ROCKET SCIENCE: Canto il corpo eclettico

Any mob bothers me.

Actually, not any mob bothers me. The Mob, as in Cosa Nostra, Mafia, crime underground, etcetera, does not bother me. I am bothered by any concentrated mob dedicated to social, cultural or political gestures.

When I was a kid someone taught me the immeasurable importance of protecting one’s individualism and I immediately understood it, as well as I was grateful someone recognized my individualism so clearly that the person (gender purposely unrevealed) took the time to make me aware of it.

So, cultural or political mobs bother me because they are rife with people identifying with the ideology of a group branded with ideological similarity. These mob members draw energy from one another, getting high viscerally, needing the fix of the mob to regenerate and validate whatever the hell they share, but, moreover, to validate their very existence.

Severe? Indeed. And dangerous, because of the raw power in numbers, a strength that moves a revolt that is revolting to each of us whom, in our own particular, even peculiar ways, are misfits.

All mobs are crowds but not all crowds are mobs. Do not confuse the definitions.

A crowd may be called a circus, which is more likely to be a collection of mainstream minds that enjoy witnessing the special talents of individuals, like ones who tumble, balance and make performance objects of their bodies under the moveable feast of the tent called civilization. There is no evidence of damaged souls among them. A circus crowd is one thing, a soft thing, a unique thing. No direction. No cause. No bother.

The crowd that is a mob bothers me because it is on a mission.

A mob on a mission boils badly in the pot.

The mob on a mission is a mockery of the blessing [sic] that is individualism.

The mob on the mission is unidentifiable when the parts of its sum aren’t busy being the sum of its parts.

The mob on a mission is equal to a collection of civilization’s canker sores.

The mob on a mission is a swarm of killer bees—without the honey and unlike the species that dies after a single sting.

The mob on a mission is a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing; a heinous herd flocked, sometimes dangerously under the guise of timidity.

I am repelled by that mob. I am given to a deeper meaning of Groucho Marx’s line, “I refuse to be a member of any club that would have me as a member.”

I am reminded of the nausea accompanying documentaries where Mussolini shouts from a balcony to a raging crowd of admirers, knowing some of those Italians may be related to me. I cringe at the very posture of Il Duce and his Harryhausen-creature facial expressions; it makes me deeply disturbed to be flowing with Italian heritage.

Il Duce—more like Il Douch.

Mobs on a mission turn me into a person plunged into the ring of self-defense, driven to violence to protect my distance from them. I do not care to survive within the boundaries of a mob—that affects my survival. Still, I will not form my own mob to bring attention to the importance of my survival. I will stand or fall on my individuality, far from the madding crowd.

I will never shout “Barabbas!”

I will never fall to sleep, allowing the Body Snatchers to clone me as a member of a mob.

I am more alone than J.D. Salinger, living in an Unknown Region.

I am the only other person on Ahch-To.

I killed Robinson Crusoe to set Friday free.

I knew that Greta Garbo did not say she wanted to be alone; she said, “I want to be let alone.”

I kicked Henry David Thoreau out of Walden.

I flew with Amelia Earhart, went boating with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Henry Hudson, toured with Solomon Northup and watched “Ice Station Zebra” countless times with Howard Hughes.

Who the fuck are you?

Written By

Known for his comedic acumen, Cotolo has made his living as a writer and a performer all of his life and during the lives of others. He is the author of the novel License to Skill and has co-authored its screenplay version, Molotov Memoirs, a collection of short stories. The Complete and Unabridged History of Japan, an epic novel, and a serious novella, Sweet Shephered. Frank Cotolo was born in Brooklyn and has worked in broadcasting, film, theater, music and television. He is currently the host of Cotolo Chronicles, one of the Internet’s first live broadcast radio shows.

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