You know that feeling when you listen to a right-wing politician speaking at a rally and you get strangely excited and all worked up and you find yourself thinking, ‘Thank God someone has the courage to see when action is needed and isn’t afraid to see it through’? Well I guess we all know that feeling all right. We’ve all had that experience – we all know that inexpressible sweet sweet relief of hearing our deepest and most irrational prejudices voiced out loud in compelling tones in front of an ugly crowd. Oh yes – we’ve all definitely been there.
You know that feeling when you’re watching a trashy Saturday night game show on TV and you suddenly realise that all the enjoyment has somehow gone out of it? You’re sitting there watching all geared up to have a good time but nothing happens –you discover that you are incapable of deriving even the tiniest bit of pleasure out of it and you’re left feeling as if you somehow don’t belong. It’s as if the contestants are all some kind of weird alien species and you can’t relate to them anymore. Maybe you’ve had that experience too? I know a lot of us have. It’s not that uncommon. You shouldn’t be afraid to admit it.
Well that’s actually what I’m experiencing right now as I sit here in my armchair facing the TV screen on the other side of the room. I find myself somehow alienated from the whole damn experience. I’m alienated from the whole damn experience of being me, sitting here in my favourite armchair in my living room on a Saturday night watching the 7.30 game show. I don’t seem to be able to relate to the experience of being me. I feel as if I’m not actually in my own life anymore. I can see it clearly enough – it’s right there in front of me – but I can’t seem to get into it any more. I can’t inhabit it. My life could be on the other side of an impregnable glass wall for all the good it does me. No matter how I try to climb back into it I just keep banging my head off that glass wall. I feel like some kind of annoying stupid fly buzzing at a window pane because it’s too stupid to realise it can’t get through the glass…
Do you know that feeling when things aren’t normal and you do all the things you usually do in such a situation to make them be normal again but it just isn’t working? You’re doing the things, you’re doing the good old normal things that always make things be the way that they’re supposed to be but somehow it doesn’t do any good. Even the special super-normal type of things that you do in order to make everything go back to being what they’re supposed to be don’t seem normal any more! Probably they would if only everything else would just go back to being normal but – it doesn’t. And you’re left there feeling like a total freak, doing all these bizarre stupid things that don’t make any sense at all.
Well I guess we all know that feeling well enough. That’s definitely something that most of us can relate to, I’d say. I mean, we’ve all found ourselves in that predicament, haven’t we? I mean, that’s normal enough, isn’t it?