12 May 2009

Senseless Promotion

Recently a group of my associates and myself stumbled upon a musician by the name of Doctor Steel. I say musician because that seems to be the primary output of the amusing little image/world he's created for himself; beyond the music, there's an entire culture supporting this "mad scientist" vision of world domination, complete with "Ask Dr. Steel" clips, full-length Public Service Announcement styled videos supporting creativity and imagination, and a bevy of other things, all devoted to touting this "future world emperor" and his proposed "Utopian Playand".

Now, I'm not one for getting caught up in off-color hype and dedicating my life to someone else for the sheer joy of signing off and doing whatever this person tells me to just because I've stumbled on them through this lovely internet that we've got going, but whatever this crazy is cooking in his head is pretty cool, actually. His plan for the future -- once he takes over the world, of course -- is a world where the primary concern of its citizens is fun. He encourages people to do whatever they want, to think for themselves, to chase their uncatchable dreams and seek the pleasures of their true desires rather than being tied to the monotony of a daily grind dedicated solely to the accumulation of what small measure of wealth we can obtain. His message, while tinged through the lenses of a self-purported madman, is one of simplicity and the ability to enjoy life, to see through the eyes of a child. And why shouldn't we? Why would we devote ourselves to pursuits that we don't enjoy?

Now, there's still a sense of rationality here. I know that, for reasons beyond what I care to delve into, I can't just cast aside all sense of responsibility and just strip down for a lark in a meadow or something like that. I can't just flee the sense of taking care of the things I need to tend to, but at the same time, to be wholly consumed by existence for the sake of existence is just as bad; while we must cater to the needs and wants of ourselves and those we love, to replace our former childlike appreciation for the beauty in the world with a dull resignation to the encroaching banality of corporate life is surely a mistake. And with that in mind, I've taken up the banner of promoting Doctor Steel through the community surrounding his intoxicating madness, the Army of Toy Soldiers.

And why am I blathering about all of this here? Because I want to spread the word. I'm not really sure whether I'd want to see Doctor Steel, whoever he may have once been, take over the world, but I can certainly agree with a community that's dedicated to setting aside any differences and objections, putting away the miserable ruts of life and hatred spawned from so many other subgroups of humanity these days to get together as humans, as people joined in a single cause: to enjoy themselves and the world we share. So many things I've seen are focused on some kind of negative or holier-than-thou precept, from religious or political institutions to street gangs and back-alley drug rings, we as humans so often attach ourselves to this sense that we're not just different, but we're better for it. It's present in the "God Hates Fags" protestors of Westboro Baptist right on down through the pro-gay alliance, PETA, executive boardrooms, dusty poker dens; pretty much anywhere that people gather with likeminded individuals, we find ourselves separating "us" from "them" not in a way that acknowledges the shared trait of "human" but focuses on the unique constrictions that make us smarter, more free, more tolerant. Don't even get me started on the "more tolerant" types. I could ramble for days on the inconsistencies of those abusive arguments and the precepts which they bear with such zealous fervor that I'm just waiting for the powderkeg to really burst.

This, though, seems something different. Of course there's a mindset that goes into it, but one of the most celebrated aspects is the diversity of the community itself. It seems to attract all sorts, reaches all ages, transcends all sense of demographic as regularly defined by Nielsen ratings and advertising moguls the world over. Out of this, too, there grows an expanding sense of community; discussions of politics and spirituality are not wholly inclusive, such as they are with groups drawn from such pools, but at the same time, they're not considered wholly tabboo as would be expected in many non-affiliated groups. They are openly and freely discussed, and from what I've seen, all the unique worldviews are welcomed openly and met with interest and comparison of ideas and ideologies rather than hate, debate, or the classic "you're wrong because I'm right and we can't both be right" mentality that so often spoils efforts to explore this aspect of our communal humanity and the myriad vestiges of faiths and concepts old and new. And it accomplishes all of this, of course, while encouraging each of its members to think, to be creative and intelligent, to be expressive and imaginative, to be open-minded and to freely indulge in the pleasures of life, whether with hedonistic vigor or quiet appreciation of the whole of our percieved universe.

On that note, I encourage you all to check out the music and artistic musings of Doctor Steel. Any search engine should be able to bring you to his website; it's a veritable cornucopia of strange artisitc expressions. You may like it, you may hate it, you may be wholly indifferent; what matters is that you give it a try, that you open yourself to the possibilities of life -- and whether you feel like swearing digital loyalty to some would-be world emperor or not, I certainly encourage you all to find new and innovative ways to truly get the best of your lives in, and to deeply and truly and with reckless abandon have fun and don't give in for anything.

To a Utopian Playland!


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