Partial recorded transcript, general meeting: Idealists Anonymous
Date: July 5th, 2006
Location deleted, re: security
Last save to system: 20:37:05
Counselor: For those of you who just arrived, thanks so much for coming. Once again, this is the (deleted) chapter of Idealists Anonymous... uh... It takes a lot of courage to stand up and admit your problem. For those who've already shared, thank you. You understand the difference it can make in the lives of those who've been touched by Idealism. If you did just arrive, remember there's Kool-Aid over there on the table in the corner. Feel free to help yourself to it.
Alright... so who's next. You? Yes, you sir -- in the back. I don't recognize you. Is this your first time here?
Counselor: Alright, would you like to introduce yourself? We're all friends here. Everyone, let's make our new friend feel comfortable.
Unknown: Uh... ok... my name is (deleted), and I'm a recovering Idealist.
Group: Hi (deleted).
Unknown: I've been Idealism-free for six days, eight hours and.. uh... about--15 minutes maybe? 16?
Counselor: Okay (deleted), why don't you tell us what brought you here.
Unknown: Well... I guess I've spent most of my life being angry -- ya know? I was angry at everything and everyone. I felt like the world was going to hell, and somehow I was the only one seeing it. Does that make any sense?
Counselor: We understand (deleted), we do. Continue please.
Unknown: Yeah. So, I noticed that everywhere I looked I saw... just... dumb. I saw a culture full of people who could switch channels away from pictures of the situation in Sudan, so that they could watch Survivor -- and call that "reality tv."
Someone in group: Yeah.
Unknown: I watched MTV turn an entire nation of kids into blithering idiots by shoving L'il Jon and whatever other painfully fucking untalented rappers it deemed worthy, down their throats. I watched young girls storm Hot Topics at malls across the country, all in a quest to emulate Hillary Duff... because she actually had "punk" credibility for dating a poser idiot like Joel Madden. I listened to cellphone text-speak become the dominant language for anyone under the age of 18.
More in group: Yes, yes.
Unknown: I wondered why no one seemed to see the irony in the fact that the ridiculous, superstitious nonsense that 80% of our country believes, is essentially the same crap that those who hate us and want us dead subscribe to. I had to ask why people created a fairy-tale about the afterlife to give their lives here on earth some kind of meaning; and more importantly -- why some felt the overwhelming need to impose that fucking garbage on the rest of us. I demanded to know why battles over whose god is better have put the entire planet at risk.
Unknown: I turned on the news, and...and I saw a White House that flat-out lied to an entire country -- made shit up -- fudged the facts -- got Americans killed, and outted CIA agents -- and attacked the character and patriotism of anyone who dared ask why. I lived through the single most corrupt political administration of my goddamned lifetime... and I watched those involved get away with it. I watched my country and everything it stood for, pissed on by those in power.
Group: Hell yes. (inaudible)
Unknown: And I asked, "Where is the fucking outrage?" And I don't mean the kind of outrage that causes moronic latter-day hippies who're sorry they missed out on the 60s to dress up in colorful crap and dance through the streets to make a point that no one who matters is listening to. I'm talking about the kind of outrage that would drive millions to march silently -- like an angry wraith -- to the steps of the White House. The kind of outrage that would make such a large group move and act as one, that it would literally scare the living hell out of our government. The kind of outrage that would inspire terrorism without the slightest hint of violence.
Unknown: And worst of all... I thought that people would listen. I thought for sure that someone out there would understand. I... uh... I thought the world could be better. I believed. I did it for 36 years.
Counselor: We really do understand (deleted).
Unknown: But I finally just had to surrender.
Counselor: And what led to that?
Unknown: Uh... Bill Hicks.
Counselor: What about him?
Unknown: He was angry. He was funny a lot of the time -- but mostly he was just angry. He pointed out what was wrong, in the hope that somebody might make it right. Nobody did... and he died making excuses to audiences about why he wasn't doing dick jokes.
Unknown: So I came to understand that it's not enough to believe you're right. You have to market and package and adopt an air of artificiality to what you do, because that's all anyone can understand anymore. You have to give in. No one will listen any other way, and you'll die making excuses.
Counselor: So, what were the first steps that you took. What are you doing to try and put Idealism behind you?
Unknown: Well... I hired an agent and a publicist.
Unknown: And... well...
Counselor: It's okay. There's nothing to be ashamed of.
Unknown: I allowed that publicist to put together a site on MySpace... to help push me... help get my name out there, ya know?
Unknown: I just figure... ya know... it's... like... time to get mine. The site's got pictures of Hicks and Maher, Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra. It's the uncoolest thing on earth. It doesn't feel much like me.
Counselor: But that might be a good thing. You're here because you recognize that your idealism has gotten you nowhere in life.
Unknown: It doesn't pay the rent.
Counselor: Exactly. Maybe dropping all of that childish irony and self-deprecating coolness will help you to become a better member of society. More... uh... real.
Unknown: But what if I really am ironic and cool and weird and all that other stuff? Won't I be... well... selling-out?
Counselor: Hey, it worked for Metallica.
Unknown: I'm just so scared. Bill Hicks would say that I'm "sucking Satan's cock."
Counselor: No he wouldn't (deleted), because he's dead.
Unknown: Good point.
Counselor: Besides, you'll have all the time in the world to regret your decision to become a whore while you're drinking martinis with Robert Evans at his Bel-Air mansion.
Unknown: I guess you're right.
Counselor: I know I'm right.
Unknown: But what about truth.
Counselor: That's a discussion for another time, my friend.
Unknown: Uh... can I ask you something? If this is supposed to be anonymous, why are you recording this meeting?
Counselor: We make the recording available to you to use for the best-selling memoir you'll write. There are representatives from HarperCollins and Random House waiting with Nan Talese out in the lobby.
Counselor: Yes, really... welcome to your new life.
Counselor: Make sure to stop and have some Kool-aid on the way out.
Unknown: Thanks... I think I will.