“Forget trying to pass for normal. … Woo the muse of the odd. …Don’t aim to be civilized. Don’t hope that straight people will keep you on as some sort of pet. To hell with them. You should fully realize what society has made of you and take a terrible revenge. Get weird. Get way weird. Get dangerously weird. Get sophisticatedly, thoroughly weird, and don’t do it halfway. Put every ounce of horsepower you have behind it. Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well-rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a pufferfish.” – Bruce Sterling
This quote from the Futurish paper made me think about the effectiveness of weirdness. This quote was in the context of Guerilla Design. Arguing for the point that Guerilla is an effective means of design. What I get from the quote from Bruce Sterling is that one should be weird for the sake of being weird. Somehow I do not agree with this. Doing anything for that sake of doing that lacks a certain value. So maybe I interpreted Bruce wrong, maybe Bruce Sterling himself is quoted out of context regarding this.
If we look a bit back in the article we find the following;
If we cannot fight the powers that be using their rationalist, materialist language, perhaps we can baffle them by acting not as a well-rounded civilised people, but by transforming into something like a pufferfish.
This bring far more context towards the quote from Bruce Sterling. In order to fight the capitalists people should become strange. I just do not see how this will work. By creating a new language in order to fight the powers with a rationalist, materialist language you are distancing yourself from the people you want to convince or your right. With making this gap bigger and bigger (becoming more and more weird) I assume the effectiveness will diminish. People will starting saying more often “oow, that is art,” towards “what a weirdo, lets quickly walk past.”
Do not get me wrong here. Nothing wrong with being strange. By weird is not difficult. The difficulty is in the boundary between being different and the people you want to convince. You want to be just out of their comfortzone, but not too far. You do not want people to be afraid of coming and taking a look.
The real challenge is being weird and normal. Being able to switch between the different languages and therefore mediate between those worlds that are already there.