I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Their immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through
-David Bowie, Changes
Come as you are, as you were
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend
As an old enemy
-Nirvana, Come as You Are
Are you depressed, bored, disenchanted or just plain pissed-off with the humdrum banality of straight white suburban bourgeoise existence?
Has the American Dream begun to feel more like a waking nightmare with beige carpet swatches?
Have you quit your dead-end 9-to-5 office job and have zero intention of looking for a new one?
Are you beginning to suspect that the overpriced IKEA furniture you own actually owns you?
Do you find yourself hoarding large supplies of dried goods and canned foods in a heavily fortified basement?
Have you begun to find it easier to communicate with other human beings while dressed up like a candy-colored andromorphic animal?
Are the long weekends you spend sleeping in your van out in the desert just getting longer and longer?
Does the make-believe life you live pretending to be a goblin out in the woods with other Tolkien addicts feel more real than the one you lead back in the real world?
Would you rather be spanked and diapered by a pissed-off bitch than have sex like a missionary with the lights off?
Do you find yourself secretly hoping for a zombie apocalypse just so you don’t have to mow the lawn this weekend?
Does marching around town with an AR-15 in military fatigues and a Hawaiin shirt feel more like progress than voting for some smug asshole in a monkey-suit who swears that he’s just marginally less toxic than the other smug asshole in a monkey-suit?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, then you might be a member of the out-group, a loosely affiliated population of proudly disgruntled minorities that find themselves uncapable or unwilling to conform to the narrow expectations of White Anglo Saxon Protestant society during the collapse of Western Civilization. This may come as a shock to you because you may in fact identify as a White Anglo Saxon Protestant. You may have even been raised to believe that this vanilla prison sentence is in fact a grand privilege and rejecting it to embrace being a fucking weirdo instead may feel like blasphemy, but it may be time to consider that being one of “them” might be for you.
You might want to consult a Black and/or Queer friend before committing social suicide as reactions from the police state may vary. Common side-effects of out-group affiliation may include unhousing, unemployment, ostracization, online censorship and even no-knock police raids as well as feelings of belonging to something bigger than the crass commercialism of late-stage capitalism that you’ve secretly thirsted for your entire life. You may even find yourself ecstatically happy as the world burns down around your feet.
My humble suggestion, for whatever it’s worth to you, is to just fucking embrace your madness if it makes you happy and pisses off the establishment because life ain’t getting any longer and the world is coming unglued.
Yes indeed, dearest motherfuckers, this is it, the end-days, Armageddon, the Kali Yuga, tooth-for-tooth time. Whatever you wanna fucking call it, the jig is up, all bets are off, the center cannot hold, the falcon cannot reach the falconer. After centuries of prophecy from every dangerously woke lunatic from Jesus Christ to Ted Kaczynski, the age of Ozymandias is finally upon us. Just turn on that flickering idiot box the government tracks you with in your pocket if you still don’t believe us. Even the beautiful imbeciles on the news are starting to spout bad poetry like Charlie Manson. Moneyed oligarchs are sicking different wings of their precious police state on each other for a change, the polar ice caps are melting faster than cellophane environmentalists like Al Gore can profit off it, and the largest superpowers on the planet are locked in multiple nuclear Mexican stand-offs at once as their economies tank and circle the drain.
This is it. The ship is going down and you can either drown with those fancy deckchairs you bought from Sharper Image or grab a life preserve but don’t you dare act like the freaky people didn’t fucking warn you because we’ve been warning you like fucking crazy for a thousand years. Christ, Mohammed, Spengler, Marx, Stirner, Nietzsche, Malcolm, Gramsci, Fanon, Genet, Hicks, Kaczynski, we all told you that this colossus doesn’t float, and you called us heretics and imbeciles and threw us in your packed prisons and asylums. Well, maybe now you’ll fucking listen, now that the wreckage of your sick modern lifestyle is affecting your stock portfolio and your beachfront property values. Swim, swine, swim. No state will stand long enough to save you from yourself now.
For those of us who have spent our lives on the outside of this bread and circus funhouse with our frostbit noses pressed firmly against the glass, this catastrophic cataclysm is actually downright cathartic. For Western Civilization’s long-demonized out-groups, be they Black anarchists, American Indian mystics, neurodivergent outlaws or unassimilated Queer folk like me, all of this mayhem feels more like justice than tragedy and why the fuck not? After centuries of rule by sadistic bullies, rapacious priests, role-crazy cops and corporate Klansmen, this sick little trip called society is finally coming down like a ton of bricks and all the people who got rich torturing us are trapped beneath the ruble. Fuck em. I brought my popcorn. Let the walls of Babylon come tumbling down and I’ll jack my man-clit to the blooper reel.
But for your average vanilla, mostly white and supposedly straight normie suburbanite the seemingly inevitable decline of what they were raised to believe is the static status quo is quite shocking, even downright traumatic and they’re handling it in some pretty weird ways. When the collective public loses faith in civilization, we commonly see a mass proliferation of tiny counter-civilizations, often derisively labeled as counterculture.
We’ve experienced this before during decade-long blackouts like the Great Depression and the bloody descent of Camelot into the jungles of Vietnam, but we’ve never seen anything quite like what we’re seeing now. After the seismic seizures of the Great Recession and the Pandemic, with the dark clouds of climate change and World War 3 on the horizon, an unprecedented number of seemingly normal stable civilians have quit their jobs, abandoned their dangerously over-mortgaged McMansions and disappeared into a chaotic online landscape of strange new lifestyles. Vanlifers, LARPers, digital nomads, otherkin, doomsday preppers, adult babies, otaku, Juggalos, furies, boogaloo boys…
This whole thing is dizzying and at times downright amusing to witness and it may be quite tempting for those of us who have been outcasts by birthright to mock these silly suburbanites as they desperately try to escape their comeuppance with trendy lifestyle shifts but I believe that this reaction is a mistake. It is the sad influence of colonial oppression that has taught even marginalized people to marginalize those who we struggle to comprehend, and we must shed this skin.
The hide-and-seek make-believe of cottage-core and cosplay may seem childishly shallow to someone who drags around a concertina cobweb of post-traumatic stress from a childhood dominated by pious child molesters who condemned my tiny soul to eternal hellfire for being an unsalvageable faggot, but I must remember, we must all remember, that these amateur freaks, in their own often silly ways, are attempting to shed their skins too. Behind every suburban survivalist and weekend kinkster is a lost fellow traveler desperately attempting to purge the vestiges of their privileged conformist existence before it drags them to the ocean floor like a millstone around their necks. These people may miss the big picture, but at least their instincts are all on the money.
And believe it or not, these people actually need our help more than we need there’s. Systemically marginalized people like gender outlaws and racial minorities have been robbed and raped six ways to Sunday by that phallic shining beacon on the hill known as American exceptionalism. But these days of plenty are numbered. When white powers collapses, Black, brown and Queer folk will still have the tribes that we carefully constructed to resist colonization, but straight white people will be lost.
Without their hollow privilege, largely predicated on the illusion of power projected by the state, what do these people have left to cling to but violence? This is why seemingly comfortable middle class white boys are pledging their allegiance to sick little cults like the Proud Boys and marching into supermarkets with AR-15s. They were raised by a system that taught them that social weakness could be avenged through senseless slaughter. We should welcome any refugee attempting to escape this fate no matter how privileged their background may be.
The best example that I’ve witnessed through my years of agoraphobic research on how to approach this kind of reverse conversion therapy is the freak culture of the sixties and seventies as best embodied by stoic urban warriors like Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party who formed a Rainbow Coalition of diverse oppressed people united in their commitment to communal autonomy, self-determination and anti-imperialism. This coalition included former street gangs-turned-revolutionaries like the Young Lords and the Blackstone Rangers, but it also included paler refugees of the pig power system like the White Panther Party, who organized on a campaign of solidarity between the Third World and suburban stoners committed to “rock and roll, dope and fucking in the streets” as well as the underprivileged Appalachian migrants in the Young Patriots Organization and the white working-class greasers in Rising Up Angry.
Sadly, it didn’t take much for the feds to take down the Rainbow Coalition because it was a top-down network formed during the temporary crisis of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, but the rules have changed, and I believe that they have changed in our favor. New Left casualties like Abdullah Ocalan and the Black Anarchist Movement have rectified the error of their ways by rejecting the reactionary violence of Marxist-Leninism in favor of far more stateless and indigenous forms of resistance, and the cataclysm currently sending suburbia to the desert isn’t a single war that can be ended by a last-minute armistice, it is a fundamental collapse of a way of life built on endless war and environmental degradation.
We, the elder tribesmen of the out-group should encourage everyone to reject the empty power worship of whiteness. We should embrace any identity built on rejecting the institutional violence of the status quo and teach our freaky new dauphins the importance of mutual aid and rejecting all the hierarchies that we had to tear down the hard way. We should radicalize these countercultures and convert their members into committed anarchists, not just for the betterment of their weird new communities but for the betterment of ours as well. After all, during the Dark Ages that followed the fall of Rome, those poor assimilated tools who failed to see the idiocy that led to this collapse only violently fetishized it as barbarian mercenaries for the scattered feudal remains of the master class. We can do better.
So, are you a freak, pervert, weirdo, geek, outcast or degenerate who is thirsty to belong to something bigger than yourself but smaller than an omnicidal nation state? Do you despise the petty despotism of mainstream society and universal identarian essentialism? Do you wish to build a deranged utopia based on an obscure sexual fetish or the rantings of a 19th century children’s author or at least die trying? Then welcome to the out-group dearest motherfuckers! We’ve been waiting a long time for you to see the light and we don’t fucking care what color it is as long as it burns brighter than a Molotov cocktail. Now let’s get together and build something strange on the ashes of that dust heap called Western Civilization. Anarchy is loosed upon the world, and I feel frisky.