Kurtz: [intercepted radio message] I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That’s my dream; that’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor… and surviving.
– Apocalypse Now 
Outside of our ever-diminishing sized urban habitation boxes and into the neurotic streets, the weather has not only become a system to be increasingly more anxious of, but also one that you can taste – a bitter and metallic, or salty aroma, depending on the season. The climate – so we are told – is transitioning into a more severe form of atmospheric conditions, along with the tempestuous everyday discourse of the crowd.
As the greasy rain falls down torrentially upon our heads, the collective jungle is drowning in the hot tub of its own acute certainty that its melodramatic delusion is the only truly moral way of thinking. The crest of a hysterical wave that submerges all minds around it into silent acquiescence. Everyday metropolitan life is becoming an experience that one now lives at the fringes of a notion. We have all become extremists of one streak or another, my little acid raindrop.
Yes, in this whirlpool of ideas, generated as emotional memes and soundbites, even moderation breeds its own extremists in the stubborn refusal to disobey a cognitive system for a single risky moment of liberating and self-contradicting insanity. Such is the superstitious public belief that the rational and enlightened mind is so much stronger than the irrational, with all its death drives and erotic complexes. We have science, they cry, with their heads hung down while their eyes spiral into a screen that delivers dopamine shots every fifteen minutes.
The fundamental obsession with those who adhere to a extremely moderate point of view is the question of measurement.
How much is too much? How much is not enough?
Whether it is concerning the amount of coffee to drink on any particular day, sexual activity, or the slant of an offhand comment. The limply confused stare at their dick-calculating apps on their latest smartphone wondering why nothing, from a public escalator to democracy, works anymore.
The Way of the Worrier.
Where permanent high-fiving positivity, praise, and a distinct lack of any criticism, is now a fundamental human right, whether deserved or not. The typical tantrum of a 1930’s mental patient ensues if the fragile ones do not receive their allotted dose of pretend self-worth to suckle on from whichever Über-parental corporate or institutional corridors they skulk around.
Moderation never produced great art, literature, prowess, nor a real decent bar fight. Only under certain extreme environmental circumstances – with all the associated risk involved – can beautiful failures be born.
I say, nurture the extremist and true eccentric inside – shake it, play with it, flirt with it – and finally, when the time is right, shoot the fucker into the world to create ideas and objects of unparalleled wonder.
Around me, I see frightened people who are desperately trying to cling onto a secure central axis while spinning aimlessly around the poisoned clouds of a hip and opinionated mediocre twister, where they never quite get to Oz.
They are silent for fear of being labeled some kind of heretic for expressing their decadently honest views, sometimes even privately.
I recently talked to a cheerful Romanian lady who had grown up under the tyranny of Ceaușescu, a state where the suppression of unfavourable views, even to members of one’s own family, was one of the characteristics of the totalitarian regime. However, she told me, there was less social-anxiety as you explicitly knew that you had no freedom. The rules were clearly defined by a black bag thrust over one’s head at night, not the constantly chafing online and workplace pressure to conform in an eternally delirious society whose sense of liberty extends to bruised egos, which, though – not yet – murderous, is infinitely more confusing and neurosis-forming.
To survive the carnival of connectivity that is the Twenty-First Century cityscape – like in any hostile environment containing zombies – movement is imperative for the eccentric.
If one stands still for too long, one becomes prey. Under attack by both those who would seek to do you harm, and those who would try to help.
Either reek of self-interest.
At least, the predator is honest in his brutal purpose in a physical world where the consequences of real-world conflict are more bloody and corporeal than a mere online ego-grilling.
As the waters of indignation inundate the downward spiraling world around us, one can either float towards the sinking lifeboats, or turn around and swim like buggery towards the radioactive cyclopean sharks with a knife between your teeth and a happy blasphemy in your heart.