Whatever Happened To The Lost Generation?

Whatever happened to the lost generation? Nobody knows – that’s why they’re lost! Only we do know, we know very well! We know exactly what happened to them, but it’s too late to do anything about it. Or is it? So began the first paragraph of my latest book, which was an in-depth sociological analysis of youth culture in the first half of the 21st century. Only there is no such book. I never wrote it – I toyed with the idea for a while and then moved on to something else. Something else which didn’t really lead anywhere either, as I recollect. I myself am not a member of any generation; I never fitted in enough to be called a ‘member’ of any group! I never fitted in at all, come to think of it. Not anywhere. I would like to say something like ‘I was a bit of a lone wolf’, or ‘I was a bit of an outsider’, but I wasn’t – I was simply a freak. I was going to add ‘the same as all the other freaks’ that would make any sense. If I was the same as all the other freaks then I wouldn’t be a freak, obviously. So that couldn’t be true! Some people know what it feels like not to be able to fit in, other people don’t know. The people who don’t know don’t care that they don’t know – they couldn’t care less, in fact. That’s what makes the way they are! I’m not saying that they’re bastards or scumbags or anything like that mind you, but all the same I can’t think of anything nice to say about them. I can’t think of any positive qualities that they might have. They’re kind of self-absorbed, I suppose you could say… The people who do know what it feels like never to fit in don’t know what it feels like to have no problems in this regard, but they do care, they do wonder about what that feels like! That’s the essential dissymmetry in this situation you see – the one isn’t simply the mirror-image reflection of the other. Curious, isn’t it? There are mathematical patterns in everything, as we can plainly see from all those various YouTube videos on the subject. The Fibonacci sequence and all of that stuff. Although to be honest, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. My next book was to be entitled ‘The Social Equilibrium’ but I quickly lost patience with this one as well. In one way it was inspired, possibly even a work of genius, but in another way it wasn’t because I never actually wrote it. Neither did I even come particularly close to writing it, if the truth be known (which it is to me anyway, if not anyone else). And if someone else did know then they wouldn’t really care anyway, which would be exactly the same as them not knowing, when it comes right down to it. The key idea to this book was that society is a homeostatic mechanism that works by damping down all fluctuations (since all fluctuations are disturbances of the prescribed ‘stasis state’). This is how all homeostatic systems work of course – fluctuations are ‘errors in the system’, they are ‘deviations from the prescribed values’. They need to be corrected, in other words, they need to be damped down, they need to be ironed out. What do you do when you meet someone is looking a bit weird? You give them a funny look of course and that’s the negative feedback they need to remind them to be normal. If they can be normal, that is! If they can’t then they keep on attracting dirty looks and so much the worse for them in this case. They will have to suffer the brunt of society’s negative judgement wherever they go. The cold shoulder. Maybe they’ll get bullied or beaten up or something like that and that’s how fluctuations get ironed out within the equilibrium system which is society. That’s what it’s all about. Society is just a big machine for eradicating consciousness really, as anyone but a complete idiot can tell straightaway, but try telling people that and see where it gets you! It’ll get you more than just a few funny looks, I can tell you. I can tell you that for nothing…







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