And then what country would we run to?
Mike: I mean, in this highly theoretical scenario it would depend on so many things. Who is this person, and how do we know we can trust them? What kind of information are we receiving? Why are we the only ones who can help? Whatever we’d do would implicate our entire network. And really, this would put us in Glenn Greenwald’s position, not Edward Snowden’s.
Logan: Mike, all I’m saying is that there are infinite scenarios that could occur in which we’d need to leave the country and I haven’t planned for that and I kind of regret that. Have you seen the movie Children of Men?
Mike: Yes. Great movie! I don’t have a plan to leave the country either. I mean, I don’t think people make those kinds of plans unless they know that they’ll have to leave the country for whatever reason. And if you have to leave the country unexpectedly, well, you’d just go. My parents came to this country to start their lives over with nothing and had to rebuild from scratch. When you are a forced into a situation, you just do what you have to do to keep on keeping on.
Logan: I think a lot about the old couple and their house in the woods and think, I kind of just want to do that. Make a shrine to old music and sit around and smoke all day and look at trees. And then kill myself painlessly when things get wack. Ha, okay I’m obviously in a weird mood! We could be talking about I don’t know, dividends? Stocks and bonds? and I’d turn it into a discussion of how nothing matters (“discussion”). One thing that does matter: Everyone paying of so much debt, so so cool.
Mike: Yeah, I love everyone who participates in the monthly check-ins. I think it’s inspiring to see people actively take control of their debt or savings situations and have the support of a community.
So, obviously our government isn’t perfect, but sometimes when I hear people say that our government is screwing over everyone and we’re all doomed, or whatever, I think about places like Somalia which hasn’t had a functioning government in 22 years and is just a dangerous and corrupt country to be in. Or I think about that story of that man escaping from the North Korean labor camp. I mean, it’s easy to read some of the crazy things that happens in our country and be like, “lol, nothing matters,” but it could be just so, so much worse.
Logan: There’s a guy sleeping on the sidewalk 10 feet away from me. Last week I was talking to a young dude, like very early 20s, and he was talking about his sort of obligatory awakening, when he realized nothing matters and human life is just one big accident and there is no meaning or purpose and certainly no god, and he was like, “Yeah that was rough, I was in bed in for like a month. And then I got over it. You have to get over it to function.” And he’s totally right. You do have to get over it to function! So I’m going to get over it and function. Friday functioning. Function function function.
Mike: I mean life matters. Sometimes it can feel like it’s just functioning—going through the motions. People matter to each other. There are things worth living and fighting for. Wendy Davis was fighting for what mattered to her and a lot of other people. Edith Windsor was too. You find meaning by living the life you want to live, and when you can’t live that life, you fight for it.
Logan: BRB putting that on a bumper sticker. Gonna make millions.