13 July 2005

Nonconformity Again

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

Those words by poet e.e. cummings echoed the discomfort I felt after yesterday's post. It felt... incomplete, in a way The Jenius has not experienced before.

Reader Gabriel commented on how school batters Us into conformity, beginning with the atrocious idea of using uniforms. For those of you think uniforms are a good thing, here's a question: what do uniforms mean?

Control. Someone controlling someone else, whether it's a policeman or soldier controlling a population or an employer controlling its employees... or a school controlling students. Control demands conformity; to insist on nonconformity is to reject exterior control.

What about happiness? Doesn't swimming against the current cause stress, pain, rejection, abuse?

Is the stress of being your own person worse than the stress of being a face in a crowd, a cipher, a virtual non-entity? If you don't feel any stress in that situation, then you are not feeling and thus are not alive.

Is the pain of rejecting control worse than the pain of having to forcibly accept that control? Again, if you feel no pain under that force, then you are not alive.

Is rejection bad? Only if you see it that way. To be rejected by control freaks is always fun; to be rejected by mindless sheep is unimportant. All other rejections are thus on a personal level and is it worse than acceptance into nothingness?

The abuse nonconformists receive is never permanent. If one can withstand the brutal stupidity of the forces demanding control, one becomes inured to their flailings, and eventually, those same forces cast their eyes away to other, more malleable--weaker--targets. In cowardly irony, they may even hold you up as a symbol of virtue, clothing one's individuality as the intended goal of the control system, but making it clear that very few, very very few, will be "allowed."

Is The Jenius advocating anarchy and chaos? Far from it. What is advocated is the use of one's own mind and judgement, the frequent analysis of societal messages disguised as "rules," the immediate rejection of those intended only to serve as elements of control and the substitution of this fool's garbage for one's personal gold--a higher standard.

Progress is not a product of conformity. Never has been; never will be. Conform and you choose a certain path to stagnation. Challenge, question, defy, push back, endure on your own terms and progress--although not guaranteed--becomes probable. Between a certainty of failure and a probability of success--conformity or noncomformity--which do you choose?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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