The Icon Purge is a colloquial term for the period of time (and related events/zeitgeist) following the Icon Surge. During the Icon Surge, unnaturally high levels of lithium carbonate and lithium chloride infiltrated the drinking water of several larger mid-latitude coastal cities. New York City, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Portland, OR, were the most affected, though some interior cities, such as Austin, TX, also experienced residual effects due to harmonic aquiferous interactions. The extensiveness and simultaneity of this contamination was one of the first indications that the North American continental water-table had become subject to Neo-Tidal Magnetism, a force that had previously only been theorized as a possible result of Climatological Flux.
Lasting 1-2 years, the Icon Surge caused intense feelings of “metta”, e.g., personal well-being, generosity, and love; however, this period is commonly/bitterly referred to by those affected as one’s “heavy metta years” as a pun on the nature of the salts involved. Free-love cooperatives blossomed in these cities, the jails were emptied, large-scale murals and week-long choral festivals were orchestrated. The term “Icon Surge” was coined later by emo-psychoscientists, as a common psychoactive effect of the lithium salts was the dissolution of the timeless/abstract/sublime and the immediate/concrete/petty, the Platonic and the real: effectively rendering everyday humdrum existence into a deeply meaningful journey rich with symbolism.
When the concentration of metallic salts returned to previous levels, however, the Icon Purge resulted. The populations of the affected cities became consumed with edgy scorn in the guise of difference and originality. Cooperatives dissolved mockingly and fiscal/aesthetic competitiveness consumed the hours previously spent loving freely. Faced with the disparity between previous and current consciousnesses, individuals transformed even joyous childhood games such as kickball into bloodthirsty sport, and eschewed orchestral delights in favor of bleep-bloopy, minimalist noise compositions. Effectively, “Metta” became subsumed by “meta-”, and unsurprisingly, stock in Xanthoates soared.
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