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Bugmen: What are they?

What is a Bugman?

Aesthetically they’re much like their name, bug-eyed, jittery and insect-like, their very demeanour often makes one’s skin crawl. You’re more than likely surrounded by hoards of these bovine-esque people in day-to-day life. Culturally of course they’re near impossible to pin down for they cut all cultural roots at the base in fear of representation with the past. Politically many say bugmen are ‘left-leaning’ yet I’d argue the case that any affiliation with politics is entirely with the curve of the populous and thus the Bugmen – at present – inject themselves routinely with viral strains of progressivism, neoliberalism and (especially) democracy. Projected from this ambivalent attitude towards history and politics comes anti-empathetical extroversions with regard to tradition, myth, folklore, spirituality and interest, all of which, when positioned in relation to a bugman are used only alongside heavy doses of postmodernist irony. The simple matter of fact is they have zero respect or tolerance for anything antiquated or traditional, the most minor of historic morsels that doesn’t actively sell itself to them or project their personal vision of infantile-tech-utopia is cast aside. Philosophically the bugman is relatively confused, often mistaking logic, reason and rationale with one another, and replacing the idea of basic causality with their own drawn-out narcissistic assessment attempts: “Look at me, I’ve got it all figured out.” the bugman says internally.

Before you sits the social nervous system of the bugman true, a sordid mixture of fad-reverence and capitalist-lite binging. On closer inspection of the day to day life of a bugman one finds at its core the implementation of social erosion, everything that is taken from its origin is likewise bastardized into a regressive, virtual, stir-crazy version of its former self: eSports, Fantasy Football, Copy ‘n Paste Vidya (à la Bethesda/Ubisoft), New Atheism, Beards-as-personality, etc. each of these characteristics is of course filtered through the latest piece of cutting-edge high-brand technology the bugman can afford. One may have noticed already that bugmen’s ‘personalities’ are nothing more than the accumulation and composition of various popular brand names, technologies, TV shows, bands etc. The bugman is entirely defined by that which they consume. Thus the bugmen easily assimilate into their own groups, for their archetypes and traits are based off material possessions, as such grouping is quick, painless and has the added benefit of instantaneous conversation: “Sweet mechanical keyboard dude!”

There is of course a difference between a regular consumer and a bugman, there has to be, for everyone consumes. Whereas a consumer will buy a basket of groceries which they plan on eating, the bugman will purchase retro foods, meme-drinks and ironic status-tokens as a means to display the fact that they are indeed ‘in-on-it’. A consumer will buy the box-set of their favourite TV show because they genuinely enjoyed the viewing, perhaps they’ll watch 3-4 episodes a week around other commitments, a bugman on the other hand subscribes to multiple streaming services and binges series after series in the ever expanding quest for acceptance, when asked how they found Stranger Things, Rick & Morty, Bojack Horseman, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones etc. the bugman does not offer insight into their personal opinion, only regurgitates a titbit or quote from the series as a means to display their virtue of consumption. “I too have seen the thing you have!” A network of insects whose lives are routinely controlled by ratings: theirs and others. They must advance their rating by subsuming the other which is rated highly. ‘Everyone liked this, so if I like this, everyone will like me!”

Identity and consumption merge within the bugman. Hobbies become traits in the lives of bugmen. Treating their lives like as if they were an RPG minmaxer, attempting to reach peak efficiency when it comes to popularity, assimilation and acceptance. Spewing spools of popular quotes, band-names, aphorisms and social tics, the bugman is a walking media depository incapable of its own creation. Bugmen’s ‘own’ thoughts are merely misshapen combinations of that which they’ve taken in. Revelling in their ironic displays of lower case postmodern hyperbole and sardonic middle class humour. Sincerity an impossibility for worry of social suffocation, and daft humour avoided for fear of ostracisation. When a bugman sprouts anew, the previous form of personal agency commits seppuke out of respect for others. That jittery man whose bulbous eyes are darting to and fro, the one in line for the new iPhone, that’s a bugman, consumed by the idea of being first in a line of consumers, any possibility of escape is negated by the perpetual oppression and quasi-innovations of consumerism. Just as the man’s soul glimpses at the sight of a beloved memory, his perception picks up an advert, and so the memory fades into non-existence.