Rock the Absurd

Okay, so it was bound to happen eventually.  You see, the internet makes us all interchangeable in a way.  I occasionally lament being confused by various algorithms with other “Steve Wigginses” out there (and there are many).  So while innocently checking my personal email after work the other day I spied a message clearly not sent by one of the many organizations that spam me constantly.  It was an invitation to participate in a conference.  Now, with a 925 job that’s just not possible, but I always appreciate being asked.  Then I read what the conference was about.  Agriculture.  Why were they asking me to attend a conference on agriculture?  Then I recalled, one of the other Steve Wigginses is a professor of anthropology, specializing in agriculture.  Was this an electronic mail mishap?

It also made me wonder if this poor soul (I don’t know him and have never met him) has been receiving email about horror films and wondering why.  His research trajectory has him trying to help people (which is why I wanted to be an academic in the first place) in a real down-to-earth way.  This made me realize the dilemma of other biblical scholars I know who are interested in monsters and horror, but who also realize that we need to help the world.  I can say from experience that it’s a lot easier to do as a professor than it is as an editor.  At least a professor has a platform to stand on.  And all of this brought to mind the theater of the absurd, tying me back to my younger days.

As I started high school I learned about the existentialists.  Looking at my own life, I saw it was absurd.  The times when I start to get down are when I’ve started to take all this seriously.  This Steve Wiggins, in any case, spends his life trying to figure things out.  But he lives in a world where two and two don’t always come to four.  Anyone who’s been inside an organization with open eyes knows the absurdities—large or small—that go on within it.  As old Ecclesiastes says, the race isn’t always to the swift.  That’s biblical and bankable.  So it’s a bit absurd that three (that I know of) Steve Wigginses are or have been professors.  It’s absurd that we don’t all use our full names because most two-name combinations on the web are going to lead to duplicates.  Mix-ups are bound to happen and we should just enjoy the absurdity we see.

Photo by Steven Weeks on Unsplash

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