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Fringe refers to the small part of anything separate from, yet riding on the coat-tails of, a much larger whole. Therefore, there can be no fringe without the mainstream unless the fringe becomes the mainstream. The fringe may keep to itself on the edge of a tablecloth, or it may become the tablecloth and swallow the electorate, the scientific community, and eventually the entire universe.
edit Fringe as Edge of the Fabric
The word "fringe" is commonly used to refer to the strands of fabric dangling from the edge of a cloth. It's pretty. It's eye-catching. It's dependent on the main cloth like all those hipsters who refuse to admit to themselves they can't live life as they know it without the mainstream culture, governing system, corporations, landscapers, and education. The only way the fringe can become the main fabric is to copy itself into a repeating pattern until it becomes its own cloth. Oh, wait. That's not fringe, that's lace!
edit Fringe Science
Fringe science expands until it becomes mainstream science. However, unlike hipsters and the edges of area rugs, fringe science is happier in the mainstream than in the fringe because fringe science is sure that it is right about something and mainstream science is wrong.
For example, global warming was once a fringe science. After pioneering research by Professor Al Gore, science took a vote or something, and it became mainstream science and the "deniers" were now on the fringe. Which particle is the smallest bit of matter in the universe has been "settled science" several times until someone new came along to unsettle it.
edit Fringe Party
A fringe party may be a breakaway side party at a birthday party, wedding, or retirement party. Celebrating ordinary things such as passages in someone else's life is just plain boring. The fringe party lets party guests who are bored out of their minds celebrate something far more exciting: themselves.
Unlike other types of fringe, a fringe party seeks to remain on the fringe. A breakaway side party at a birthday party, wedding, or retirement party will spontaneously break up if too many non-fringe partygoers gather around. Similarly, the recurring problem with fringe political parties, such as the Libertarian Party, is that when one of their ideas like school vouchers catches on, the leadership drifts away to form new parties on the fringe of the fringe, advocating sending nuclear weapons to the Cayman Islands and geotagging fetuses.
edit Fringe Arts
Like fringe parties, fringe arts must remain outside the mainstream to remain relevant in fringe society. Fringe arts are avant-garde by definition. Fringe arts include microbrewing, small batch cooking, abstract visual art, postmodern theater, mememaking, and basket weaving from almost any material available. These fringe arts form the foundation of fringe culture.
edit Fringe Theory
Anthropologists believe the fringe arose from a natural desire in every living thing — and a few non-living ones — to differentiate itself from everyone and everything else. If it weren't for divine intervention, this desire to be unique would result in a totally discordant universe lacking pattern, beauty, and reason. This is the summary of the Fringe Theory.