Despite exciting progress in the world of mental health, millions of Americans still suffer the ravages of Terminal Hipness, a debilitating mental, emotional and spiritual disorder preventing them from experiencing life. Symptoms include:
· Chronic cynicism
· Faux fin de siècle ennui
· Delusions of superiority
· Black clothing
· Obsession with irony
· Devotion to sunglasses
· Mirthless sarcasm
For Terminal Hipsters, caring is the final frontier; revealing raw emotion is the summit of K2. Despite being subjugated by a chronic illness, to them the cure is worse than the disease; they cannot make the scene, man, because negativity is comfortable armor hiding fear.
I know. I was once counted in their ranks – and I have the Albert Ayler records to prove it.
“Cynicism: When you’re clever enough to see life as it is but not emotionally strong enough to accept it.” Taz Mopula
My creative renaissance began over 20 years ago, when I wrote the first draft of Invisible Driving. At that time I also returned to my first artistic love – poetry.
“Writing great poetry becomes much easier when you’re willing to die for it.” Taz Mopula
Surprisingly, my work became a regular feature of the Internet’s weirdest, darkest, and most prestigious literary magazine – Exquisite Corpse – published by celebrated poet and Count Dracula impersonator – Andrei Codrescu.
“Celebrity: A state of being where one is not known by a large number of people.” Taz Mopula
Codrescu is a creature of the night, and he liked my subterranean stuff. But one day I decided to submit something unapologetically poignant – a poem which had reduced several grown men to tears when I performed it at hipster flipster finger poppin’ daddy poetry readings at snoochy poochy art galleries in Philadelphia.
“Great soldiers are brave; great poets are reckless.” Taz Mopula
He wrote me back and said, “It’s a lovely poem, Alistair, but we are into darker music at the moment.” I let it go, wondering if my hep cat card had been pulled.
To my surprise, he published it anyway.
I know so little, but along the way I have learned a few things. Among them: there is a rather disheartening linkage between fear, cowardice, and cynicism. For so many of us – unvarnished love and honesty are unimaginably terrible.