The internet (and the world, for that matter) teems with it- odd ideas, weird conjectures, outright strange shit. Not all of it is useful, nor amusing, but I have learned a very important lesson in my rambles around cyberspace: what you assume to be useless can sometimes be exactly what you need. Even if you would never find happiness in replicating what another describes, understanding their viewpoint can help you with yours.
Case in point- I was introduced to the blog Blood for Divine by people who hate it (and several writers associated with it) with a passion. I went to the links they posted, read the passages they waxed eloquent about, and found it distasteful. I didn’t read any further because I felt I knew it all. (Let it be noted that I did not find the same things distasteful as the introducers did. I was squicked out by the blood ordeals. They were foaming at the mouth about “Odin” supposedly sanctioning these ordeals.)
A while later I manage to put my foot in my mouth, big time. You see, I had painted an entire group of people with a single, tiny, and inexpertly wielded brush. A person splattered in the crossfire called me on it and by the great green balls of the Greenman did I deserve it. So, I went back to the blog, read a little more, and decided that it was ok.
Oooo, aren’t I so effing great.
Now, I have a little more age, a little more perspective. I’m rereading the blog because my interests have changed. My perspective has grown. While I don’t want (and , I hope, don’t need) ordeals as they describe them, there are bits and pieces that I do find very very interesting. If I had never gotten over the squick, I would never have been open to the ideas that are interwoven in the squicky bits. Inspiration comes from all sorts of places, and if you only read or experience the familiar, you will never, ever know all the things you need to be whole.
Its like searching for the last puzzle piece- its not under the couch or on the table or in the box. Its not under the completed bits of the puzzle, or in anybody’s pocket. It was stuck to Aunt Mildred’s ass, who then went to the bathroom. Three months later you found it while scrubbing the toilet. Without it, the puzzle isn’t complete. It was chance that she sat on it, and chance that you found it again.
Another case in point- At some point I was directed to a webpage revealing the workings of a cult. The rhetoric of the cult didn’t thrill me, but I started reading the diary of a young lady who died of cancer while she was a part of said cult. It creeped me out. Page upon page of paranoid, disturbing notations with her and the cult leader starring as the heroes. Why did it bother me so? Because it could have been me. My former childhood best friend had a very similar set up. Very similar ideas. I came late to the game, otherwise I have no doubt I would have gotten my own “persona” with my own special, secret name. It gave me chills to see how close I came to wholeheartedly believing something just as unhealthy as the young lady.
The point of this mildly meandering post is to explain, in some sort of appreciable fashion, why strange crap is important. It may be a warning, or a gift of understanding, or a simple idea. The most important thing is that it impacts you. It takes a very special sort of status quo to give someone an added impetus to do something. A bolt out of the blue, whether a ordeal-based blog or a dead cat on the side of the road, can move you faster, shake you up longer, and drive you to action and understanding, if it hits you just right. Plain old fantasy-based fiction has done that to me; Neil Gaiman helped me accept death, in a strange way. Stephen King taught me whole new ways of seeing the world, and why a child can have more power than an adult.
You never know when and where the bolt will strike. It can strike on the toilet, in the car, while watching a ballet, or while giving birth to a child. It hides in strange crap like a glimmering parasite and waits for you to be ripe and ready. It is poetry, it is an image, it is a story or an anecdote, it is a movement or a person or an ideology.
Appreciate the strange crap, oh reader. You don’t have to like it, or agree with it. Appreciate what is not yours because the future is uncertain. Appreciate it because in a month or a year or a decade, your beliefs will be the strange crap, mental effluvia in the great Toilet of Humanity. Appreciate it because you might need it, for some reason, later in your life.
And because sometimes it’s just plain funny to read.