Dragging myself out of bed for a walk today, it appeared there were no more clean shirts in the confused pandemonium of the bedroom, so I went outside bare-chested and picked one up off the line, covering my shame while going out into the open street. I realise putting a shirt on is something of an everyday occurrence for people in these parts, but the unusual thing here was that it took me about a second and a half to go from a topless-outside someone strangers would walk to the other side of the street from and acquaintances would raise an eyebrow at to a normal, unobjectionable clean-cut citizen, in a metamorphosis too dramatic to be done justice to in the casual way in which it was effected.
What it is, is an exceptionally apt illustration of what annoys me about the world and its arbitrary demands of you. These aren't necessarily all that taxing in their particulars, but there's something alienating, confusing, and downright depressing about their cumulative hollow totality, much like religion.
Apparently religion is traditionally the first stage and major facilitator in the repeated worldwide transitions from egalitarian nomadic wandering to exploitative sedentary imprisonment. What better use of agricultural surplus than the freeing up of working hands for the purpose of expertise in what you should think, what you should wear and where you should work? It's a kind of repression altogether different from that of the mob - trampling intelligent reflection in the name of impulsive emotion; in a kind of charlatanistic reversal of this, it strangles spontaneity in the name of bullshit.
Well-organised and meticulously coordinated bullshit appears, for most people, to be preferable to the headache of dealing with the chaotic reality of things not emanating from the anuses of cattle. I say chaotic, but I don't actually think it would inevitably be anarchic. We don't have to get rid of all the rules - just the clearly stupid ones.
It's the kind of heartache much more easily avoided by not taking the world and the morons largely inhabiting it seriously, but it's a problem because there's not all that much else to do around here. I still can't say I really see the point of treating people seriously who don't treat you seriously. So whaddaya do? Walk around without a shirt on and see where the chips fall? It seems like a role some people at least have managed to take on in the world.