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Scott Francis Baker


March 8th, 2001

Wow... @ 09:14 pm

I'm going to borrow some Anil wrote and put it here. This is incredibly simple, yet incredibly profound.


A friend of mine once asked me, "You have to be the weirdest person I know. It must be difficult being you...Why are so goddamn random[which they really mean "sureal"]?"

Well, it's like this. The beauty, and great power, of surrealism is in challenging people to see things in a fashion they had never before done so. As we all go through life we see things in a certain patterns (e.g. wake up, then get dressed, then brush teeth, then go to work, then come home and so forth, or even at the larger level of being born, the go to school, then go to college, then get a career, then marry and have kids, then retire, then die). These patterns become so common, and unchallenged, we fail to see them for what they are: a series of options chosed. What really are open choices (we can spare the metaphysical headache here on free will...) become, in the mind of the unchallenged, a series of actions that are forced. Indeed we fail to realize that there was ever a choice to begin with. We fail to realize that you can do otherwise. We fail to realize that "opting out" is an option. [Society with a capital S would crumble if everyone realized this, so it makes sense why this realization is fairly unusual]

By not coming to this realization we are being complacent to the very society where we do all our actions. This complacency extends to a great many things, like brand name emphasis, fast food, environmental problems, the rampant overconsumption of the first world, "conspicous consumerism" to borrow Veblen's phase, political corruption, and so much more. With this challenge of surrealism, what "is and always is", changes roles to "what currently is, but has the possibility of being otherwise."

Our mind gets trapped in these "complacency ruts" as I call them. Where being complacent become incredible easy, and we don't even realize we are doing so. Surreallism is effectively a "jolt", it's a flash that challenges the mental status quo of someone in one of these "ruts". Then once the person realizes that they are in the rut they can do something about it.

Culture Jamming has become in recent years a movement to do just that on daily level--to shock people in a fashion that they are unused to. They do this by attacking the "necessity" of "cool" things, counterculture in the truest way. That's why I try to do surreal acts--to get people to question the way they see things. Until you realize that alternative exist, you will do nothing to fight the status quo; if you don't fight the status quo you'll live your life as a cultural and political automoton--just like those already with power want you do to.

 
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Scott Francis Baker