What does it mean to be "radical" in 2012? What can be done or said that in any way shakes up the status quo? What can be considered new, thought-provoking, or life-transforming in an era where it is cool to be apathetic, cool to be insensitive and uncaring, and uncool to care about traditions or customs. This is an era in which we are tolerant and appropriate to the point that everything is relative and nothing real can be said about anything.
We shut off thought and feeling as we accept a normal that offers nothing satisfying beyond the surface of things. This surface society is producing only surface content. Perfected imagery is offered instead of perfected ideas or deep truths in our video content. Pitch-corrected vocals and computer-generated sounds are offered instead of heartfelt lyrics and unforgettable melodies in our music. "Realistic" video games have replaced true adventure. iPhones and Androids have replaced intellectual conversation.
The way we dress has become far more important than anything we have to say. The content of our character is overlooked as we attempt to categorize each other by our demographics, our ideologies, our age, our style, our neighborhoods, our cars, and our tastes. While it is true that all of these things say something about us, what has become lost entirely is the "us" part of the equation. Nobody sees each other as anything other than a projection of what they want to see, as defined by the norms and conventions of this surface society.
We have come to accept this surface society to the extreme and drastic extent that our feelings have become something irrelevant and inexpressible in the public realm. Yet we are, after all, still human beings and so we fail, day after day, to shut off those feelings. Oh we try, with our legal and illegal drugs, with our shopping, with our shallow content, with our meaningless sex, and with our meaningless drama in our meaningless relationships. But every now and then a real, authentic feeling creeps up to the surface just to the point that it scares us. Feelings...feelings that every human being has had throughout our ancient history...these simple feelings make us believe there is something wrong with us. So we diagnose and treat these feelings as though they are diseases.
But there are still a few of us who actually allow ourselves to be human, to have real feelings, to have real ideas. We know what it means to feel ourselves floating away from the normalcy that surrounds us. It requires strength and courage to allow yourself to be different from the norm....to be radical! To do this is to abscond.
The abscondo philosophy has to do with encouraging people to be sensitive to themselves and others, to have and express real ideas that mean something, and to find the courage to float away from the normalcy of this surface society in order to find your authentic self.
What is radical in 2012 is to be sensitive and to have ideas. What is radical in 2012 is to be authentic! To seek a meaningful existence is the most radical thing that can be done in a surface society.