At a certain age I think most people stop wanting to apotheosize their birthdays and want instead to obliterate all memory of them. Fortunately for me and most of my friends, both impulses find identical expression. Maybe something about that simplicity made me able, while we were staggering around downtown last night on my friend’s birthday, to perceive the inner logic of the systems that surround me constantly.

For instance, I could never see why the Boulder authorities seem to want provoke the most drunkenness in its residents every weekend with the fewest transportation options possible. But I had failed to look at the situation in Leninist terms: covert radicals that they are, the people that run this town must be trying to “heighten the contradictions” until they boil over into open insurrection. But they have forgotten another participant in the dance of intoxicants: in a place with as much pot smoke drifting through the air as Boulder, it’s practically inconceivable that things could ever really come to a head. The most they will probably ever amount to is outraged sentiments expressed in a sleepy voice, like an angry reggae song, which always sound like a speech given by a revolutionary immediately after having his wisdom teeth removed.

I suddenly also realized, for good measure, that the popularity of Mormonism maybe doesn’t demand as much explanation as I used to think, since probably it’s not even supposed to be a belief system with a structure to put any weight on, but rather, much like the plot of a porno, just the minimum number of wheels in motion necessary to connect a man to 15 wives.

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