The New Rebellion. The Story of Mine.

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus

Every generation has one, some have multiple. My own individual rebellion has undergone several face-lifts, but the core idea and identity has remained.

Remember those times sitting at the lunch table in elementary and middle school with every one laughing about a tv show or movie that they watched the night before.  Of course you didn’t see it, but in an effort to be part of the crowd, you lie and laugh along. Then there is that one kid that calls you out and asks, “What happened next?” Remember that feeling of anxiety?

When I entered high school as the second youngest (thus shortest and highest voice) male, I was scared to death.  My years before, in middle school, were plagued with ridicule and nothing short of the kind of bullying that would make national headlines today.   I had nothing to my name in terms of teenage currency, e.g., popularity, athletics, friends, band or chorus, academics or honors, even the chess club didn’t want me (yes James, you were cooler than me.) At the same time, I was tired of trying to fit in.  Worn out.  Sick of lying to myself, pretending to be someone who I wasn’t.  Let me rephrase, I didn’t know who I was, but I was pretending to know.

What made me different?  What made it so hard to find a place in the social ladder, in the world as I knew it? I didn’t figure it out for a while, but I realized I hated being like everyone else.  To the point where I would intentionally sabotage my chances of fitting in. How?  I would sew my own pants with different color fabrics.  I would wear suspenders, but not over my shoulders.  I NEVER wore closed toe shoes and usually donned a pair of rubber flip-flops. I listened to music that no one liked, they couldn’t even pretend to like it if they wanted to.  Later I realized that I had become, in a natural and organic way, counter-culture.

As high school came to a close, the culture started to change.  People found out that my 4 years of not giving a shit about what they thought helped me to develop  my own personality.  So much so, the senior class voted me as “Best Personality.”  I attribute this to the fact that every one else was hell-bent on copying personalities to fit in that they never (and may not even now) knew who they were.  I faltered here.  I took advantage and used my new-found popularity to live the life I had always watched from the outside.  I dated my high school crush, ditched my old friends on our senior class trip and sat at the cool table at prom.  Imagine this, a guy that sews his own pants with different color fabrics, wearing extra-small t-shirts from goodwill, and dyed hair (Red one week, Blue the next, then black and maybe blond) hanging out with the cool kids. I sold out.

Learning from this after graduation, I rejected the norms in every way possible. I never took my SAT’s. I didn’t go to a typical 4 year college, I went to a 2 year art school.  I didn’t drive a used Honda, I drove a Saab (so ugly they are beautiful) and I totaled about 5 of them.  I didn’t party like my classmates, I was straight edge.

But I didn’t know what I stood for yet.  I didn’t have a purpose, an outlet or a reason for rejecting everything that everyone else did.  So I started searching for one.  I tried politics, that was awful, talk about having to fit into a mold.  I tried a job, this was a better effort, at least I could afford my gas.  I tried rejecting my own counter culture mentality.  This lead me to going back to school. Which caused me to spend my money and lose my job.  I was in the same place I was when I was a freshman in high school. Having nothing, confused as ever and facing a frightening world.

What did I do?  I stepped out. I moved away from home for the first time in my life.  Far away (12.5 hours.) I left my family and friends and found myself.  When you don’t have something filling every single space in your life, good or bad, it forces you to look at what is really there.  During this time, I developed my career, I found my wife, learned some things and actually was able to pin point my rebellion.

I define who I am by several different factors. I am always looking to smile.  I think everyone deserves 1000×10 to the 10th degree chances at life.  Love and compassion always wins. I want to help as many people as I can, even at the expense of myself and my resources.  I don’t really care what you think of me, but I care what you value.  I want to live a full life in every sense of the phrase; wealth (not at the expense of others,) happiness (possibly the most important,) and health.  I rebel every single day against every and anything that threatens my way of life.  I will never again try to fit into a mold or be defined by those around me.  My rebellion isn’t a single solid theme, it is a morphing idea that can shift with the changing culture and mounting pressures on living a normal life.

I am “counter-anything” that wants to put me in a box.

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Protractor

So apparently a lot of people search for protractors…I have had an average of 50 people/day coming to my blog from searching for protractors.  For all of you out there that enjoy protractors, this one’s for you…

The Protractor
An instrument used to construct and measure plane angles. The simple protractor looks like a semicircular disk marked with degrees, from 0º to 180º. The simple protractor is an ancient device. The first complex protractor was created for plotting the position of a boat on  navigational charts. Called a three-arm protractor or station pointer, it was invented in 1801, by Joseph Huddart, a U.S. naval captain. The center arm is fixed, while the outer two are rotatable, capable of being set at any angle relative to the center one.

Also check out – http://www.ehow.com/video_4977255_who-invented-protractor.html

On my mind…

I recently watched the HBO John Adams Series this past weekend.  What an inspiring show.  I’ve always liked Paul Giamatti, but now I love him – one of my new favorite actors.  If you haven’t seen it, see it.  If you have seen it, watch it again.

A few phrases on my mind since are:

“Join, or Die” (the new Union Soccer Team in Philly’s tag line)
“Liberty or Death”
“Unite or Die”
“Don’t Tread on Me”

Simple, yet so powerful…  Mull on those for a while and ask yourself this, “Would I use such definitive terms when talking about my freedom and my country?”

State of the Union 2010 – Call and Response

What did you think?  Was it political posturing or a contrite apology with a new resolve to move forward?

I couldn’t help but hear contradicting statements throughout the speech.  Still too much campaigning and not enough action.  For example, he would talk about bipartisanship and in the next breath blame the GOP.  He would talk about spending 30 Billion and 8 Billion and then say how we need to freeze Federal Discretionary spending, how he has a plan to save 20 Billion next year.

Don’t get me wrong, President Obama is an incredible orator and I have to say I caught myself “falling” for him, but it is my duty as a blogger to take a step back and analyze from as much an unbiased position as possible.

So far, under his own admission, Obama’s presidency and administration has not delivered on its promise made on the campaign trail.  I understand that it is a big bull to tackle and won’t be completely done on his watch, but we haven’t even SEEN the little glimmer of change that IS needed.  Let’s talk about reforming our government and the way it operates, not just what it talks about.  That is real change, that is the change that the American people are clamoring for – that is the change that they voted for.

Now, as a member of the American public, I have the right to say this – we have very short memories.  If Obama can turn this ship and get us heading in a direction of prosperity then this last year will easily be forgotten.  However, he is under a time crunch, nothing will leave a lasting memory like losing a bunch of seats during this upcoming mid-term election.  One already slipped through the cracks with Brown winning in Massachusetts.  This might have been the best thing that happened to the Democrats – a possible wake up call.  It’s like losing the last regular season game and realizing your not invincible and working 10 times harder to get back on top.  This loss could have been that wake up call.

As for the GOP, their response was predictable.  Nothing better or worse than the Presidents, just more posturing.  More politics and very little commitment to action.  I have to admit that I am coming from a GOP background, but have stepped back from any type of political designation.  However, I do have to say that I am dissapointed in the GOP.  I don’t like how they have become the party of “no.”  They are just as much, if not more now, a part of the problem as the Democrats and the Justices.

DISCLAIMER

My view of the American political system has turned very cynical these past few years.  When I was young, I believed what I was taught – for me that was a very republican point of view.  As I grew a little older, I found my own reasons to be a part of the Republican point of view.  And yet as I continue  to grow, I have found reasons to remove myself completely from this defunct system of having to choose between the lesser of two evils.

CONCLUSION

I don’t claim to have any answers and the manager in me is screaming, “Don’t present a problem with out having some ideas for solutions!!”  But nothing will be done unless we, the American Public, stand up and show our Government HOW TO GOVERN.  Not this comforting, feel good notion of “voting” and petitions…this just allows us to choose WHAT they talk about, not HOW they talk about it.  I will leave you with one thought and one question.

Thought : The ones we remember were not just good, they where great.  Success dies with mediocrity.

Question : How do you boil a frog? Is it getting a little warm in here?