Maybe I have lived too long, but I observe a world in which...
...extreme is now a fashion much like haute couture. We have extreme sports, extreme mental disorders (simple bipolar has a new higher level called radical bipolar), extreme measures (our judicial system and plastic surgery), extreme manicures (the Louboutin manicure is red coated on the under side of the nail with black on top). Not to mention the OPI nail polish company issuing a hilarious Slavic theme of over the top color with titles like You're Such a Buda Pest purple and Eat my Keilbasa pink; extreme foods and of course extreme heels(now topping off at 9 inch platforms).
And here I thought my little old Extra Strength Tylenol was enough of a high-powered addiction.
But it's the bad behavior that has come along with this high octane epidemic that is disturbing. Benign upset has turned into high speed rage ... and not just regular road rage.
Recently I was followed by an angry exploding 400 pound gorilla in a car. When I got out of my car he started screaming (luckily in plain sight of an entirely peopled parking lot) profanity I never even heard of before (Extreme Cursing?). It seems I cut him off 2 miles back. I was completely unaware and tried to apologize. But he didn't want to hear me as it was all about his in-my-face rant.
Years ago this used to be handled with a dirty look and a scoff. Now there are criminal high speed chases and verbal threatening throw-downs to get your point across. I was warned by my friendly neighborhood policeman not to upset anyone while driving because today drivers are packing heat. It would be nothing for anyone to roll down their window and ‘Glock’ you in the face for merely honking your horn.
Public lynchings and professional wrestling events were always crowd thrillers. But the popular temperature is rising. Now bigger is better is the lifestyle trend. But what life? What style? What are we enhancing?
We've come a long way babies. Now we have the weekly mall, theaters and school shootouts and mad bombers. Jailed Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now become the latest sex symbol for many young girls. It's been reported that he is getting tons of sympathetic mail from these fanzines. Who are the parents of these girls? And who is doing his PR? They say he is beating OJ and the Menendez Brothers in Big House Hotness.
We have digital paper tigers with foul mouths; the more outrageous the more adored! Not admired for their accuracy or journalistic skills but rather for their flame-out postings.
In our extreme world we refuse to honor moderation (forget aging). We can’t even die naturally. The medical industry has to cut you up and radiate you to the end. Dying with dignity has become an extreme race with high desperate attempts at longevity and no real basic human awareness.
And let’s talk about the height of extreme fads: the Detox diets ... living on green drinks for 30 days and high colonics and breaking this fast with gluten free doughnuts. What is gluten free and how did that become such a universal medical issue. Aren't we really just talking about food allergies? What is new there ... why start a whole grocery section devoted to this? I can't open a bag of peanuts in a plane because someone might die of airborne nut fumes. Even yoga has gone off the charts with this new kind of high intensity hot yoga. Imagine doing classes in a room heated to 102 degrees with the intent to cleanse you of your toxins. You don't leave class cleansed you leave dehydrated and looking ravaged. So much for om-ing yourself into vitality. How high/low can we go?
And the worst? Rudeness has become the latest in extreme competitive sports. Cursing at strangers, butting ahead in any line, stealing cabs from one another, making scenes over nothing in hotel lobbies and restaurants, indulged children having horrible public tantrums has all become acceptable. Nobody cares or even hears since we are all too busy talking so loudly and obnoxiously into our cell phones to no one that matters.
Everyone is screaming for attention. We have all slittered into our own private hell of extreme narcissism. Trust me when I tell you that there is no customer service big enough to handle that cultural problem.
Nobody wants to settle for moderation as an alternative (cutting back? who? me?) It’s a hard sell and not sexy. I wonder if we are beyond understanding balance. What does the new normal really mean in an amped up world of triple shot Lattes and quadruple layered eyelashes.
But one thing is for sure ... E x t r e m e is no longer a remote happening ... it has arrived, on everyone's doorstep!
Where is the USS Enterprise?