When I was but a wee lad, I always wanted to be like James Hetfield of Metallica. I copied the way he held his superb black ESP Explorer, stood the way he stood and tried to sound like how he sounded. I was about 15 and was steadily losing interest in all the Green Day clones and dreary rock bands (read: Creed). I was slowly being indoctrinated into a new music faith and I wanted to look the part, to be uber cool. So I had three-quarter pants and a chain that was actually a combination of a short wallet chain and one from my police cadet uniform which gave it a one of a kind look. It was ridiculous and radical. You could have chained a pit-bull with it. It screamed poseur but I didn’t care. I just wanted to look like my then idols.
I fell for the whole “wanting to fit in” stage of my teen life. I remember vividly that what I wanted whenever I saw anything on TV my dad would shoot me down with a resounding “No.” It echoed in my head, the No bouncing off the walls of my sanity. Thankfully I was shot down so frequently I just gave up in the end. Otherwise I think I would have turned out a depressed child wanting a strawberry lollipop and have an imaginary friend named Bob who likes kittens. Preferably dead.
It’s a common occurrence for parents to send their young children to one tuition centre to another, one music class to another and having them play sports whenever their little feet can. Parents are in a way, trying to compete with each other to see who can go all the way to outdo each other. Whatever happened to friendly competition?
For awhile when I was in college I used to envy my friends who had the latest things. You name it, they had it. I just couldn’t figure out where the heck they got so much money. One would have the latest mobile phone, another would be wearing a pair Dockers I always wanted (the best trousers ever), or the newest whatever. They were so cool and I was so bland that I got envious. Try as I might I couldn’t be like them. Yet again, thankfully I got so downtrodden, and so sick of all the bullshit media feeding me images of what is cool, that at last I said, fuck this, I’m going to get people to try and fit with my style.
So what does conform mean anyway? According to the dictionary, it means “to comply with accepted standards, rules or customs.” By that definition then a good percentage of the planet’s population is a conformist of some form or another. Conforming to the norm while everyone wants to go against it is like going against the tide, you’ll tire yourself quicker and you’ll eventually drown. It is an inevitable part of life. We are all guilty of conforming. By not conforming to the norm we are in reality conforming to another norm. Think about, if you’re against guys who wear pink and you choose to wear black, then I’m afraid to say that you’re part of the anti-conformity conformists of the Black Brigade. You’re either a part of the bandwagon of commonness or you’re a pedestrian that goes against traffic just to see if the cars would swerve to avoid you.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I would like to buy that pair of Nike shoes. People look cool wearing it.
* = refers to Brazilian thrash metal legends, Sepultura with their classic Inner Self.
Gute Nacht und Gutes Glück.
PS: I feel the need to apologise. I feel that I didn’t make myself as clear as I had hoped. Some parts in this post I feel that I’m slightly off tangent with regards to the topic and for that I apologise.
PPS: Since we’re on the subject of conformity, I’ve decided to *GASP!* convert Whacker Inc into *GASP!* Blogger Beta!
PPPS: And since I felt like doing it, here's my new blog where I give my 2.666 cents worth of reviews from books to music to even toiletry products.