In The Nihilist’s dictionary, an essay by John Zerzan, he says this:
“ In the context of a mauled social life that demands the drastic as a minimum response toward health, niceism becomes more and more infantile, conformist and dangerous. It cannot grant joy, only more routine and isolation. The pleasure of authenticity exists only against the grain of society. Niceism keeps us all in our places, confusedly reproducing all that we supposedly abhor. Let’s stop being nice to this nightmare and all who would keep us in it.”
In his essay, niceism is defined as:
“Nice-ism n. tendency, more or less socially codified, to approach reality in terms of whether others behave cordially; tyranny of decorum which disallows thinking or actingfor oneself; mode of interaction based upon the above absence of critical judgement or autonomy.”
This article got me going. I had long been questioning the idea of mannerism. Why are we brought up to act so un-genuine. To act in a way that perpetuates an order that disallows genuine feeling and thought, or at least inhibits it. If we’re tired of this order, why do we continue to use its ideas of proper communication and behavior? … This nasty, destructive order we call civilization, or modern society. Next time you catch yourself saying “thank you” or practicing other ‘civilized’ behaviors for the sake of correct manners, ask yourself, why did you just do that? Was it genuine? Or just an act of conformity that society has continuously ingrained into us through its different institutions: family, school, religion, etc.
So, if we seek to abolish a system which seems to endlessly demand conformity and artificiality, what would be an appropriate way to behave? Surely, we understand that nice protests with cutely painted signs haven’t been at the forefront of any revolution. It’s time to quit acting nice to an un-nice order. Let’s get rude!
Wikipedia defines ‘Rudeness’ as:
“Rudeness (also called effrontery) is a display of disrespect by not complying with the social norms or etiquette of a group or culture. These norms have been established as the essential boundaries of normally accepted behaviour. To be unable or unwilling to align one’s behavior with these norms known to the general population of what is socially acceptable is to be rude and are enforced as though they were a sort of social law, with social repercussions or rewards for violators or advocates.”
By all means, is that not an appropriate response to a system which thrives off of conformity and excels at instilling fear into those who would not conform? Let us be unafraid in our adventure against society, against civilization.
Surely, those table manners aren’t an evolutionary advancement? And this blind respect to authority? I’d say a bit of rudeness might do them well. Make them understand that we don’t accept their perceived roles above us, and will not blindly serve that which does not serve us. If society does not serve me as an individual, then why would I care to serve it through re-iterating its values and principles through ‘correct’ behavior. I shall do the opposite. I shall not mumble anymore half-hearted apologies, nor adhere to any other cultural norms that would maintain the domestication process.
This isn’t necessarily a call for misdirected, blatant disrespect (unless you feel that is essential in your struggle for individual freedom), but a call for authenticity. If we want to be wild, free, then goddammit, let’s act Wild and Free!
Let’s get rude!