"We seek out the taciturn."
-- Spoon, "The Way We Get By"
"When my feelings are hurt so easily, that is the price I pay to appreciate the beauty they're busy killing"
-- The Field Mice, "Sensitive"
The introvertariat is the oppressed underclass in an
extravertocracy. It is a meager comfort to introverts that the
extravert hegemony does not actively persecute
introverts individually. It is, very much like modern racism in
America, an institutional oppression.
(The manners of extravertocratic oppression is the subject of a
different node). However, what this means is that the
inwardly turned, while not given their due, are at least gladly ignored
and avoided by most extraverts, who are happy enough to not have to
deal with such unworthy little beings. Maybe this is so because we
don't pose a threat to the hegemony, and the minute we claim our
deserts they will come down on us hard, but in any case it is by and
large so. Thus, under the surface of
hegemonic society and away in its dark corners, networks and
communities of ultrasensitive introverts have been able to grow with
impunity, constituting in turn a mini-society, a subculture, with
its own norms and rules tailored and tolerant to the life of the
inwardly turned. Contacts are formed, institutions founded, traditions
established, and cultural edifices constructed. A small fraction of
this matter emerges and is noticed, sometimes with disgust sometimes
with praise, by the culture at large, but for the most part, these
communities remain for their own benefit. Of course, these communities
all have their own unique focus and characteristics and the
accommodation of introversion is just one quality.
"Hand me my nose ring, show me the mosh pit, we can be happy underground."
-- Ben Folds Five, "Underground"
"And once again, you'll pretend to know me well, my friends. And
once again I'll pretend to know the way through the empty space,
through the secret places of the heart."
-- The Smashing Pumpkins, "We Only Come Out at Night"
Stumbling across other, more experienced people with similar
orientation toward life and discovering communities of such people
can be a tremendous boon and a great source of comfort to a young
wallflower, who is trying to figure out how to live as an introvert
in a society designed by and for extraverts. Not only for the
freshly-uncloseted introvert, but also for the long-suffering
introvert, struggling under cruelty and unfairness, do these
communities and individuals provide critical support in crucial times.
You see, it's a very cold world out there for an
ultrasensitive introvert in an alien environment, and the only way
sometimes to perserve uprightness and hope is to lean on the
sympathetic. It is the moral duty, therefore, of introverts to remain
open-hearted, engaged, and sympathetic, to band together with their
fellows, and to reach out to other introverts to give
support, be it advice, an encouraging word, or just a quiet space for
them to figure it out for themselves (as sensitive introverts are very
good at doing usually). It is certainly the sort of comportment I've
benefited from in others and the ideal I try to live up to in myself.
"Oceans won't freeze, so loosen your heart. Underestimated, undefeated in this love, we will always be a light"
-- Stars, "Ageless Beauty"
"But I know she's like me, so I let it ride. She's dwelling in that
quiet space left behind, where only peace can answer why, and you abide
that birds must fly"
-- Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, "Timorous Me"