Weirdness in the Strange Times
[b]Weirdness in the Strange Times[/b]
Ironically, there's no weirdness left in the Strange Times. It all disappeared when it became commonplace. So many people are defining their own norms that there is no abnormal anymore. We're eclectically ecstatic, subculturally pragmatic.
Culture is additive, it keeps building on itself. 370 movies were released in the year 1995. By 2005, they were making 549 movies per year. By 2015 we'll be [i]drowning[/i] in cultural reference points. Kids growing up today have a lot more varied experience than those who grew up 50 years ago. I grew up in the 80s and my childhood mythology was filled with robots and cowboys, lasers and swords. In some ways it was a synthesis of everything that had happened in culture up to that point. This Saturday, the cartoons have built on 1980s cartoons but add their own flavor to the creative melting pot. In your mythology are robots good guys or bad guys? It largely has to do with the accidental intersections of culture and upbringing. Everybody gets imprinted differently -- increasingly differently as the decades march on.
So if we want to find the Weirdness in the year 2008, we just have to look around. Pick out some random pedestrian and I guarentee he has talents and tastes and interests which are vastly different from yours. There is a fractillian chasm between you and even your closest of friends. How can you judge me weird for obsessively collecting boxes full of hundreds of the "do not eat" silica packets that come with new shoes, when you haven't missed a women's basketball game in ten years? And you think I'm weird? It's a wonder we can even communicate.
People seek out others with their particular quirks and interests. And when a group of people get together, their cause becomes "legitimate", it becomes "real". These groups attract newbies, they become a location for discourse about these topics, and their very existence perpetuates itself. This is the Strange Times and no niche is too weird to acquire a cult of fanatics. That's why there's a "Furries vs Klingons" bowling tournament in Atlanta. That's why even conspiracy nuts have their own subsects of horrormirth