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The Laughing Man

Started by Scribbly, March 23, 2012, 12:06:17 PM

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Scribbly



Why does the laughing man laugh?

You wouldn't know that he is doing it, if you saw him on the street. He looks just like you, just like everyone else. That's the ingenious thing. We live in a world which idolizes appearances. To this end we are encouraged to subsume our individual identities into those of others. We are encouraged to dress the same as those of our subset of humanity. We are encouraged to use the same language. We are encouraged to think the same thoughts. There is no hard enforcement here; the penalty for not doing so is nothing more than the suspicion of your fellows. This can be more than enough. We have so much information to catalogue and consume on a daily basis, trying to remember which opinions, desires, wants, needs drive your friends is simply one more irritating detail. It is far easier if you can ascribe to them a preconceived set of conditions.

The Laughing Man understands this innately. Subsumed into the popular culture through people who mimic his actions, he then sheds the mask and becomes invisible. The Laughing Man is Anonymous. The Laughing Man is also smart enough to realize that being Anonymous in public is simply one more set of preconceived conditions. The system has become resistant enough to change that to set oneself up as a symbol of it is to be co-opted. The Laughing Man realizes that it is more effective to manipulate the mechanisms of power through action rather than rhetoric; to engage in rhetoric is to be undermined by the need for legitimacy that the system makes a precondition of dialogue.

The narratives constructed by this dialogue are innately constraining, manipulating the viewpoints presented in order to set things up in a way which requires little conscious thought to absorb. The Laughing Man has realized that this dialogue is just one more tool in the machinery of power; to disrupt it requires moving beyond the easy definitions of mainstream media. It requires the escalation of the inherent contradictions within the flawed fa├žade that society reproduces for its citizens. It requires that people are made to become self-aware of their own desires, aware of their wants, needs, and thoughts, rather than allowing themselves to believe that they are defined by some arbitrary label. It requires that the members of the tribe realize that they have more power than the tribal council. To disrupt this system will necessitate the destruction of rhetoric and discourse; the revelation of people's true selves, rather than the face they are forced to wear.

The Laughing Man knows all this, and in knowing, undermines the tools of the system in order to subvert it. He presents himself as he must be presented; he acts as he must act, in order to avoid drawing attention. When he does move, it does not appear to be he who is responsible at all. He does not seek credit or acclaim; he is not in it for the 'lulz' (though there are certainly many laughs to be had) nor does he act in order to achieve any glory or notoriety for himself.

So why does he laugh?

Because he has realized that he is living in a grand joke. It is not a pleasant comedy, this, but to think of how easily humanity has allowed itself to be divided upon arbitrary lines, how effortlessly it has been convinced to continue inflicting unnecessary hardship upon its greater mass, how swiftly it forgets lessons that it paid for with countless lives within the span of its own living memory...

What choice but he have but to laugh?
I had an existential crisis and all I got was this stupid gender.

Q. G. Pennyworth

Capitalizing "Anonymous" implies the group, not sure if that's intentional or not.

Also :mittens:

Doktor Howl

What happened to my response?   :?
Molon Lube

Scribbly

Quote from: Doktor Howl on March 23, 2012, 06:24:45 PM
What happened to my response?   :?

I don't know, the board went down for me for over an hour.  :?
I had an existential crisis and all I got was this stupid gender.

Doktor Howl

On the other hand, he may simply be laughing because it's funny.  Monkey houses are often the most vistited attraction at the zoo, simply because primates do dumb shit, and the monkeys in the zoo doing dumb shit is funny without being dangerous, the way the primates on the outside of the glass can be dangerous.

But this indicates a lack of seriousness about having a good time.  Peeking at spider monkeys in a cage is very light fare, humor-wise.

So the laughing man laughs because he knows that it's ALWAYS funny, even when the joke is on him.
Molon Lube