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In the late ’80s I was living with a Swedish girl who lived in Hedenaset – just across the border from Finland, way up north above the Baltic Sea. Yes, winters were cold. And dark. But summers were nice. And she was gorgeous. So there you go.
We would go to discos over in Finland and it was quite the scene. This was in the era of the ’80s outrageous androgynous colorful metallic fashion, and Euro-synth-punk music. In northern, rural Finland. It was, well, it was quite the scene. I’d be sitting in a corner booth, watching colorful flashing lights over the dance floor filled with some of the strangest looking people you’ve ever seen.
I grew up on a hog farm in an Amish community in southeastern Ohio. I was wearing jeans, boots, and a denim jacket. These people looked like David Bowie on a bad acid trip. I, of course, sat there calmly and tried to appear bored, like nothing unusual was happening. Even as an 18-year-old farm boy, I somehow intuitively understood that the more absurd one’s behavior, the more seriously one tends to take oneself, and the more violent one’s likely reaction to ridicule. So I played it cool.
I was reminded of my time in ’80s Finnish discos when Finland recently made the news by hosting the heavy metal knitting world championships. Scandinavian heavy metal is even worse than other heavy metal, although for some reason it’s not quite as bad when accompanied by sumo wrestlers and intense knitters wearing odd costumes. Although I shouldn’t make fun, because come to think of it, I’m not sure what one is supposed to wear when knitting on stage between a heavy metal band and sumo wrestlers.
The YouTube video below is well worth 90 seconds of your time. You’ll want the sound on. You never know – you may learn something! Well, you probably won’t. But it’s still worth 90 seconds of your time:
This video may seem a bit odd, to you. You may be thinking, “Those Finns must drink even more vodka than I thought they did. Before breakfast.” But I was unimpressed. After my experience in the discos of northern Finland in the era of ’80s androgynous metallic fashion, I found this video to be a bit, well, a bit boring, frankly. These people are obviously trying to be crazy and bizarre. Because apparently, none of them were at the same discos I was. If they had been, they would stop trying to appear strange. Strange is a moving target, and it only moves in one direction. And it has already moved way past these people, way back in the ’80s.
This increasing difficulty experienced by those who endeavor to appear strange paradoxically makes increasingly strange behavior appear increasingly boring. We become jaded, and those who seek our attention tend to get ignored.
And people willing to do ridiculous things to attract attention to themselves really can’t stand being ignored. The woman at left demanding congressional respect while wearing a vagina costume must wonder why nobody is paying attention to her.
I feel bad for them, really. This has always worked before. A man wearing mascara in 1986 attracted attention. Now, he has to surgically mutilate his genitals to attract attention. And even that is becoming blasé. Again, strange is a moving target. And it only moves in one direction.
Which presents a problem for the left, who present themselves as champions of the outsiders of society. Even those who go to great lengths to make themselves outsiders. Would the heavy metal knitter from the video who dressed up as a Viking bride (I think) have a chance at being nominated to President Biden’s cabinet? Probably not – she is still white, after all. On the other hand, she’s obviously putting a great deal of effort into conforming with the non-conformity which is so trendy now, so maybe Assistant Secretary of Education or something?
I don’t know. It’s complicated. President Biden is doing his best. Under difficult and ever-changing circumstances.
Joe Biden recently nominated Dr. Rachel Levine to become the first transsexual something-or-other to serve as federal something-or-other in the Department of Health and Human Services. GLAAD praised this courageous choice by President Biden, pointing out that 19% of trans-sexuals have no health insurance. Which obviously explains Mr. Biden’s selection of Dr. Levine. I mean, there you go.
On the other hand, it’s also possible that he’s less interested in transsexual health insurance than he is in the perception of diversity in his administration, which these days, has become much more complex than having a certain percentage of blacks in every photo-op.
Is Dr. Levine sufficiently diverse? I don’t know – he or possibly she is still white, after all. On the other hand, she or possibly he is obviously putting a great deal of effort into conforming with the non-conformity which is so trendy now, so maybe Assistant Something-or-Other in the Department of Health and Human Services is reasonable.
I don’t know. It’s complicated.
I’m not sure anybody on the left plans past next week. But if they do, I wonder where they see this going? What will a diverse presidential cabinet look like in 10 years? 20 years? Once David Bowie is president, who the heck do you nominate as Assistant Something-or-Other in the Department of Health and Human Services?
And at what point do people just lose interest in all this, jaded from decades of increasingly earnest efforts at ridiculous insincerity? Will we return to the ’80s, when such people would earn a roll of the eyes rather than a presidential cabinet appointment?
I don’t know. It’s complicated.
Strange is a moving target. And it only moves in one direction.
I can’t help but wonder where all this is going. I wonder if Democrat leaders wonder, too?Published in