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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010
    So, please use this thread to discuss the empirical of levels of weirdness in the world today, providing examples, charts, graphs, diagrams and images of centrifugally examined Sasquatch stool samples.

    Ummm...aren't we standing in it as we speak?
    I mean, seriously, isn't a community of artists, writers, thinkers, photographers, models, painters, musicians, DJs, technologists, and whatever the hell is around here the big pool of "weird" that we're searching for?

    I don't say this to be ass-kissy, but Warren has about as close to an online artistic "movement" here as it gets. It has a manifesto, it's volatile, it produces equal parts shit and gold, its content shocks and scares people, and it asks one thing of the people involved: "show me something I haven't seen before". We may be hip deep in the new "Weird" right here.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010
    @ Paul Sizer:

    I do believe you've hit it right on the head.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010
    @ pAUL sIZER - WE'RE SOAKING IN IT! (ala Madge on the old Palmolive commercials)
  1.  (8392.84)
    @Hex- I plan on eventually getting a tattoo of one of Tristan Tzara's designs. ;)

    @Paul - you're giving us cooties. Mushy mushy weird <3 cooties. But you do have a point. And if we are the weird we might not be seeing it because to us it's our normal.
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010 edited
    The old weird. Dodgy photos of big cats in your seaside resorts, alien hoaxes and getting het up over what a few lads in a field did with some rope and a bit of corn and some careful planning? Well, it was bullshit, wasn't it? Anyone with half a brain could see that. But we played along because we 'Wanted to believe'. We wanted, for some reason or other to have a mystical world. Maybe because we were still teenagers and didn't want to quite grow up? Maybe because we were scared that technology was getting ahead of us too fast? Maybe because the millennium was coming up and there were just too many voices already telling us to freak out, already?

    And then? It wasn't so bad. There was no global conspiracy. There was just obvious greed. We grew out of it and hit our late teens and had to get on with making money and keeping a roof over our heads. We didn't need to act out, because we didn't need that attention anymore. Fucking and falling in love and breaking hearts and trying to get away with it was mystery and cloak-and-dagger enough. And really, the mystery of the fortean was too shallow. It was easily explicable. We were fascinated because we were inquisitive, and there simply wasn't anything there to explore aside from wishful thinking and a tragedy of desperate, lonely pattern recognition.

    What's left then? I'd say real mysteries: science, electronics, art. How we live. Why we live. Weird is out there, waiting in the rock for us to carve it into a new kind of sculpture.
  2.  (8392.86)
    The new weird is probably just the news feed from PhysOrg.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010
    "It is the business of the future to be dangerous, and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties." -- A.N.W.
  3.  (8392.88)
    ive stayed out of this because theres a lot to process, and i think about this stuff A LOT. the most concise way i can phrase it is that weve all gotten numbed to a lot of information, so the truly weird ISNT that weird-seeming and things hae to be totally batshit nuts for us to look at it sideways.

    but the internet is a strange, strange thing. sizer hit a parallel point on the head-WC itself is almost like what the basis of some 70s/80s sci fi is like. this gang of international nutjobs trading information. fuck, im on this from my phone most of the time, and i dont even have a 'smart' phone. a lot of shit gets lumped into normal, that even 15 years ago would be insane.

    in closing: i just dont know maaaaaaaaaan
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010
    I'm nearly 40, and when I was a kid, me and my two friends dubbed ourselves Weird, capital 'W', and in cartoons and our play with rubber space aliens and Star Wars figures, opposed ourselves to the Square (championed by a figurine of Dudley Doright, I believe). We had an entire alternative cosmos invented where we ruled.

    What happened? We won, I think. We were the disappointed romantics who *wanted* to believe with the X-Files. And now, people are more willing to believe, and we don't have as much to fight against anymore.

    I thought for a long time that we the Weird were the cynics. But cynicism was the mainstream cultural norm from the 70s right up through the 00's, as the disappointed Baby Boomers got old and dealt with the fact that the 60's were really bullshit after all, elected Regan and Thatcher and nearly sent us all to hell. Who could believe in anything while surrounded by a world where this thing called the 60's had supposedly changed everything, but people still seemed to be obsessed by shirts with little green alligators on them? Clearly something was amiss.

    But then Y2K and 9/11 came and went, and now suddenly *events* were happening again, world history did not in fact end like Francis Fukiyama predicted, and there was an awful lot to concretely believe in and care about again. And while nobody was really looking, those of us who still struggled with "wanting to believe" also wound up running the world.

    The lack of millennial pressure that Mr. Ellis pointed out is certainly a huge factor, but the new cultural sincerity that actually *won* shouldn't be underestimated. We don't just want to believe any longer; we * do* believe, even if all we believe in are our tools and skills. The appeal of the cultural geek, the weirdo otaku, is in our utter sincere dorkiness. We are incredulous to metanarratives, it is true - but that is because we sincerely want to see a *good* one.

    The downside is that our beloved weird pursuits have been professionalized, industrialized, and weaponized. They aren't folk or fringe any longer. The circus sideshow isn't on the edge of town, it is on the 3rd stage at a huge concert. The performers have health insurance. Tiresome lectures and dorky PSA's are given on how to accomplish insanely painful and dangerous stunts, safely and by minimizing risk.

    So while there's still plenty of sincerely dorky weird around, it just isn't that risky any longer. Weird comes with a business plan, 401(k) and a rope safety workshop.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010
    I guess weird is all relative.Some people think i'm weird.I saw someone on my estate (council) yesterday who was acting well weird.. talkin to a fucked fridge!
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010 edited
    I guess weird is all relative.Some people think i'm weird.I saw someone on my estate (council) yesterday who was acting well weird.. talkin to a fucked fridge! Its also weird that i keep repeating myself. thats 2 weirdz in 12 hours!
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010
    @Flecky: That poor fridge. It was probably bored out of its mind.

    And of course weird is relative. Traditionally "weird" is at the opposite end of the spectrum to "normal". The confusion starts when what used to be labelled "weird" (in no particular order): matures into a subculture, is commercialised, seized by one generation, ridiculed by the next, analysed, satirized, plagiarised...

    And then it's yesterday's news and nobody gives a shit.

    The entertaining part for me is watching "normal" things start to become "weird". Not having a TV, a mobile phone, the internet. Making all of your own clothes from scratch. Riding a horse to work or school. Going to church and believing in heaven and hell. Embroidery. Archery. Spending friday nights playing boardgames with friends, or considering ballroom/barn dancing to be the big weekly get-together.

    That said, I do think this forum is definitely a centre for weirdness. Art tends to work that way- if it's "mainstream" then it loses its "credibility", and, let's face it, interest for the viewers. Unless the "art" is a soap opera, in which case I have not the foggiest idea as to why such humdrum mundane beigeness is so attractive to viewers.

    But then again, life being predictable is a pretty weird idea too.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010
    Just been to shop for milk..the fridge door was slightly scared to investige. no sign of El Weirdo!
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010 edited
    Just been to shop for milk..the fridge door was slightly scared to investige. no sign of El Weirdo! Bugger.. another repeat.sorry.I blame the phone i'm using
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010
    So my Dad and I just finished a conversation about philosophy, religion and the shortfalls of education in the USA. One reason we can't "find" the weird is that we no longer recognize it. Our schools are where we build our citizens. And over the past 20, 30 40 years or so, we've been building crappy citizens. We've switched from teaching analytical skill to informational content, because it's a fuckload easier to test for informational content. It's easier to ask "What year did the War of 1812 begin?" as opposed to "Compare and contrast the situation just prior to the War of 1812 to current United States foreign policy."

    We as a nation, through apathy and ignorance have decided that it's more important to create a generation of good little worker drones than citizens who can truly think for themselves. And if you can't really think for yourself or analyze the information that you receive then you won't recognize the weird even when it jumps out at you, probes your anus and bites your throat out.
    • CommentAuthorjonah
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010
    It seems like any art that is successful in being weird now will be sold back to you by a corporation within a few years or sooner. I remember Warren has made few posts about it in regards to the cinematography on CSI and the plot lines on shows like SVU among other things. Clayton Cubitt's tumblr often has posts about the issue too. It would be one thing if the people that originated these ideas were at the very least getting paid, but it's getting copied and used to sell bland commercial junk. When you are taking ideas from another artist you are at least engaging in a conversation of sorts. With a corporation they are likely to sue you. Very disheartening. I guess it could be considered juvenile, but I can understand why people would want to keep things private. Now, I occasionally find myself thinking things like: "if this was used to sell cereal, would it dilute the message?"

    I'm not so sure we won. I never even felt like it was a war until I started paying attention to the likes Douglas Rushkoff and Thomas Frank. I'm sure it's just a funny coincidence that I took all this stuff in around 99-2001, but maybe there is a little something to it.

    @Paul Sizer
    Re: pop weirdness.
    Laurie anderson. Kate bush!!
  4.  (8392.97)
    Flecky- I have to admit it. I took all the Weird and sold it to the gypsies, but all I got in return was a lousy t-shirt.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2010
    Weird now is a happy couple with two kids, a cat, a dog and a suburban house with a white picket fence. A stable nuclear family played straight and legit without problems or broiling tension under the surface would be about the most fringe you could get nowadays. Leave it to Beaver is just plain weird.

    Weird always exists, it's just that its definition changes with the zeitgeist.
  5.  (8392.99)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I often think the most rebellious thing left for me to do would be to finally grow up and act like adults used way back whenever adults behaved like adults
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2010
    Anyone remember Max Normal from 2000AD?