Isn’t It Queer?

Isn't it rich? Isn't it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career…
But where are the clowns, send in the clowns… Don’t bother, they’re here.

- Stephen Sondheim

This weblog has spent much of its existence chronicling the very fringes of Fortean weirdness… not just your ordinary, every-day, vanilla-flavored weirdness mind you… but the extra-crispy, super-spicey variety of weirdness that has come to be known as: High Strangeness. As the very discerning readership of this weblog knows, such realms are not traveled free of risk. For to venture to the banks of the rarified waters of high strangeness, presupposes a certain degree of psychic danger.

Having spent a good deal of time wading in the tidepools of such strange waters, your author was not surprised to witness a tsunami of high strangeness come crashing over the American landscape. After all, the signs and portents were there, for those with eyes to see. After the initial shock subsided, realignment was a relatively trouble-free transition… after all, I knew what to expect.

Now that the land of the free, home of the brave has transmogrified into the land of the high and the strange… the general public has unexpectedly suffered a rude awakening as to just how weird our world has become. This future shock has been most traumatic for the vast majority of our citizenry. Most folks are horrified to be standing before the very gates of Chapel Perilous.

But such strangeness is old-hat for those of us who have passed through, and journeyed beyond that Chapel most foul. Well versed in the literature of Bill Burroughs, Bob Wilson, and Reverend Stang, we are at home in the weirdness. For us, high strangeness has become a familiar landscape. In our travels, such fortean anomalies as ufology, psy-phenomena, psy-warfare, synchronicity and magick, have come to be expected. With this experience comes a certain responsibility… a certain civic duty to share our knowledge with the uninitiated.

We long distance purveyors of the high and the strange, owe a cosmic debt to the newly indoctrinated, to share our expertise. Our current bat-shit crazy world must be extremely perplexing and downright terrifying for many of our friends and neighbors. It is in times like these, that our experience in weirdness, can be most helpful. In these most-troubling times… a kind word and a little reassurance can go a long way. After all… we knew what to expect.

For us, what elicits a certain familiarity of high strangeness, instills a foreboding sense of high anxiety in the hearts and minds of most normies.

We travelers of the Fortean frontier know what it’s like to be in un-familiar territory. We also know what it’s like to be an outsider… an outcast… a citizen of the fringe. We recognize the cynical side-eye from those who have as-yet not fully realized the strange state of affairs we find ourselves in. We, like many of our fellow fringe dwellers, recognize the situation as desperate (as usual). 

We therefore must stand in alliance with all outsiders and outcasts of the prevailing, predator/dominator culture (which until quite recently, has been our planet’s primary, consensual reality). We must bear witness to, and resist the persecution of all societal fringe groups… for just as in 1930’s era Nazi Germany, the brown shirts will come for our fringe populations… one at a time.

As we well know, as members of the fringe society… that it is the fringe groups and sub-cultures of the strange who are at the cutting edge… who are the van-guard of humanity’s cultural and artistic evolution. Where would we be, without the artists and the poets… the clowns, jesters and tricksters? Without the madmen and madwomen, the subversives? Where would we be without the great, creative alliance of our LGBTQ community? This much I know, this old world would be a much duller and less interesting place, without such sub-cultures.

Sadly, it these very front-line factions who are first and most persecuted by a confused, angry, deceived and misguided general population. In these strange days, many… driven by fear of change… locked in in the grip of high anxiety… look for scapegoats to blame. Our friends of the LGBTQ alliance are traditional, easy targets. But we of the fringe recognize the shared humanity, the creative brilliance, the cultural vibrancy of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, as well as all the freaks and geeks who dwell on spaceship Earth! we honor and defend them as we do our own, out of necessity… for their uniqueness and the love they bring.

In regard to gender identity and partnership preference… 

If you can find one other being on this planet who you love and loves you in return, in good times and bad, through thick and thin… just one other being who has your back, who puts up with your idiosyncrasies, your obvious strangeness… If you can find this one other being… no matter the gender, the orientation… no matter the pronoun… If you can find this one other being who loves you… count yourself blessed, indeed.

Fringe culture adds much-needed, creative diversity and intellectual interest to an otherwise stagnate, dominant culture. In these strange days, we look to fringiest among us, to add their peculiar expertise to help us navigate the malaise that has infected mainstream society. The last thing we need to do, is persecute one another for our very uniqueness.

This is not to say that there are not some very dark backwaters and dangerous bogs, lurking in the hinterlands of the fringe. If one is not careful, the unsuspecting fringe-trekker may sink into some pretty foul, ideological cesspools. Some travelers of the fringe are immersed in very dark conspiracy communities, that result in very unfortunate, real-world consequences. But how is the intrepid traveler to discern the good-weird from the bad-weird? How to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff?  

One caveat… one proviso in assessing a group or fellow traveler of the fringe… are they kind? Does the individual or group come from a place of kindness? Do they show empathy for their fellow fringe-riders? Do they follow the golden rule? Although this is not fool-proof, gut-checking for compassion in others, is a pretty good metric for whether or not you should trust or let someone into your circle of friends. You know in your gut, who you wish to associate with.

With that said, in an era of extreme partisanship, it is important to reach out beyond our individual reality tunnels, to stretch our own boundaries. Common ground is not just a good idea, it’s a survival strategy. We must look beyond our comfort zone, to find the others. If we are successful in our outreach, we have the great potential of building a great coalition of the weird.  

It is a prerequisite that our coalition come from a place of kindness, in all that we do. Our expectation of kindness extends beyond ourselves, to all we interact with. If the fringe group or individual gives off a bad vibe, demonstrates mean-spiritedness, or is otherwise not kind… they may not be a good fit for the rising coalition of weirdness. Candidates must be weird-good.

Individual liberty is a group effort. None of us are free unless and until all of us are free. Too long have we dwelled upon the ideals of our precious (my preciousss…) individual, first amendment freedoms… at the expense of the society as a whole. Self-interest quickly becomes selfishness, without compassion. Individual liberty need not take precedence over societal liberties. In the old paradigm, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger… in the noö paradigm, what doesn’t kill you, mutates and tries again.

In these strange, queer days… take the courageous step of reaching out to your friends and family… especially the ones you don’t see eye-to-eye with.

In your actions, look to the greater good… the needs of the many, over the needs of the few. This is known as being altruistic. These days, altruism is something we all could use a little more of. A return to the golden rule. In the words of the enigmatic agent 87… “shine forth!” In the words of those two great American bodhisattvas, Bill and Ted… “Be Excellent to one another!!!” 

R U Kind?!?


Dennis/87 said…
To shine forth is key. Great words from Jack Heart in this post. With the power of soul, anything is possible. Discernment is key. Take a walk in the woods. 87
Jack Heart said…
Don't sugar coat it... tell us how you really feel...
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Garmr said…
If you are going to own an identity that has been used to put you down, then words like freak or queer are preferable to stupid. But then, you could hardly describe stupidity as a fringe activity.
Jack Heart said…
In the interest of free discourse, I entertained the rude and somewhat hurtful comments of a certain anonymous. Posting as "anonymous" is a time-honored expression of free speech and the benefit of anonymity is a courtesy of a free society.

Therefore, Anony's initial comment shall remain...

In the interest of not feeding the trolls, Anony's subsequent, rude and somewhat hateful comments have been removed. I encourage all commenters to please be kind.
Jack Heart said…
Agreed. Freakiness and queerness are in the eye of the beholder. Freakiness is as freakiness does. Stupidity is more of a contagious mind-virus... Talk about pandemic!!!
Dennis/87 said…
Jack, good job with annoy. 87
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