Contradiction and Ambiguity
Conformity or rebellion? Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded - they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity. — Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age
Reading Ad Busters today, I saw a full page ad which had a picture of a drab suburban man looking upwards. There's a building of some sort in the background. The only text is at the bottom and reads "fantasize about nihilism". Something about this struck a chord in me and I remembered sitting in my seat at Fight Club revelling in the destruction of the credit towers with The Pixies playing Where is my mind?. Something about that moment was just perfect ... the irony of the entire situation wasn't lost on me.
My fascination with anarchy and nihilism has always confused me. There is some primal part of me that longs for the release into chaos, to simply fight for survival rather than have to plan for it.
As I get older, I'm starting to feel lost without a home. I grew up regularly moving houses and countries, and have continued that since I left home. I find myself jealous every time I'm with a friend who runs into a friend at some random event ... the guy in line ahead of me who knows the shopkeeper by name ... chatting with the local bartender as you pass through on your way to the pool table.
Where is this desire for roots and community coming from? And why isn't it subsuming my desire for chaos?