Are You a Rebel? Or are You Just another Sheep following the Non-conformity Flock?
“It's like living on the outside of society and seeing what a crock of shit it is, but then approaching it again with a sense of humor. I mean, when you're able to see society as this sort of funky, funny illusion, it makes it easier to deal with it because there is no rhyme or reason to the way it works.”
RuPaul, on fringe culture (Genre, March '99)
Rebellion. *It's about articulating that little inner voice that's in all of us, the voice which resists being assimilated into the mass conformity that is American society. The quality of our interaction has diminished so much that we barely recognize each other as human. The “American way of life” has destroyed our individuality while pretending to cater to it, and the natural interdependence of society has been compromised by the shrieks of mass media and the cubicle farms they call workplaces. We are all gearing up for some heavy shit, all around the world. The yuppies are putting together their silly stock option plans, the Pakistanis are aching for jihad against India, the major labels are trying harder than ever to saturate our culture with Limp Bizkit bullshit and kill Napster while they're at it. To me, it fits together like a puzzle. It's all related. This is more than a complaint about social differences. It's about human nature. Stick around; I think I can prove this. The hippie and freak hordes would have us believe than they are the sole bastions of non-conformity and acceptance left in America. They are not.
I really dislike stories like Hans Christian Anderson's The Ugly Duckling. Not all ugly ducklings turn into swans. Some of us turn into ugly ducks. We need to learn to accept it, and to find that being an ugly duck isn't really necessarily all that bad, because going with the flock isn't always the best or most satisfying way to go, even if it does seem like the easiest. I was never one who "fit in" with my peers. From the day I began school at the age of five, it was obvious that I was somehow different from the rest of them. Since I was hyperactive, kind of shy, and too intellectual to be popular, I rarely had many friends, and at times found myself a subject of ridicule, mocking, and outright abuse. My first ploy, which lasted for a number of years, was to attempt to conform. This was very much a failure. It's basically impossible for a square peg to fit into a predefined and uniformly drilled round hole. So try as I might to bang myself into the "acceptable" state of existence, I couldn't, and it was apparent to all the nice, shiny cute little round pegs that I was a "wannabe". So I went the opposite direction.
At around the age of eleven, I became a rebel. I deliberately swam upstream; intentionally bucking every convention I could think of. I wore odd jewelry, which got me quite a reputation. I got my ears pierced in strange ways in an era where dual piercings were unusual;...