Opinion: Conforming to Non-Conformity

I heard the most interesting line not long ago. I’m walking into work when I happen upon one of my coworkers. We start talking the sort of talk one engages while walking into work: weather, office politics, whatever. Polite talk. Then out the blue she asks me if I’m registered Democrat or Republican. I tell her “I’m a Democratic Republican – a real non-conformist”, just because I really don’t feel like this sort of talk before coffee. Now here comes the line. She says to me “You don’t look like a non-conformist. They’re all wearing their hair long this year.”

What? Really? Seriously?

I was astounded. Did she understand the irony of what she said? I can not be a non-conformist because I don’t follow the prescribed fashion outlook of some group. I don’t conform to her or some groups definition. I thought that’s what being a non-conformist was all about. An individual expressing themselves without regard to fashion, politics, entertainment fads, or candy bars.

Merriam-Webster define non-conformist as “a person who does not conform to a generally accepted pattern of thought or action” so I’m pretty confident I am not the one confused.

Is it possible that in this time one can not be a non-conformist if you don’t behave and dress like this certain group of people who happen to call themselves non-conformists? Is non-conformity gone the same route as the peace symbol, which has become more a fashion statement rather than a political or ideological symbol.

To me, it isn’t about having a mohawk, dressing in black turtlenecks (even in summer), listening to Megadeath, and claiming everyone in the government is out to get you. Although that could be one manifestation of it, if that person isย expressing a personal view, rather than the overstated dogma of some group.

You don’t have to drop out and just reject everything you hear and be negative all the time, but you must follow your own set of ideas and ideals despite what is being said by pope, pop, or porno. You challenge the status quo, but you don’t necessarily have to want to tear it down. It can be positive.

That’s what the hippy movement of the sixties was all about to a degree. Now maybe they were a bit naive to think that you could change the world through chemicals. That’s DuPonts bag. But it was a start. It was an introduction to a possibility that hasn’t really been carried through. And if my co-workers sentiment is any indication of where we are then we’ve a long ,long way to go.

Well, I can sure make a big deal out of an innocent statement, can’t I?

 

More? Ok. Check out this page.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Opinion: Conforming to Non-Conformity

  1. I was going to write a poem today about this very thing. My brother just engaged in a debate where the people who were arguing with him felt they were non-conformists because they all believed in conspiracy theories, lol! How about this for a radical concept, think for yourself and use the brain you have. WHOA, what a novel concept, ya think? Most people conform and don’t even know it.

    • Quite right! Group think is an easier path for too many, but they shouldn’t believe that their are individualists or non-conformists. Maybe, just maybe, folks should, as you said, think for themselves and use the brain they have. Just imagine that!

      I’m reminded of the Groucho Marx quote “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”.

  2. Makes me smile at the ignorance and arrogance of people,this day and age. Best bet people such as this still walk away thinking they came across Right. Ha! Love this my darling.. you as always being the polite non- conformist gentleman you are..kept above the fray.๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜™

    • I bet they do. How ironic that some people grade their independent thinking on how closely they align with some group. I think it was Euripides who said โ€œQuestion everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.โ€

      Thank you Love ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Jeffrey, I think that the hippy movement has utterly given way to the hipster movement in all fairness. It’s the recognised commodification of Otherness, through a glut of aesthetic. By that standard it’s just not cool to be passionate about anything remotely “normcore” and thereby within the spectrum of most people’s relate-able experiences. Anyway, hello from the U.K! Thanks for visiting my blog and following. I read your welcome page and almost had an etymologasm… I really appreciate it. (The FOLLOW!) ~ P ~

    • Hey Pola! Thanks for the comment. I agree with you, though I’ve always found it ironic that intentionally eschewing convention is still conforming to a type of group think which is very conventional. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yes, my Mum used to make that observation of different social groups of teenagers in town when I was that age: “Those are the indie kids Mum, they look so cool and alternative *sigh” “Yes. And exactly like each other.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s