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03 - The Inversion of Thought

There are many ideas these days. Ideas which may go contrary to popular belief, and ideas which placate the normal everyday mind. Some keep the evolution of behavioral conditioning going in the proper directions according to society, and others force people to think for themselves rather than be “thought for.” However you look at this, there is a very clear defining point of when these ideas go from pro to con, or from accepted to contested. As with anything that tends to exist, there is a duality to ideas and concepts that keeps them organized and classified. What if, then, there was an idea out there in which all of these concepts or ideas were turned around, and while still saying the same things, meant the complete opposite? I stumbled across this idea one morning while wandering the streets of Hollywood, in the early morning. I imagined myself on a stage, giving a speech, and the results were mind altering. This little tirade, more of a rant at that point in time, gave way to be one of the most important thoughts that I have yet conceived. From that point in time until now, I have stumbled across many different points and finer subtleties of life that continued to point me in the direction of the Inversion of Thought. It all started with a friend of mine, and one of her poems.

In this poem, she was responding to the natural evolution of the gothic lifestyle on any given teen. It explained that part of this lifestyle is to be unique, or different. This in turn makes all the “baby bats” go out and do something to be different. But what do they do to be different? Well, there are all these other people who are doing things to be different, so they decide to do something that those other people are doing to be different. So now, in their attempts to be different, they are doing the same things as others to be different, so now they are all the same, different. It makes quite a bit of sense, especially for the crowd that it was speaking of. In the end, the diversity that they championed among themselves became the same old fad and was passed on again and again. Now it didn’t venture much further than this quite yet. Not until that rant one morning in Hollywood.

Walking down Santa Monica Blvd. at 6:30 in the morning can be a trifle boring, and at this specific time of year, quite cold as well. Being that as it was, I was hurrying down the street talking to myself as I have been known to do on more than numerous occasions. I came upon this issue again, only this time, carried it into a speech type atmosphere in my head. I imagined a whole audience of people in front of me, listening attentively to every word I had to say, so I continued with my thought.

If these people here [the Goths], raised by normal society, ended up turning to this lifestyle specifically to be different, then what is to stop the rest of society from doing the same? At this point in the evolution of the behavioral psychology of high school students, the latest fad is not to just be yourself (as a good portion of people learn by the end of college), but to also be unique and different. Not only does it start with clothing and music and hair style, it ends up becoming everything that these people work for. As I saw in the movie, American Psycho, it can even end up at the top of the corporate ladder, where in an effort to be different, even the business cards must be subtly different, while still being the same. 

Then it hit me…this “Inversion of Thought” was just as prevalent through society as any other psychological complex passed on uninhibited, unidentified and unaddressed. As I was walking down the street, I would pass by people and say to them, “Good morning!” All I ever got in response to my trying to be polite, was rude responses from people, ranging from simply being ignored, to out right insults directed at me. I thought about it. Was this what polite was these days? Was it like New York, where if someone said “Fuck You” then you knew they were being nice? It was making more sense to me now. Being polite anymore was beginning to be looked upon as being rude, and being rude as the polite way of handling things. It even stepped over the boundaries into other things that we saw in daily life. Even into the laws and the statutes of our society. Their complexities had made them simple!

Originally, the Jews had the Ten Commandments, which were a pretty good example of how to live your life. They have since been broken into hundreds upon hundreds of “minor commandments” by the life and times of their subsequent religious followings. Their initial simplicity is what made them difficult to understand, so they had to be broken down into more and more and more complex ideas and concepts that could be cataloged and categorized as either right or wrong, then passed on bit by bit to the congregations. Even to the point of the clocks on our VCR’s versus the icons in Windows, simple and complex have changed place. Four million page manual to set the time on the VCR? No problem. Double-click on an icon to start a program in Windows? Huh? It even spills over into the theological/philosophical arena, where after god became man, man had to again become god. Science didn’t help this one a single bit, and neither is the current trend of thinking for yourself.

In pigment, all colors combined equals black (or a close approximation to), and the absence of all colors equals white (at least on white paper). In light, all colors combined equals white (light), and the absence of all colors equals black (dark). What is the color of an orange? Yes, one of those fruit things that you eat. What color is it? If you said orange, you are wrong. Orange is simply the colors of light that are reflected off of the object that you are looking at. What two colors make up orange? Red and Yellow. So that leaves Blue. An orange is blue, as the blue color filters out all of the blue light, and reflects only the colors of light that are left. What happens when you put a red light bulb into a lamp and turn it on? It turns everything in the room red right? Wrong. It removes all the read color from the room. The red film on the bulb is acting as a filter, and is filtering out all the red light. Kind of strange concept isn’t it? Not quite as strange as something that Anne Rice stumbles upon in her book Blood Canticle.

In this book, her champion and main vampire, Lestat is quoted as saying, “Sometimes I think theologians have it backwards. The big problem is not How to explain the existence of evil in this world. It's How to explain the existence of good.” Evil is constantly chalked up to “human nature” while good is always labeled “miracles.” Original Sin, and the inherent evil of humans is accepted without a doubt, but miracles of behavior, let alone faith are rare indeed, and usually end up being studied for many years after the death of the individual, until they can finally come up with a viable excuse as to why this person was “good.” 

Anne Rice portrays Lucifer as a champion of the people, while God is given the childish arrogance of an insecure dictator, Lestat figures that evil needs no explanation, rather good does, simple and complex have changed places, polite and rude are being reversed, and everyone is doing the same things to be different, so now all is the same, different, and nothing is what you thought it was in the first place. It’s all there, but it’s not quite true. So here is my theory. In the evolution of the behavioral psychology of today’s society, we have taken the simple concepts and broken them down so many times and over such an expanse of time, that we have reached the “other” half point in the circular cyclic nature of things, where the Inversion of Thought occurred, and is now working to put all this mess back together again. We have begun to notice that some things are entirely too complicated, and need to be simplified, or rather downsized. So now, Man, who has become a god in his own right, has taken over the reigns and through understanding is putting back together what he initially tore apart in order to understand. It’s a dizzying concept for the human brain to understand, but look at it this way. If you don’t get it, then by association with it’s opposite, you must get it, I mean, in order to know what something is, you must first know what it is not, no?

The Smokestacks