Sunday, December 26, 2010


I don't like the word 'normal.'  It's one of the most overused, thoughtless, and empty words in the English vocabulary.  Mathematics defines normal as 90°.  After that, normal gets weird, dodgy, connotative and, well, abnormal.

You see, there is no normal in philosophy -- that strange application every one of us does to varying degrees in our lives.  Science really has no normal beyond importing the mathematical definition of the word.  Social sciences harbour freakish political mindsets abstracted from reality and imposed on fledgling minds; their 'normal' is the particular partisan persuasion of the institute teaching the social sciences.  And most often that persuasion happens to be in conflict with reality.

Economics doesn't have a 'normal'.  There's no 'normal' in environmental sciences.  There's no 'normal' in music.  Really, 'normal' just doesn't exist beyond being a sentiment that reinforces the guilt we're taught we should feel if we don't quite "fit in."  Add to the injury of that guilt the insult that mainstream media chats into our ears: be an individual.  So while it is that we should be concerned about 'fitting in', so that we don't appear abnormal, we should also be individuals (just like everyone else!), which is a message to stand in stark contrast to the status quo (i.e., the normal expectations around us).

Well, having explained my bafflement with the uncouth concept of normality, I will leave off this article with Ellen Goodman's famous quotation about what constitutes 'normal'.
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
Yeah. There's nothing like aspiring to mediocrity. How pathetic is that?

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