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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Robert Anton Wilson on modern anxiety

"I see mass hysteria as part of the Future Shock of our accelerated social destabilization as 'life as we know it' vanishes and gets replaced more and more by 'life as we used to read it in science fiction.' Naive people have grown terrorized by text  books, by pop music, by games, and even by schoolteachers (the most inoffensive persons around) .... the whole modern (or post-modern) world seems incomprehensible, and therefore sinister, to millions of our citizen. If you want to grok what these ordinary beer-and-hotdog Americans feel when they see a Gay Pride parade on TV, try to imagine your own reaction to a Cannibal Pride parade. I do not mean that Gays should 'go back in the closet,' or that any other genies should or can go back into their bottles. I just mean that the world has begun to freak out a lot of ignorant people."

[From Robert Anton Wilson's introduction to the 1996 edition of Reality Is What You Can Get Away With, which I have been slowly reading while I wait for Hilaritas to announce the official release of the book (again, Rasa says the ebook edition is fine, and that's what I'm reading). I have slightly edited the excerpt to make it a bit more of a stand-alone quote. It may date from close to 30 years ago, but it seems contemporary to me. -- The Management.]

1 comment:

Lvx15 said...

Ha. My wife is a school teacher stuck in the culture wars so, yes, prescient. The ignorant don’t want to face the unfamiliar and, mostly, don’t want their children to either, lest they become the aliens themselves.