August 12, 2018
One of the key lessons I learned in school was that genuine like and passion and interest for something was uncool at best and a sign of mental illness at worst.
I still struggle with trying to overcome this conditioning to this day.
I do not just like things. I simply can’t. I’m too conditioned to do that. Let me try and explain why.
In America, probably in most Anglo countries as well, and maybe Western Europe at this point, you have very pronounced clique-culture.
Belonging to a clique is like entering into a cult- you lose your old identity, one that you never really had because Anglo countries are the most atomized by far, and you assume a new one – one in line with the group’s ideals.
This means that you like what the group likes, you hate what the group hates and liking and hating certain things means that you belong to a certain group as opposed to another.
Not belonging to one clique or subculture or whatever is social death. Like being cast out into the desert, a single canteen of water, left to wander the dunes alone until a worm swallows you.
If you do not belong to a certain clique or you get kicked out, or the clique breaks up or you move away…far far away…how are you to know what to like or not?
Suddenly, there are no more guidelines anymore.
I was in the store this winter, and being completely cliqueless, and completely disconnected from my culture at large and no longer dependent on pleasing anyone from my country…I didn’t know what to do.
I had to pick something to wear based on what I liked.
And it was strange. Usually, I would just wear what I knew I was supposed to wear based on the people who I associated with back in the day.
Now, the old definitions didn’t apply, and I didn’t feel like finding another subculture to initiate myself into…so I started asking myself, “what do I like?” Trying to figure out what shoes to buy at the mall turned into a fuckin’ journey to the center of my own soul.
And I was startled when I found absolutely nothing in there, except windswept ruined cities half-submerged in sand.
What my inner soul-scape looks like, as best as I can tell
When you have a coherent community and identity, you don’t have these problems. You don’t have to define yourself through behavior, hobbies and popular culture. You have a place in the community, and your identity is solid.
That means that you can ride a bike, and your friend can ride a skateboard and your third friend can rollerblade and that’s cool, you’re all still gonna be friends because you’re from the same farm town, and that identity trumps the difference in… recreational transportation devices you specialize in.
But take that away, like the Jews have taken ours away, and all of a sudden you have to define yourself through consumerism. What you buy, what you wear, what you listen to and what you think about others who buy, wear, and listen to other things. These people have more allegiance to their subculture than they ever will to their community – which simply doesn’t exist.
And so people assume that every single purchase you make is a social, class, or political statement in the West – so you have to fucking think through every goddamn consumer decision you make. It says something about you and other people are going to assume that it was a deliberate choice on your part…which is just exhausting and fundamentally…fleeting.
These people take on a proxy identity, and it can disappear and change as quickly as a dune swept away by a power sandstorm. There one day, gone the next.
The Beatniks, Hippies, Disco-people, Metalheads, Punks, Emos and soon the Hipsters. These identities all get swept away. They’re transient. Just like all of modern culture. Leaving only ruins behind in the sand.
So what do I like?
Another problem that I face in answering that question is the “irony-culture” that we’re steeped in. People don’t really like things anymore. They ironically like things. People will watch old buddy-cop films from the eighties or whenever because they’re “campy”…and they don’t actually like the film, they just want to sort of say that they do to differentiate themselves from others and have a little snicker at their expense. Of course, you, clever ironic man of the world that you are, don’t actually like Starsky and Hutch or w/e, but you like saying that you do with a straight face to see the other guy try to figure out if you’re serious or not, and contort himself to see the artistic merits of the film from your perspective makes you feel superior and smug.
And when they finally say that they don’t get why you like the film, that it seems to just objectively be bad, you just say, “it’s campy but that’s the appeal”.
A baffling statement, but one designed to throw the other guy off his guard. The whole thing is just done with other people in mind. People say they like shit now just to be able to feel superior over people who don’t get why they would like such a thing. It’s a form of soft gaslighting and everyone who is anyone in the West does it.
The question is…and it’s one that I’m grappling with now…if there’s no one to show off to, no one to gaslight and to demean by showing off what a smarmy little shit you are…what the fuck do I genuinely even like?
Like, if I were on an island, or in a desert alone, with an empty shopping mall, full of everything that I could need. Toys, clothes, CDs…what would I choose?
Before you blurt out an answer, ask yourself honestly as well, dear reader, how much of the shit that you do is done to just differentiate yourself from others, “oh, I don’t wear white Nikes, only niggers do that,” or to spite others, “I’m going to drive a pick-up truck because fuck liberals,” and so on.
But if you genuinely found yourself in my situation, where you just don’t have to worry about competing and showing your peers up, or keeping up with the Jones’ or whatever…what would you do?
Lads, I’m basically hurtling forward into post-irony territory here.
I can’t keep being self-aware and snarky. I need something genuine instead, something that isn’t done in relation to someone else, or to make a statement about culture at large but something that I genuinely like because I like it end of story. For me, just for me and fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.
So far, the only thing that I have settled on is… rollerblading.
It’s considered uncool and weird in the US, but seeing Asians and East Europeans do it and having fun with it, made me realize that less atomized cultures are less concerned about what consumer decisions you make. No one thinking less of people rollerblading in Ukraine actually inspired this essay.
I could have titled it, “why I didn’t use to rollerblade, but why I want to start doing it again now.”
As White people, we put wheels on just about everything. It’s just one of our innovative instincts. We’ve pretty much taken every single invention and added wheels to it at one point or another. So why not put wheels on our feet?
That’s completely logical. Rollerblading seems like the most rational and natural thing to do as a white person. Idk how anyone can disagree with that…unless of course they think that skateboarding or those new welfare boards are cooler therefore they’re not going to do the relatively less cool thing.
I’m going to start doing it, just for me.
People might ask me, “why do you rollerblade?” And I’ll be like, “I just like it, you hipster nigger. Go get fat on your hoverboard.”
And hopefully, this will be the first step on my new self-realization path. A path towards authenticity. I’ll be sifting through those sand-swept ruins in my subconscious, trying to figure out what the fuck I even genuinely like. Maybe I’ll find something other than rollerblades scrawled out, hieroglyphic style on a yellow half-submerged slab…I’ll sweep my hand across the etched lines and whisper out, “putting little ships in glass bottles…of course…” as I suddenly remember that I always thought it would be neat to try that.