"I think he's being pretty straight forward and is not showing sarcasm. He's basically saying we've lost our identity due to this inner striving we have to be just like everybody else. The only thing that combats this urge is intelligence. Not too many intelligent people wear Abercrombie and Fitch, or smoke cigarettes. I think he also points out that deep down, conformists know what they're doing isn't right but they need more guidance in their lives, and are just waiting for it (desperate for input from someone more determined). I think the line 'procreation without gain or purpose' probably refers to casual sex and people getting pregnant too young and too soon, basically unwanted babies. Torpid minds refers to how people never even stop to think about consequences of their actions."
"Conformists are waiting for guidance to show them the error of their way? There was this anthropology book published called 'On Human Nature' or something broad like that with a main idea that racism is biologically inherent because people have a tendency to identify themselves in context of a larger tribe. I wouldn't necessarily agree with this hypothesis, but I think there is a natural tendency to want to define your own being. In terms of evolutionary purpose, it might well have stemmed from an adaptation evolved for social functioning. Anyway, this 'Manichean self-definition' as Aldous Huxley put it, is bound to limit the potential range of thought. To some extent this is unavoidable. But the full potential of external reality you experience is much greater then anyway you can define yourself in analytical terms. Hence, it is extremely rare to find a true individual, that is someone who doesn't seek to define themselves in some limited and convoluted! way. I don't mean definition in relation to society, definition in relation to how you perceive yourself. I think for some people, there is an extreme discontentment that comes from not being able to produce a suitable definition of yourself, and it is these people who are most likely driven to be 'individuals,' because any 'conclusion' they arrive at leads them to more doubt whether they like it or not."
"Correction: 'not too many intelligent people ... smoke cigarettes.' You'll find that many do, its just that although they are intelligent enough to know better they are hooked on them and can't get off (only a smoker will understand the full meaning of this dilemma - they are very addictive). Perhaps some smokers are more intelligent than they would be if they didn't, because the smoking habit generally goes hand in hand with long periods of thinking and reflection, complemented by intellectual bursts caused by the constant supply of dopamine to their stem cell receptors in their brains. Einstein smoked, even if he changed from cigarettes to smoking the pipe in his later years."
"I dont think Greg is speaking to individuals as people that dress different or buy independent music or fill their head with trivia so they can be pretentious. I think he is talking to individuals who may be unaware that they are a class that can unite and change. People who realized that we are being oppressed by the wealthy into thinking our only ties can be music, other media and fashion, thinking they may be the only ones in a sea of clones that realize this but are overwhelmed that they cannot do anything to change it on their own (congregating in invisible circles, half apart and half apart). Also there are lines people that have not realized this and wait for the next command (oozing, with progeny writhing and desperate for input from someone more determined). He's not really saying become an individual, but shake frivolous ties and unite to make something better kind of like when Marx spoke out to the proletariats that were unaware of their power to unite and change."