When The Going Gets Weird, The Weird Go Pro
When Hunter S. Thompson wrote these visonary words forty years ago, he was a pioneer in predicting the evolution of human weirdness. HST was no stranger to weird –he was, after all, the Duke of Gonzo– but he probably never imagined he would live to see weirdness transform into soulless and profit-driven “products” to soak the misfit segment for cash.
Gone are the days when being weird was about content, not form. Sure, weirdness is meant to transgress, blur boundaries and provoke. But HST didn’t need makeup, contact lenses and stage fog to do all these things… a couple of whiskey sours and he could outweird most of today’s “transgressors” without eyeing a batlid. Cazart!
At the end of the day, when you take these two specimens minus the glitz and the drugs, one is some dude who many think is the (other) dorky kid from The Wonder Years, while the other is some dude who produced some of the hardest-hitting English prose to ever travel down a mojo wire.
Now, I have nothing against Marilyn Manson per se, but as an old fogey I must admit to being rather nonplussed by his get up. My reaction is more like: what kind of weird reality puts a dude like that in a mansion instead of a ward? Maybe the kids of parents who put a dude like below in a mansion? Go figure!
Intense research at Google Fight indicates that weirdness is indeed on the rise, manufactured and otherwise. It would seem that as reality itself becomes increasingly weird, the manufactured weirdness grows apace with a rogue’s gallery of increasingly unlikely freaks. Maybe this is a distraction to keep people from noticing the weirdness emerging from every corner of reality, or maybe it’s just a product of the same underlying weird energies. Either way, it is but the tip of the weirdberg.
The underlying weirdness isn’t about humans looking or acting weird. It is about paradigm shifts as Terra approaches the Event Horizon, and the increasingly desperate attempts by certain elements to keep their manufactured reality from falling apart completely. Weirdness is in the air, and confronts us at every turn. Some might be good, some will be f*cked up, all of it will be weird. Just like the sixties, but without the acid and without Hunter.
The true, uncompromising and creative spirit of weirdness has been in mourning since the cursed day that HST couldn’t take it no more. When the ultimate pro weirdster –experienced in altered states of grim perceptions– decides there is no place for him in this reality, the rest of us should take a moment to wonder what our weirdness has become, and whether it is preparing us to face the real weirdness that’s going down.
Or just the contrary.