And no, I'm not referring to the absurdities of capitalism, I'm sure you've heard enough of that. What I'm talking about is the universally absurd, something that just does not work anywhere. The kind of absurd that capitalists, communists, socialists, or whatever-ists would find absurd, if they had an eye for such a thing. I'll try not to sound condescending when I describe exactly what I mean by this.
Normalized absurdity is a reoccurring theme in my dreams, it is a theme especially prevalent in Above the Catacombs. It is something that I find repulsive, terrifying and disturbing, but at the same time irresistibly fascinating. In some of my dreams, I have the capability of weightless flight; flying over these crowded monstrosities of molded metal and plastic, morphing into each other to make a sort of hardened greasy synthetic alloy. They twirl and twist among each other, like the roots of a gigantic jungle tree, forming this picture of an artificial industrial amazon, so dense that the streets below (those covered with chip bags, plastic straws and soda cups) are shadowed and dark.
Everything is commercialized, everything branded, tinges of yellow, orange and red; bright spinning signs, plastic bags following rushing monorails that direct the wind. From the perspective of the streets, it would seem as if the sky's ceiling was metal and plastic, it was like a city inside a fast food restaurant, with thick yellow-orange grease stuck in drips on the walls. The residents are either obese or anorexic, no in-betweens. They flow like an ocean's tide, in and out of stores, with soda cups and bags in their hands. They discard them carelessly, you can see the trash piling up by the drains. The trash piles are like magnets you see, the more trash in an area, the more the people litter there. You can tell, if not by the smell, but just by the gloomy hopeless feeling of the place that no matter how rich or poor, the people within such an environment are suffering.
Yet, the arguments there are over prices, relationships, seemingly petty things, but no-one there seems to have a problem with their environment. It's like they have become so accustomed, so used to it, that it all seems so normal to them that to even imagine a clean, a green, a healthy place seems unimaginable. Yes, they have trees, those in pots, surrounded by benches and overturned trash cans - like the ones in malls.
What rules the ethos of this reoccurring dystopian society in my dreams is that of mass hysteria. It's as if waves upon waves of nonsensical fads had spread like an infection across the social ecosystem. Instead of the people realizing the thousands of small changes that gradually transformed their society into something so ugly and repulsive, that it just looks as if a city mutated out of a pile of fast food vomit, they blindly accepted it because everyone around them accepted it too. Those that didn't get "with the times" were declared as strange, unworldly things.
That's the exception in that society or any society suffering from the normalization of absurdity. There are those, although usually a very small minority that are somehow immune or resistant to the flood of mass hysteria. Despite them holding onto their senses, they remain in a state of shock at the situation of their surroundings. They ask, "Why? Why is living in your own filth normal, why is drowning yourself in toxins socially acceptable, why do they care so much about getting a petty hairstyle when they literally can no longer see the sky. "Sky, what sky?", the hysterical population would hopefully respond back like a curious learning being would. Yet they don't, they respond only with a puzzled or annoyed expression, almost like such a question has induced a headache upon them, a tightening sensation of the sponge that floats within their cranium.
Anyways... what I mean simply is this. There is something terrifying about the idea of the absurd becoming normal. The state of a society that is so far in the process of psychological decay that it does not question nor fight the very system in place that tortures them. The terrifying prospect of a society that views the dystopia as just an unchangeable reality. That is what I occasionally dream of and what I hope to explore in my projects.
Poll results for:
"What perspective do you most prefer?"
- GreenPepper has weird dreams.
- A little bit more work has been done on the exterior map, mostly involving texturing.
- 100% of the 7 people that participated in the last poll said that they prefer first-person over third-person and an isometric perspective.
- Week 112 Newsletter (June 5, 2016)
- GreenPepper (lead developer)
Quote of the week:
"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed." - Mahatma Gandhi