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There was a wonderful little work of whimsy that went viral when the internet was still young, purporting to be a college admission application essay, in which the author (actually a high school student, though not actually a college admission essay) mentioned, among other things, that he engaged in full-contact origami to blow off steam (http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blbyol3.htm). Earlier today, in my ongoing quest to populate the Colorado Confluence Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Colorado-Confluence/151536731532344) with a blend of interests that represent the particular mood and spirit of this blog, I “liked” the “Full-Contact Origami” page created, obviously, in honor of the aforementioned humorous romp.

I didn’t “like” it just in tribute to the creativity and humor of the essay, but also because I think the image represents something akin to what I am doing here: Folding and fashioning, not just with some appendage but with the entirety of my being, something from the fabric of consciousness which permeates us. Colorado Confluence is engaged in a kind of “full-contact origami,” striving to form fluttering figurines of thought both fantastical and functional, stretching minds in simultaneously edifying and useful ways.

If we consider our individual and shared existence an on-going enterprise of some kind, and our cocktails of conceptualization, complete with their blends of rhetoric and passions and projects, to be its perpetual product, then we can ask ourselves whether this cocktail or that might benefit from a pinch more humor, or a dash more reason, or another jigger of imagination. Perhaps in the heavy drinking of casual debate, we need to learn to go lighter on the rot-gut of dogma, and heavier on the sweet liqueur of humility. And perhaps even in the more staid environments of professional hobnobbing, we need to garnish our oh-so-serious martinis with a few more olives of whimsy.

Both the Romans (Pliny the Elder) and the Greeks (Alcaeus) famously intoned “In vino veritas” (“Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια” in Greek; “symposium,” by the way, being Greek for “drinking party”), but perhaps we should emphasize “in humor, truth” as well. When George Carlin, for instance, said that “some people see a glass that’s half empty, and others see a glass that’s half full, but I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be,” he struck upon a brilliant and timeless insight humorously stated: Things are what they are, regardless of how optimistically or pessimistically we choose to view them.

Once, when posting on Colorado Pols, a fellow poster “took the piss out of me” (as the Brits like to say) by posting a link to one of the many “Most Interesting Man in the World” pages (http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/06/dos-equis-ad-campaign-the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world-video/), and asking facetiously if he had stumbled upon my profile page, quoting the following excerpts:

The police often question him just because they find him interesting. His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body. His blood smells like cologne. He’s been known to cure narcolepsy just by walking into a room. His organ donation card also lists his beard. He’s a lover, not a fighter, but he’s also a fighter, so don’t get any ideas.

His reputation is expanding faster than the universe. He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels. He lives vicariously through himself.

His charm is so contagious, vaccines have been created for it. Years ago, he built a city out of blocks. Today, over six hundred thousand people live and work there. He is the only man to ever ace a Rorschach test. Every time he goes for a swim, dolphins appear. Alien abductors have asked him to probe them. If he were to give you directions, you’d never get lost, and you’d arrive at least 5 minutes early. His legend precedes him, the way lightning precedes thunder.

His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards. Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number. He never says something tastes like chicken. Not even chicken.

He is, quite simply, “the most interesting man in the world.”

Few insults have ever made me laugh harder, or feel more appreciated (though from the context that was clearly not the intent).

Maybe if we strive harder to be the most interesting people and most interesting society in the world, we’ll laugh as hard, and appreciate ourselves as much. Here’s to folding reality with all the dexterity our consciousness can muster, into the most edifying forms imaginable, laughing all the while.

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