Rikus Grobler | Jan 16, 2018 | 0
Offbeat – 13 December 2013
I have met a four or five people this year who are different, think tasty thoughts. These people make it difficult for me to hang around in the comfort zone of indifference and its silence.
It used to be that I got interested by bombs in the Middle East. Sometimes I would even feel a pang of regret. I don’t feel that way anymore. There is this idea that familiarity breeds contempt. It would be more accurate to say that familiarity breeds indifference.
There are a heap of other things that breed in me a sense of indifference. Shooting sprees in the US don’t get me anywhere. If they were really serious about stopping it, they could take away the guns. I am tired of the legalise marijuana movement, and wish they would acknowledge that they want to smoke it instead of shoving clothing and cancer cures down my throat.
And I am also tired of the whole alternative currency thing. Wealth breeds abuse and alternative wealth will breed alternative abuse. Bitcoin will not be anybody’s saviour. Banking scandals? There’s this thing called governance, that is there for the taking when you are finally ready to get serious.
I’m not entirely heartless though. I still get totally freaked by climate change and the environment. The thing is that those stories get worse and worse by the day, and all the I-told-you-so’s don’t go anywhere.
The bombs and shooting sprees always seem the same. Bombs appear to be very uniform nowadays. Just the locations and the death tolls change, though not much. The same is true of the shooting sprees. Different countries alleviate the boredom.
Think of it as an entertainment economy. The next big shocker has to be yet more gruesome to grab my attention. Other than that, it’s just a bunch of anecdotes with little that stands out.
A day without news would be a big thing in my life right now, a welcome refresher. I’m tired of the endless stories. I think, what it is, is that I need something new to think about.
The range of thoughts available to me, makes me feel indifferent as well.
As a male, I am supposed to obsess about sport. Rugby is OK if you talk to me about the strategy of the seasons and the problems national teams are going to end up having with foreign contracts. Soccer is the same. The matches, however, come and go like doses of soap opera. Someone wins. Someone loses. Repeat next season, next year, and so on. At least United seems to be struggling this year.
It’s not just male sports. A friend of mine conveys the same ennui to me about ladies’ teas.
People who think differently are few and far between, or at least they keep their mouths shut and go with the flow in a way which makes them invisible to me.
Thinking differently is not welcome in this burg. The responses I get to anything I say that is out of the ordinary are usually some kind of displeasure of Biblical proportions, or a sally at the thought with the intent to prove wisdom by tearing the idea apart without any appreciation for the sentiment that accompanies it.
Sometimes thoughts just want to be thought for the sake of pleasure. They may be wrong, or ahead of their time, or downright heresy. They are thoughts, and should be valued for their existence. Unfortunately the slaughter of ideas is not met with the same indignant uproar that happens when rhinos are killed.
You have read this far. You might be one of the people who think differently. If you can find the way to express yourself without self-censorship, then more power to you. If you can’t find a way, then you have my sympathy.
The orthodoxy, the tranquil hegemony of society, is a tough place to exist. Stand-outs get hammered down to the same level. Square pegs get shaved away until all the hard edges have gone, and the drop into the hole is quick and easy. My actual problem is that difference is the other opposite of indifference. I have met a four or five people this year who are different, think tasty thoughts. These people make it difficult for me to hang around in the comfort zone of indifference and its silence. If I am lucky, I won’t find the comfort zone again next year. I hope to become just a little bit more different.