Imagine if everything just worked out. Your parents met through friends, they married, your mom delivered you naturally in her late twenties. She never followed some fad diet, she just ate oatmeal porridge with a glass of orange juice in the morning, wholegrain bread in the afternoon, some vegetables and the occasional seafood and never had to worry about her weight. She never heard of veganism, or the keto diet, the carnivore diet, what percentage of calories you should get from carbohydrates, or any of that stuff.
She breastfed you when you were young, gave you cloth diapers, never heard of circumcision. The basics just went right, she lucked out and didn’t make the big errors, not because she spent her days neurotically reading the Internet, but because things just worked out. She had you vaccinated, she brushed your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, you even received a course of antibiotics once, but it just didn’t really matter. You seemed normal. It just wasn’t worth worrying over.
Your parents were known and liked in the small town they lived in, perhaps your dad was a municipal councilor, or perhaps he owned a small construction company. They went to some church on Sunday your mom’s family had been attending for generations, perhaps your mom was German American and you all went to a Lutheran church every Sunday and you were baptized in that tradition and celebrated Christmas and Easter there.
Your parents were not really actively concerned with religion, your parents didn’t check if you had porn magazines, they didn’t make you wear a “purity ring”, they didn’t chase boys out of your house with a shotgun, it’s just “what your family does” and you made some friends there through your parents friends.
Perhaps the small town you lived in had its own quirky holidays and perhaps some of the elderly still spoke German with a weird accent and perhaps there was a museum with some artifacts of the town’s history and pictures of the abandoned coal or copper mine people used to work in and the mayor came from a local family that was well to do and had lived there for generations and owned some property and was charitable to the local community.
Perhaps there was a small path around a river that was just really pleasant and where you could be by yourself or with a bunch of other kids. Perhaps you lived just an hour away from an actual city. Most people knew each other, the elderly men could always be found in the local pub complaining about the local councilors or playing darts or card games, after enough beer the local blokes would arm wrestle or try their luck with the waitress.
Your parents had no big ambitions or plans for you, they didn’t expect you to become a child actor, they didn’t think your were gifted, they didn’t think you had to be the first kid in the family to go to college, your mom didn’t want you to have the career opportunities she had to sacrifice when she became pregnant. Your parents didn’t divorce, your mom didn’t have boyfriends over the floor.
In school you did fine, you had some friends and you didn’t really seek attention, you did your homework and you found it easy to focus on things. Nobody really tried to screw with you, maybe people talked about you behind your back but it didn’t bother you.
The other gender did not mystify you. You didn’t hate them, didn’t put them on a pedestal either. You didn’t spend your days wondering about how they think, or what they want. You didn’t mistakenly think they only want to have black boyfriends because you didn’t have a TV that only showed you interracial couples. You never really thought about how your nose should be shaped, how your chin should be shaped, you didn’t think about having to build muscle, you just built some muscle simply from being on the swimming team.
Your parents had no big plans for you, but they thought about how the world works, they thought about how you function, they thought about what your strengths and weaknesses are, without really ever explicitly saying it to you. Maybe they figured out you were good at math so they had you help dad do the bookkeeping at his company. Maybe they thought you were shy and too shut-in so they had you get a job waiting tables at a local restaurant, or join your local theater club.
Perhaps nothing really bad ever happened to you. Nobody really hated you, you never encountered anyone who was truly screwed in the head. Your town was just normal and average and functional, a place where people have some common heritage that connects them. If you’re a boy, you end up growing slightly taller than your dad.
You never felt a need to think deeply about the world. You never felt a need to dissociate. You knew the name of the current president and you knew the name of the president who was shot in broad daylight, but that’s about as deep as your knowledge of politics went. You didn’t see how any of it would affect you. Your world consisted of the people you personally knew and other than that your interest was in whatever career tract you were entering and cars and sports (male) or fashion and celebrities (female).
You didn’t wonder what happened long in the past. There’s Roosevelt, there’s Abraham Lincoln, then there’s the founding fathers, then there’s Magna Carta, that’s about it. You didn’t wonder much about what happens in the future either. We’ll start using this “Internet” thing and “Renewable energy”, but that’s about as far as your crystal ball reaches.
In fact, you just don’t have that much to discuss with the people you know, outside of what you know about people you mutually know and some minor updates about your own living conditions. “Dysgenics” “K-selected” “hypergamy” “MAO inhibitors” “Methane clathrates” “gender dysphoria” “settler colonalism” “patriarchy” “zionism” “Operation Northwoods” “accelerationism” these are all terms you just never heard of.
None of these things people on the Internet talk about really mean anything to you and they don’t really matter to you either. And no, they don’t just mean nothing to you because you’re “dopamine fasting” or “productivity hacking” or “detoxing” or “returning to tradition”, because those terms never entered your vocabulary either.
These things don’t mean anything to you, because things just mostly worked out for you. You just did most of your life on autopilot. Things just work out. You just never wonder what the real estate prices will do next year, you just have a mortgage advisor explain this stuff to you when you start looking for a home. You don’t ask yourself whether you should plan for retirement, whether hyperinflation is about to strike. None of these questions occur to you. Insofar as you think about how the world works, it’s insofar as it is relevant to you doing whatever your job happens to be.
Imagine things just worked like that. And you would turn on the radio or MTV and hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers or the Foo Fighters or Metallica or Nickelback and that would be your jam and you didn’t think about whether it’s “mainstream” or what it makes people think of you, or whether there’s anything you like more. Or perhaps you were more sophisticated, perhaps you didn’t work a blue collar job, perhaps you became a paper pusher. Perhaps you listen to Coldplay or Michael Bublé or Norah Jones or Sade.
Perhaps you just fit into your context. Not because you try. But because it just goes automatically. You just blend in, without thinking about it. You just automatically “feel” what to wear, how to place the right amount of emotion in your voice, how to walk, how to keep a conversation going with someone you know nothing about except the bare essentials.
You use the Internet to see what your friends are up to. That’s it.
Imagine not having to reinvent the wheel. Imagine not having to force program intuition into your skull. Imagine just not having to understand things. Not wanting to understand things. Not feeling that desire. But also not realizing, that you don’t feel the desire to understand things. Being normal, without even having to suffer the realization that you’re normal.
Not wanting to figure out for yourself whether evolution is real, whether climate change is real, whether the holocaust is real, who really killed JFK, who really carried out 9/11, whether there is evidence for the crucifixion and the massacre of the innocents, whether these quotes you found on some obscure blog from the Talmud are real, whether there were secondary explosives at the Oklahoma City Bombing or not.
Imagine these questions just never occurring to you. Just never spending a whole evening reading about these things. Just accepting what you hear from your environment. Just never feeling that urge. Just being really invested in what you have to do when you get up in the morning. That just being what genuinely occupies your mind.
Imagine realizing what you’re not supposed to say, but then not feeling the constant desire to say it. Imagine it’s just a minor inconvenience, already sinking deep into your subconsciousness, to the point where you hardly even realize you’re not supposed to say it.
Imagine ending up in a relationship, not because you tried, but because it just happened. You just started talking to someone one day and things just progressed from there. And there wasn’t really ever a “date”. And you never really had to explain to someone what you do for a living, who your parents are, whether you have siblings, what you studied, all in the course of an evening.
And you don’t really worry about whether the cow on your plate had a good life or not. And you’re not eating the steak because you want to increase your gains in the gym. You just like the taste of it. And you never see the video of the crying cow pushing the gun away. Or the pigs boiled alive because of a failure to incapacitate them. And you never wonder about these things. Because your empathy is just naturally oriented towards human beings. Not humans in general, or in an abstract sense of the word. It’s just oriented towards people you physically meet.
And you start growing bald before you hit thirty, or you become fat, or your breasts begin to sag, or you get wrinkles. And you went from having sex three times a week to just once a week. But it never even really matters to you. If you’re a male your friends make jokes about it, but you don’t feel hurt by it. Because it doesn’t matter. It’s not high on your agenda of priorities. You know you’re supposed to go to the gym, but you just don’t have the time for it. Because you’re married.
And you’re planning on having children. And you consider this just self-evident. And you don’t wonder whether you should have children when your species weighs ten times as much as all the wild animals on land combined. Because you don’t know that. Nor do you know that harvests are failing and fertile soils are blowing into the ocean and carrying capacity for humans will be reduced to less than 1 billion before 2100. Because you don’t think about this. Having children is just something you do. Not because it’s “Trad”. But because you married, bought a house, had a dog, just received a promotion, won’t be promoted again until your boss retires and now there’s a certain emptiness. Not a haunting emptiness. Just a minor irritation.
And your children are born. And they’re healthy. And you notice that the droughts get really nasty these days and your grass lawn just dies these days if you don’t water it yourself, even though your municipal government tells you not to waste water, which they never said when you were young. But it means nothing to you. And you don’t make the connection.
And there was this really weird year back when everyone wore masks and there was this new virus from China and you had to get these new vaccines and you were sick for a week and then the vaccines didn’t work and you still caught it. But that is now in the past. And you’ve almost forgotten about it, it feels like a weird dream.
And you notice that things in the supermarket are getting really expensive, especially the beef that you like to eat so much. It annoys you, but it doesn’t really mean much to you. And you found out through your old friend on Facebook how your old high school classmate Bob was found dead in his car of a fentanyl overdose. And you feel sorry for him. But you knew he always was a troubled kid. So it doesn’t shock you. And you move on with your day.
Some people live like this. There are not many of them left, but some people still live like this. And there’s absolutely nothing you can do, to become as innocent as them again.
There’s no way to go back.