In light of Dr. Neutopia's recent expression of surprise/dismay
at being labeled a "kook" by operatives of the Universal Media Conspiracy
(UMC-Uniform Mind Control) one of our research associates exhumed the
following essay from the Graveyard of Dead Rants. Enjoy. That's an order.
Who is it that gets together in mobs and hunts down, tortures and
kills people who are different from them? Who is it that teaches modesty,
courtesy, and generosity but lives in depravity, rudeness, and greed? Who
is it that can gather together the time, energy and money to murder
millions and destroy cities, for the sake of a flag, deity or economic
system? Not weirdos, not kooks or cranks or nuts. It's the "Normal"
people who do those things.
It's the "Normal" people who believe there's only one "real world"
and it's the one THEY'RE living in. It's the "Normal" people who kill
each other over differences in that reality, and if someone can't trick
themselves into ignoring the millions of inconsistencies or can't gloss
over the gaping flaws in that reality-construct, or can't even pretend
convincingly that they believe that flimsy and self-contradictory world is
ALL TRUE, rather than have their own illusory stability undermined or
accept that other ways of thinking and seeing might be valid, the "Normal"
people imprison those "mentally ill," and experimentally destroy their
personalities by use of drugs, electroconvulsion, and brain surgery.
I saw a letter to Ann Landers from a poor couple whose son took
steroids and later began to think he was JFK. Unusually sensible doctors
wouldn't agree with them that it was a Disease called Schizophrenia, and
wouldn't keep the fellow locked up and drugged as his loving parents
wanted. (They had looked up Schizophrenia in a book and thus knew all
about it.) Their son eventually killed himself, and the parents cautioned
all young men against the use of steroids. I felt sorry. Not for the
son, who is now free, but for the parents who drove him to final escape by
the continuing refusal of the validity of his primary goal in life, "to go
to Washington and help people with their problems." Rather than take the
time to teach their son to use his strange gift, they succumbed to their
fear of the unusual and destroyed the creature they helped create.
It's the "Normal" way of thinking to label things and file them
away so they don't have to be thought about any more. If "idea x" is
labeled as "stupid" it can be discarded. All subsequently encountered
ideas bearing any resemblance to "idea x" can also be so classified and
discarded, saving valuable time and energy for watching TV or thinking
about movie stars. If something new or different comes along, the
"Normal" way is to classify it as quickly as possible according to the
guidelines set down by reputable authorities so it may be conveniently and
safely filed away. This might not be such a destructive system if it did
not cripple or entirely halt the learning process, but once a "Normal"
person learns to use this technique, consideration of new or unusual
things or ideas is only necessary when the classification system itself
fails or is too limited in scope to encompass the thing seen or thought.
It is the duty and function of "Normal" people to classify, label
and file the whole of existence and experience. Sadly, a description of
the nature of the object is frequently taken as a distillation of the
essence of the object. In the unwritten sequel to the classic poem "The
Blind Men and the Elephant," we go a thousand years further on the linear
timescale to a world in which vast temple complexes have been built by the
followers of each of the seven theoreticians and holy war is waged against
all who dispute the fact that an elephant is very like a tree, a wall, or
a rope. Even worse, cults arise venerating fans and ropes AS ELEPHANTS,
and devotees plant bombs in the automobiles of those who insist that a
wall is just a wall,and not an elephant at all.
It's the "Normal" way of thinking to believe that we call a thing
by a name and classify it as a certain kind of thing because that is what
it IS. Regardless of well-known classical allusions to roses and other
names, "Normal" thinking dictates that name defines nature, that a thing
is what you say it is and you say it is what it is because that's WHAT IT
IS. "Normal" thinking disregards the fact that two different people can
look at the same object in the same place at the same time, and reach two
entirely different conclusions about the nature of that object: not
because the object itself is variable or has two or more natures, but
because each individual bases conclusions and deductions on the whole of
experience and their likes and dislikes, or physical and emotional state
at any given moment. Thus, one person may glorify as a symbol of the
highest ideals of humanity the image of a man being tortured to death and
brand "obscene" the image of a child with no clothes on, and someone else
might consider such thought idiotic. Some persons may maintain their
right to hold their own opinion based on their own tastes and experiences,
and others might interpret that as a blanket condemnation of all they are,
and fear for their lives ever after.
I don't wish it to be thought that "Normal" thinking is
essentially a bad thing. Very few people actually require an open mind or
the ability to reason in the course of their everyday lives. A donut-shop
cashier does not need to consider the ethics of selling blobs of greasy
dough, and a philosophical and ethical outlook would be an outright
detriment to a nuclear warhead assembly plant worker or oil-company
lawyer. It is vital for most people to continue to act "Normal." Without
such behavior the wheels of commerce and progress would grind to a halt.
The excesses which make life in this modern world so simple for those who
are free from the confining systems of dissatisfaction and complaint would
suddenly cease to be. Without the ridiculously expensive and painfully
loud car stereos, the mindless repetition of pop-song lustmongery,
elaborate hairdos, huge jewelry and ten-thousand-dollar wristwatches
dangling before the sleepwalking hordes there would be no cheap crummy
apartments, discarded art supplies, inexpensive healthfood, or good
For the most part, the existence of "Normal" behavior is a good
thing for those who require nothing more. But for people who care about
things or think about things, who examine their lives and their place in
the world, acting "Normal" is insanity, a trap which leads to constant
dissatisfaction and eventual destruction. Acting "Normal" for such people
is hating, complaining, finding fault, holding grudges, being afraid, and
limiting themselves to the small world of everyday existence, the world
even "Normal" people pay most of their money to escape from by buying
distractions, or getting loaded and laid as much as they can before they
When it is possible to choose not to live in the small world of
reaction to stimulus, to act by choice and to choose the good, to see
beauty and find enjoyment anywhere, there is no need to escape, no place
or person to escape from. When emotional and physical states are seen as
temporary and subject to will and choice, when the past is seen only as a
picture in the mind and the future as a dream not yet dreamed, to live and
to enjoy living become, not "Normal" but NATURAL, essential, a part of
each individual nature.
POSTSCRIPT: This essay was written years before the wide public
participation in internet. If it were being rewritten now it would
certainly include thoughts to the effect that it is "Normal" people who
critique the grammar or typography of literature which contains ideas they
don't understand. It is "Normal" people who display the height of their
intellectual and crative capacity by using the anonymity of a mailing
address to take one-line wisecrack potshots at people who actually try to
THINK about things and express those thoughts through imperfect physical
interface. ...and so on, delineating some of the common ways that stupid
intolerant people use to attempt to bring down to their own level anyone
on the net who displays any earnestness or sincerity in the desire to make
the world a better place for everyone.
firstname.lastname@example.org COPYRIGHT NENSLO/KDV 1994 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Send One Dollar to Box 86582 Portland OR 97286 USA
Subject: Re: ACT NORMAL
From: 'Jesse Garon' <email@example.com>
firstname.lastname@example.org (Libby) wrote:
> NENSLO: Thanks for the rant. For course, I understood it very well
> since I certainly am no normal individual and have a deeper awareness
> of life. There are so few intelligent, witty people here that I was
> beginning to feel very isolated from humanity. Thanks for being a
> thinker. It takes a lot of courage to think these days when the
> Universal Media Conspiracy controls so much.
You know, I'm just extrapolating here. But Libby's talked about the
Universal Media Conspiracy AND the International Banking Conspiracy
in the last week. That coupled with her long-ago remarks about a
certain mustachoied dictator being the Father of Israel, as evident in
their pursuit of The Bomb, really has my wondering juices flowing.
"Jesse Garon" goes off to read the Protocols of the Elders of Neutopia.
It is not a matter of putting poetry at
the service of revolution http://www.primenet.com/~grifter/
but rather of putting grifter @ p r i m e n e t . c o m
revolution at the service of poetry
Subject: Re: ACT NORMAL
From: email@example.com (YoYo)
Libby "'Credulity' isn't in the dictionary" Hubbard
>NENSLO: Thanks for the rant. For course, I understood it very well
>since I certainly am no normal individual and have a deeper awareness
>of life. There are so few intelligent, witty people here that I was
>beginning to feel very isolated from humanity. Thanks for being a
>thinker. It takes a lot of courage to think these days when the
>Universal Media Conspiracy controls so much.
YoYo | "I couldn't help noticing that riding crop..."
firstname.lastname@example.org | -Barenaked Ladies
Subject: Re: ACT NORMAL
From: SirWill1@omni.voicenet.com (SirWill1)
I took the liberty of forwarding Nenslo's rant to a friend of mine
who, I thought, needed to hear it.
This is her reply.
Bill - I just read The Rant. I reminds me very much of what I was thinking
about at work today. I am working with 6 women and 1 man. Three of the
women all remind me of anchorwomen. They are high-powered agressive
business women who are always perfectly dressed and perfectly made up. They
go skiing. They have no children. They have perfect nails. They know how
to stand around at a party and say the right things. At our party last week
there was a man who was playing with the mind of one of these women and she
really didn't understand. He wasn't "normal" so she got really bent out of
shape. He wouldn't give her a straight answer - he told her not take herself
so seriously - she just didn't get it. She is very cutting edge. Afterwards
she wanted me to back her up in her opinion of him - I made an ass of myself
going "uh - uh - uh - well, I think some people use humor to hide behind when
they are socially unsure of themselves" - I had to slither out of it - this
lady is my boss. I have made the mistake of trying to make a joke or two at
work around her and she is just too intense. But she is very nice. Really
likes me and is glad that I am there to keep things running smoothly for her.
I think we will get along fine once I learn the acceptable parameters. I
was wondering today if these people really believe in this work-world reality
- the one where they wheel and deal and party and go to meetings - or do they
"play" their part and then go home and take off the mask and thru down the
scrip and act "natural"? I came to the conclusion that some of them are not
"acting" - they are really like this ALL THE TIME. Just like The Rant says.
Thank God I can step outside of it and look at it and know that something
exists outside here. That there are many "realities" - all just as valid as
that one back there in the office. None more "right" than the others. But
it is scary that that one considers itself the only right one. It really is
not safe to go up to people and tell them you believe in reincarnation or
worshipping belly button lint. So I wear makeup and heels and wonder why
millions of women are all in agreement that it is OK to jam their feet into
shoes that are permanently destroying their feet and not one of them seems to
see anything wrong with it. This one item alone boggles my mind. Absolutely
boggles it. My toes hurt. It is totally aberrated. THINK about it. All
your toes jammed into a wedge shape and forced there by the pressure of
gravity created by the raised heel of the shoe. MEN don't do this. They
wear shoes that FIT their feet. Womens shoes are NOT foot-shaped!!!!!!
Nobody's foot is wedge-shaped at the toes!!!! IT IS INSANITY. Millions
of women do it. WHY?????? I just had an awful thought - re: the Normal
People. They are living in a world created by the weirdos - look at what
sort of people created computers and airplanes and cars and TVs. The
pioneers who were the total social outcasts in their day. Their
inventions were not normal at the time they made them. The pioneers of
all the "trendy" things were outcasts too - health food, physical fitness,
skiing, etc. etc. - AMAZING. They are nothing but lemmings. Followers.
Don't do anything unless all the "right" people are doing it, too. There
is no way I could tell these people that instead of watching TV, I run a
framing business in my apartment and have a Black gay business partner.
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