The other day I cried about the internet and its loss of “edginess.” I might be content to stop there and contain my dramatic myopia to the digital realm, but if we’re quite honest with ourselves, the loss of edginess is one that appears to span all culture. The university, once the bastion of intellectual boldness and resistance to group-think, has been the at forefront of self-censorship for the sake of that palatable political correctness and social restraint that was once the realm of old church-going maids and elitist inhibition. College campuses are now extensions of a mannerly society that is concerned more about feelings and offense than originality, individualism and fierce expression.
Yes, the internet has lost its edge. But so has everything.
It started with the Millennials, and the Gen Z’ers might not pose much of a threat to the establishment of this anti-edgy era as they will be largely raised within the suffocating imprisonment of such a collective attitude that is perpetually aghast and offended by each deviation from the Script. Such social totalitarianism can only breed miniature tyrants of offense. It will only get worse, especially as technology exponentially increases its offerings and tools of control in the coming decades. Technology’s rapid advance brings consumerism and greed to the people, and with it, conformity and submission.
Edgy was never profitable but it was a rewarded and recognized outlet for those who would dare be edgy. It was an ascetic outlet that attracted those who eschewed lemming culture. But edgy still needed a voice and an outlet and an alternative sense of legitimacy, and this was always available. Now the two greatest historical outlets for edginess (the college campus and the internet) have been usurped by the greedy filthy claws of a socially interwoven hive-mind that demands a one-dimensional perception of success.
Where did it go wrong?
I say it began in the 90’s with the worst anti-edgy pablum ever: Dane Cook and Friends. It’s gone downhill, ever since.
The overbearing male-neutralization enervated by Tiger Mothers and the Nanny State has accelerated the demise of generational boldness.
Tiger Mothers now see to it that their offspring are hammered with materialist goals and capitalist fetishism the moment the perfectly average-sized little runt bodies pop out in the delivery room. Everything is now rehearsed and restrained.
Edgy is socially ostracized like never before. Welcome to the Hive Mind.