Dealing to the Absurd with Counter Absurdity

As promised in my last piece “A Social Construct” what follows is a lighter side to the attack on our social constructs to cheer you up after what was a bit of a depressing piece. Here are a few ideas on how to deal with the absurd with counter absurdity.

As I see it when a social construct is dismantled and either replaced or left undefined it provides opportunities for ridicule and absurdity.  I alluded to this in my last piece when I mused that I could gender identify as a Black Hawk Helicopter.  Seems a bit absurd but that is exactly what is happening. Not just Attack Helicopters but whatever takes your fancy.  It might be a piss take, but knowing this world there will be people who are deadly serious about how they identify no matter how absurd it might appear to others.

Are ridicule and absurdity a legitimate response?  I think so. The Wizard of New Zealand has used this form of activism subtly but effectively his entire adult life.  I read the Wizard’s book My Life as a Miracle about 18 years ago.  I am going from memory so hopefully, I have most of this right.  The Wizard spent his earlier years on Australian University campuses before settling in Christchurch.  He worked as a tutor/lecturer and at the same time developed some of his stunts (my word).  At one point in his book, he refers to the activists on campus and how they use the freedoms of our liberal democratic society to seek the destruction of the very same freedoms they enjoy.  It seemed to me the Wizard’s stunts were aimed at highlighting and ridiculing these absurdities.  Since residing in Christchurch the Wizard has been effective at highlighting issues with the use of humour, absurdity and ridicule.

So with that in mind, here are some ideas on how to deal to the absurd with the counter absurd.

Counter Protest Groups

When I was at University, inspired by the Wizard, I had this brilliant, but not entirely original, idea for neutering campus rallies and protests.  I will expound that idea in the hope a few young Oilers will be inspired to test it out.  It required putting together a group of like-minded people, enough to constitute a “counter protest group”, say 10 people.  By likeminded, I don’t mean politically like-minded.

What the participants would need to come to grips with is putting aside their own moral and political views and being prepared to counter protest with sincerity any issue despite their own personal beliefs not aligning with it.  They would need to be tough too as attacks, verbal and physical are likely.  Effectively they would be actors or a drama group, all in the name of humour and absurdity.  A little like the McGillicuddy Serious party but with fluidity across every conceivable topic rather than set policy.

A simple example of how it would operate:  A rally is organised calling for the raising of the minimum wage.  The upcoming rally is advertised in the University magazine.  The counter-protest group mobilise and get to work preparing placards with absurd counter calls “lower the minimum wage” “Pay Workers in Celery, not a Salary” “Support Struggling Capitalists – say no to wage increases”.  Chants and jingles with similarly absurd statements are also practised.  On the day of the rally, they march in the background with placards, chants and jingles advocating for exactly the opposite of the organised rally.   Absurdity is the key, the effect of which would be to neuter a rally or protest and have onlookers killing themselves with laughter.

Gender (Diversity) Bender

There was a suggestion that our next census should survey gender diversity.  [Update: James Shaw is calling for gender identity to be covered in the census – we need to support this policy].  If that were to happen a well-orchestrated clandestine campaign needs to be run calling on people to identify as, oh let me think, a Hobbit?  If enough people could be convinced to identify as Hobbits it would put the whole measuring of gender diversity in New Zealand in a spin. We could also be sincere in calling Matamata Middle Earth.  It would also make international news and boost tourism.

Gender Pay Gap

I don’t understand why this one has not been attacked already.  We have politicians, academics and every wet liberal denouncing binary gender classification yet they insist on measuring pay equity on the basis of this classification.  The simple argument is that the measuring of the gender pay gap should be abandoned.  It is offensive to use outdated gender binary classification to measure pay equity.  In any event, the statistics gathered are wholly unreliable as it has incorrectly assumed that males used for the measure identify as males and the same for females.

Invade the Domain of Others

Attend and join exclusive groups.  Queers on Campus, Maori Law Student Association, Feminists.  If you are a male, and you can get past the feminazis going hysterical when they challenge your attendance take offence at being labelled a male and advise them that you identify as female.  Remember the mantra of gender diversity is that a person is free to identify as they wish and that cannot be questioned.

Whenever anyone refers to you under a gender binary classification (male or female) pull them up, feign offence and advise them that you are upset and offended that they assumed you were one gender and advise them that you identify as the opposite or something else.

Just Refer to Everything as a Social Construct

In my earlier piece, I commented that referring to something as being a social construct has a certain stigma and negative connotation as it highlights that the thing in question was made up by man.  So, with even the most uncontentious issue you can state “yes but it is a social construct”.  I tested this out on my children while having debates on various topics.  It worked wonders as even the most mundane things ended up being called into question because I stated that they were a social construct.  Actually, I think I ended up pissing my kids off.

But the point is to raise attention and seed a question in people’s minds.  I do the same with climate change.  Whenever there is an extreme cold weather event (and there are plenty of those) and somebody raises it in conversation I state with a straight face “Well that is what you get with global warming …”  Good fun.


by The Undertaker

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