Monday, April 02, 2007

Those Damned Rebels! Part I - The Judgment

I'd like to start off this post by a quote, handed over very recently by my friend Julie. I raise my glass in a toast....

" Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only things you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." - "Think Different" Advertisement - Apple Computers.

It's come up in my community recently (and even before that I meant to address this particular topic) that rebels are a Bad, Bad Thing.

As a young child I was always friendly, polite, easy-going, and generally agreeable. That wasn't really because I was out to impress anyone, though it was pleasant enough to hear that I was a sweet kid, but I just wasn't a 'beat my chest in anguish' sort of girl.
Later, at about 14, that started to change. Not that I had something to fight against, but rather that I had something to say. At fifteen I started sporting a mohawk. Colored a tail I had in front. Pink, blue, green, whatever suited me. Shaved my head in back and on the sides - patterns, bald, -again, whatever. Hung out with Punks. Not punks, as in slang, but real Punks... safety pins in their ears, slashed jeans, mohawks, punk music, Honest to God Punk Rockers. I Wanna Be... Anarchy. Yeah.
I figured the 60's had the hippies to get society's attention, the early-mid eighties had punk rock. (well, at that time it was early-mid eighties. Punk had been around for quite some time by then, but was now really picking up speed.)
It wasn't a pretense... I was one of them.
I wrote poetry about anti-establishment, "down with picket fences" :) (ha!), and conformity.
I was called names in school, heard a million times (even in Dairy Queens in the Mall) "Did you stick your finger in a light socket? Ha, ha, ha!", and a few unimaginitive variations of the same.
My favorite (honestly... it was at least original) was a cowboy in my Junior year History class asking me if I had had brain surgery. That made me laugh. It was a really open class, and remarkably we had a pretty good respect for eachother. (we were, after all, both totally Anti Preppies! :) )

Which brings me to my point.
I've never been interested in Fitting In with mainstream society. I've disdained it for most of my life. Still do, as a matter of fact.

It just really bothers me when people's main desire in life is simply to Blend In, and to Not Make Waves. To go along with what others tell them. For this to me is perhaps the ultimate sin, which is to not think for yourself.
I view life's purpose as finding your own truth. I pretty much scorn sheeplehood, though I know it's unkind. I don't repect it. I don't respect mindless obedience. I think it's easy, unconsidered, a cop-out, familiar, and too comfortable.

Though I do notice that without the yuppies, the preppies, the squares, and the same-olds, the Non-Conformists and the Rebels and the Eccentrics and the Heroes just wouldn't be the sparkly and fascinating creatures that they are. So I suppose they have their place, for without the experience of the Follower, we would't have the arresting inquiries from the Seeker.

And on that note, I'll continue next time in Defense of the Sheep, I s'pose. Though I'll call it Part II, of course.


Lerend Zonder School said...

Steph, that's sooo cool! I never knew that about you (the mohawk). Lee and his friends came up with a word to describe themselves in high school "anti-establishmentarianism", sounds like you would have fit right in with their "movement"!


Stephanie said...

Comment by author: I meant Punks, and not Skinheads. They are two very different things. Skinheads are about white supremacy and fighting and angry aggression. Punks are about aggression, certainly, but only mentally, not usually physically. The movement was partly about being anti perfect Tommy, and fitting in. My sympathies (and those I associated with) were always about demanding tolerance, down with authority, and certainly anti War. Never was white supremacy something I associated with, nor ever would.