Thursday, February 2, 2012

You're Not as Weird as You Think You Are

Due to recent immersion in social media, the Fish has a less lofty sentiment to slap you with today but assures you, it is just as strongly felt. Maybe more so, since the people that present themselves as odd, phreakish, different, weird, strange, radical, and, yes, off the hook, are everywhere. Waiting so impatiently to be noticed, to have their vaunted strangeness noted, labeled and reacted to, they cannot bear to let it happen first-- instead, they tell you. Not with body language, barely controlled tics or the unspoken clarity of Tammy Faye's makeup. Not by letting you find out when they show up to your baby shower with a bouquet of puppies for a gift.

 No, they tell you they are different by telling you, in those exact words: in their blog bios, to your face before you can get their name, on voicemail, on their FB pages, on Pinterest and Soundcloud, on deviantArt, on any and every possible social networking site that has ever existed.  They shout it in caps and special fonts, I'm So Strange!
  As if we wouldn't know without the hint. Come closer, wretched souls, and I'll tell you a secret that could free you forever:


You're not as friggin' weird as you think you are.


 I'm all for individuality, for freakiness, for being what you are, and becoming what you want to be. But you've got to understand, just because your parents or teachers or village elders don't like your haircut, your job, your imported CD's or your sex partner's gender/s, doesn't mean the rest of us are in shock over it. We're not. Not even a little.

 Anything you wear on your body, be it bright colors, dark sackcloth, head-to-toe vinyl or woven fish-skin that barely covers your naughty bits, is finally just clothing. It may be appropriate according to your peers or inappropriate to the situation, it may be glorious or disturbing to some; but in the world of larger issues, it is trivial.

 Likewise, your face paint-- no matter what genitals you're currently sporting, your tattoos, your haircut, and color, your choice of jewelry, your favorite authors, the fantasy card game you play, what you ride in/on, who you worship, the kind of job you quit last week, and the name of the first person that snuck their studded tongue into your mouth. It's all trivial, and when you stop looking at yourself in the evil funhouse mirror of your own perception and turn your gaze outward, you'll see that. It's all been done before, again and again. Our truest human weirdness can't be cast into simple phrases and ironed onto a black t-shirt. What's strange now was average a hundred years ago, or a thousand. And will be again.

 Through no fault of your own, you're probably not a history-making oddity. You're not likely to become half the rebel that, say, Margaret Sanger was. Or Rosa Parks, or Charles Darwin, or Bruce Lee. All of these people had revolutionary ideas that led them to act in stunningly bold ways, permanently affecting the world we live in. Unlike them, every action you (or I ) take, from birth to death, is bound to be more important to you (or I) than it will be to anyone else. We are, in fact, destined for normalcy, and normal is bigger than you realize.

 This is something to celebrate. It should be good to know that being shy, being chatty, being self-absorbed, being passionate, being abused, being mechanically inclined, being good with computers, being a picky eater, being interested in seeing other people naked and bound and gagged, doesn't take you out of the realm of average humanity. Possessing any or all of those traits puts you firmly in the middle of this crazy crop of critters. And whatever filthy, drippy or rainbow-colored desires hide in your heart, there's someone else on this planet that shares your view. So lighten the hell up, and let people find out for themselves if you're unacceptable before you spill it all over a page somewhere.

You can still enjoy all the accoutrements of your identity as a weirdo. It's fun and probably doesn't hurt anyone much that doesn't want to be hurt. But if you can't wait to tell me about it, I gotta say, I'm bored already.

 Sincerely,

  The Angry Fish

2 comments:

marta said...

I am glad I read this.

I know several people who always say how weird their thoughts are or their lives, and I want to say--no they're not. But I don't.

Sometimes I feel that I'm supposed to say I'm weird. Like recently at my housewarming party when I showed everyone how I turned a bathroom door into a TARDIS door. When non-sci-fi people looked at it and then me, I felt awkward and said something along the lines of knowing it might be a bit odd...

But no, I don't really think it is weird. I feel quite ordinary. I feel like I'm more and more comfortable being myself--which may be a weird thing to some people, but I just want to tell those folks they need to get out more.

Well, thanks for the good true rant.

heavy hedonist said...

@Marta--

Having seen pictures of your Tardis, I only wonder why those seeing it in person didn't drop to their knees in thankfulness at being in the presence of such a handy-person as yourself!

But all true geeks, (formerly nerds), historically band together so that we can see exactly how normal we are, don't we? I love that about us.

Anyone that can build a Tardis, is my favorite kind of normal.