September 5, 2002

I’m just here. Mostly.

I got hypnotized last night by the great Frederick Winter. People are always curious what it felt like, whether I remember what I did, etc.

I remember most everything, though it feels like I’m looking at it through a slight fog. The events are not as clear as though I was completely awake, nor so faint that it felt like a dream. I remember watching a scary movie. I remember seeing Lassie get hit by a car. I remember that when we were driving cars, everyone else was driving a Porsche, a Ferrari, some sporty Audi P.O.S., a Pontiac Aztec, etc…

“And sir, what are you driving?” asked the hypnotist.

“A beach wagon! REEEEEE, REEEEEEE!!!…”

When I say I remember these things, it is not as though I was tripping out on mushrooms and actually seeing them. It was all in my imagination, of which I was aware, but it all made complete sense. I would be told, “You are a baby kangaroo,'” and it would seem like the most true and obvious statement at the time. “Well, of course I’m a baby kangaroo. I’m going to act like a baby kangaroo, and I really don’t care about all these people that aren’t kangaroos.”

Every one of your actions seems like it is embracing the best of all possible worlds. You aren’t concerned about the people in the audience, nor do you care that you look like a fool when dancing. You only care about having a good time and listening to what the hypnotist has to say. You are always in control, but you feel less inhibited than usual. Your environment feels a little bit extraneous, and you exist more within yourself. It’s like daydreaming. It’s like being drunk, only without the dulling chemical interactions in your blood.

The more fun and stupid stuff I did, the better I felt. The sensation was similar to doing skits at summer camp. I just got into it, deep into it, and had a really good time. In many ways, my being hypnotized is hardly different than my waking state. After the show we went down to watch Alva Star, and as most people in the audience slugged in chairs some nerds got up and danced in front. We kicked out the jive for a bit, and then nerds started sheeting off to the four winds until I was dancing by myself.

I was having a good time, and didn’t care how foolish I looked. I mean, it’s not a perfect sensation, as my mind often concerns itself with the fact that I’m not concerned with what people may think, and then concerns itself with the fact that I’m concerning myself with the fact that I’m not concerned about other people.

My main concern is usually whether or not it looks like I’m trying to prove something in my actions. I am not. I have little respect for people who act merely to influence others; people who justify their actions by the social/political goal they are trying to achieve. Activists come to mind. They see their actions as a means to an end, and usually do not think too hard about why they ‘do what they do.’ To me this reduces one’s life to that of an automaton, with no great amounts of self-reflection keeping the processes in check:

“I protest attacks on Iraq.”


“Because war is wrong.”

“Why is war wrong?”

“Because people die.”

“What should we do instead?”

“Settle it in diplomatic negotiations.”

“Why do the terrorists even deserve negotiations?”

“Because America brought this war on itself.”

“As I recall, the terrorists attacked us on September 11.”

“…because of our past actions, duh.”

“So what your saying is, when a terrorist group attacks our country to the result of 3,000 dead, we should not consider them a threat and instead grant them the opportunity to sit down with us and discuss their desire to make the free world bleed in the name of Allah?”

“…that’s not what I said.”

Yes it is.

If you haven’t already, you should read Atlas Shrugged. It seems like you’re beginning to hint towards an objectivist philosophy.
P.S. This was a really nicely written entry. I like the hypnotist as a metaphor.

hate quash your generalizations about ambivilant activists, but as a self-proclaimed (though poor) intelectual one, i beg to differ that the actions often justify an end without thought.
while i have encountered said stereotypes (in all walks o’ life and opinions) before, it’s my experience that those who do not think about their actions are in the minority. the majority of individuals who do not think about their actions seem perfectly content to watch the national news media sensationalize away and not move from their couch.
the more ‘activists’ i encounter the more motivated and passionate individuals i find. in the particular conversation you’ve created you drop a lot of fine nuances out in order to do what? it seems to me to simply rant at someone who annoyed you.
i’m probably just miffed because i side with the anti-war folks and can’t get passed your utilizing them as an example, but you touch on a deeper and more troubling point (that of a lack of self-reflection) and tear into only one facet of it.
flipping that conversation over into a discussion with a good ‘ol flag waving patriot might lead to the exact same feeling.
why not try to open up some new eyes instead of alienating others…
i’m crawling off of my soapbox now.