Ignorance Is Bliss
Anybody who’s been listening to music or, God help you, buying records for the last five years or so has probably noticed a tendency towards EVERYTHING EVER becoming available again. Gleefully obscure little titles, heretofore content to sit snugly in their little niches, are slowly but surely being hunted down and dragged into the light of day. We humans have the technology, and apparently the time, on our hands to make sure to get the fifth Chrome album back in print.
You’ve heard of Chrome, right? Damon Edge? Helios Creed? Kind of a proto-industrial American version of Swell Maps? From San Francisco in the late 70s? No? Yes? Who cares? Who cares. Who cares is the right answer to whether or not you’ve heard of the band Chrome. I’ve heard of Chrome, and I think Chrome is a great band, and even I don’t particularly care about hearing about Chrome. I can’t imagine how little the rest of you people must care.
I own four Chrome albums. Of these, Blood on the Moon is probably my least favorite. I recently bought a shiny new reissue of it for $8 at a Half Price Books in a strip mall in suburban Highland Park, Illinois. What was it doing there? Besides being met with complete, eternal indifference, I mean. Now it’s safely ensconced in my record collection, nestled gently next to its other Chrome album buddies, and marching towards what I’d like to think is a more informed state of indifference, where it may be played once or twice a year until I either die or sell it. Damn shame, really. The teenagers of Highland Park could probably use a little Chrome in their lives. I’d recommend they start with Alien Soundtracks. You hear me, guys? Start with Alien Soundtracks. Crank it up. The ensuing noise will make your incredibly rich parents unhappy, because it is resolutely unpleasant. You can skip Blood on the Moon. It is mehhhh.
Anyhow, here I am, $8 lighter, and all I have to show for it is $8 worth of a mehhhh album and a slight sense of superiority over the imaginary teenagers of Highland Park that if I investigate at all makes me feel like a grade-A creep. As far as I can see, those are the only benefits of knowing enough about the band Chrome to think “oh good, Chrome” when I’m killing time at a strip mall while my girlfriend shops for cheap textbooks.
It’s becoming clear to me that in a lot of cases, not knowing is better than knowing. Indifference is one of the only weapons we have left while the powers that be rocket us around like pawns on their earth-sized chess board. It would be nice if this wasn’t true, if there was such a thing as justice or progress or world peace or harmony to work toward. But there isn’t. There is no cause worth dying for that is any more or less important than one less human on the earth. Everything else is “try to at least be polite.”
Why not just ignore everything ever? Because if we don’t it’ll bite us on the ass? That’s no reason. It’ll bite us on the ass one way or another anyway. Nobody anywhere knows what they’re doing, and we’re all hurtling towards certain doom. Might as well be as happy as we can during our short, pointless lives by ignoring anything we can be reasonably sure we don’t give a shit about. Like for instance Skrillex.
Or, take for example the current presidential election in America, USA. Do I know anything about Mitt Romney? I know he’s a Mormon, a Republican, the former Governor of Massachusetts, and I know he has a way of smiling that makes him look like a slick little crock of shit. I think that’s enough for me in the knowing about Mitt Romney department. So from now on whenever I see or hear anything about Mitt Romney doing anything, my brain just says “no thanks” and I go about my day. Lalalalala, oh look, a squirrel is eating a tomato like it’s a tiny watermelon. Lalala I love my life.
Or: there’s controversy on the Dallas Cowboys football team because doodle-oodle-oooh, I liiiiike waf-fles.
Port Au Prince, Hait—inyuh nyuh nyuh nyuh nyuh.
So yeah. Sometimes a willful ignorance shutdown is “good” and sometimes it’s “bad.” But: That’s what everybody is doing all the time anyway. When’s the last time you gave a significant portion of your time or money over for the purpose of rebuilding the country of Haiti? Be honest. Let me guess. It was back in nineteen ninety NEVER. Even if you gave like $5,000 to the Red Cross (which you didn’t), or went down there for a month to help (which you didn’t), it’s still not built yet. People are still suffering, and it’s up to us not to turn a blind eye, because bluggaruggadugga pee pee poop. Jooba jooba booba rooba.
Let’s at least be honest about it. We know without investigating that people in Haiti are living in entire cities made of like five tarps. We know without investigating that Yo La Tengo sounds good but kind of relaxing like rock and roll but for old people who like to get stoned in comfortable chairs. And we know without investigating that political control of world power is in the hands of multinational corporations with a vested interest in propagating an unsustainable and illusory economic inequality between the world’s humans until all of our earthly resources have been tapped out. We get it. We don’t need to know about it ANY MORE, thank you. And if we ever feel like we might want to know anything, it’ll all be on the internet waiting for us. Please just leave us alone now. We have a squirrel picture to put on Instagram so our friends can LOL, which we are doing now because we have the time to do so today because we already ate breakfast without having to kill anybody.
We’re obsolete, we know it, we understand it, and we’re over it. There’s nothing we can do about it. We are not too far from having the technological capability to put all of our DNA into a computer program that can then run simulations and projections on the entire future of the human race. Fuck it. Let’s just do that. Make a computer with our collective genetic codes on it, set our SimWholePlanet program to “pretend time is happening,” and shoot it into space. That’s about all we’ve been capable of on earth so far. Might was well double down on this whole life thing. That way we’ll be able to avoid reading anything about the Lime Spiders, and subsequently getting all bent out of shape when a used copy of the Slave Girl EP pops up for $3 in the used punk bin of some record store that doesn’t know any better.
We could instead be… I don’t know, fucking? Yeah, that doesn’t take any knowledge of anything. Let’s all just fuck and pick our butts like a bunch of gross hairy beasts and stop pretending to be so smart, you guys. The whole being smart thing is not doing us any favors. Let’s just go back to not knowing things. That would be a better use of our time now that we have the internet to scoop up anything interesting anybody ever did. Figure it out, shoot it into space, and call it a fucking consciousness.
That’s my advice: Stop trying to know things, let everybody else figure it all out for you, devolve back into cavemen, and fuck your brains quite literally out. That is my plan, and my vision for the future, because I am Ben Johnson, and I am the next President of the United States of Ruggaruggadugga.
Excerpt from the Novel ‘Family Life’
Cheers to the Revolution: Kiev's Beautiful Molotov Cocktails
VICE Shorts: I'm Short, Not Stupid Presents: 'How to Keep Smoking'
The Ass Menagerie
VICE News: Investigating an Unsolved KKK Murder in the Deep South
Meet the New Generation of British Nudists
Dangerous Unhappy Things: A True Ghost Story
Meet the Nieratkos: Thomas Campbell Made a Skate Video That’s Actually Worth Watching
Sculpting Nudes in a New York Night Club