(..continued from previous) Only few had reached this level of awareness, and although it had taken a while, they had eventually come to be accepted by society as an unavoidable outcome of the difficult times we were living through: a special class of humans without a specific status, or purpose for that matter – and who in fact had rejected all of the above, denouncing ‘purpose’ as an evil social construct that they believed was nothing but a ploy designed by a system that wanted them to continue to consume and destroy, while they mindlessly searched for their ‘inner purpose’ – often dictated by AI-intelligent social media that had self-learned the terribly easy art of manipulating the human mind. The ‘minimalists’, as they had come to be called by some, saw ‘purpose’ in itself as a distraction, as a selfish motivation.
Although they came in all sorts of shapes and sizes, you could easily spot them from miles away – based not on their attire, but purely on their general presence and body language, which gave you a sense that you had just seen a ghost or a spirit, something that had no ties to the physical world but had somehow found a way to masquerade as a modern human: they could be at the supermarket check-out counter, walking on the street, doing the everyday things that ordinary people do – other times yet, assuming a much more role-fitting ‘hermit’ profile, often found sitting alone by the beach as they tried to engage with the horizon, unintentionally merging into the landscape in the process as they sat completely motionless for such long stretches of time that, you could easily mistake them for a tree or an animal from a distance.
Trying to identify them based on appearance alone was always hit and miss: they dressed in whatever they could find, their outfits assembled by a game of lottery: usually consisting of mixed up and mis-coordinated natural and man-made fibres, garments that they had either inherited or salvaged. A sportsy element of futuristic-looking active wear was sometimes thrown in to top-up the miscoordinated look, often in neon colours which brutally clashed with the whole ‘21st-century prophet’ image. Sometimes the clashing styles and colours were so mismatched that they looked as if they had travelled through the decades, picking up random pieces of clothing along the way.
Yet despite the seemingly random and uncared-for look, every piece of clothing had been carefully selected, with only one objective in mind: comfort, fit and durability. It was as if they didn’t want their clothes to define them, to restrict their ‘aura’, to interfere with the soft power of their free yet fragile spirit. In a consumeristic society where gradually clothes had began to wear the people, as opposed to the other way round, the minimalists had rejected fashion in the most lethal way possible: by choosing clothes that actually last.
While most people who had abandoned language did so because they didn’t trust the media, the minimalists had done so partly as a silent protest against the inadequacy of language, partly out of sheer desperation: they had decided that there was no point anymore in trying to reason with their fellow humans, trying to construct arguments and ‘logic’ in a world that defied logic altogether.
Their silent protest wasn’t a gimmick. It was a stoic acceptance of the sad state that communications had come to on the planet. Many of them were former leaders, writers and intellectuals for whom language had been a powerful tool that they once mastered. But after the still-unresolved cyberattacks, cellphone viruses and War of Words that ensued, rather than piling up more words onto the mountain of lies, they had decided to abstain from language altogether.
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books