I live in Cape Town, a city flanked by oceans all around and there is a big surf culture here, especially among the youth. This sub-culture has always fascinated me. Not just because I am SO not a surfer type (all that sea sand up your butt crack and the not washing thing is just not me), but because I find it so ironic that the surfers (like the Goths and other sub-cultures) would be so anti mainstream conformists; they positioned themselves as alternative, different, unique, very definitely non-conformists. And yet at the same time they were the biggest conformists of them all. They all dressed EXACTLY the same (only Billabong, Island Style etc), they all hung out in the same places, listened to the same music, dated the same kind of blond, tanned, surfer-hanger-on girls. So much for being unique and non-conformist. The same with the ‘alternative scene’, the Goths etc. Even worse! You could wear whatever you wanted as long as it was black and baggy, you wore white pasty make up and you listened to horrible heavy rock shite. But oh! They were so cool, so non-conformist. It used to amaze me that they never saw the irony in that.
I see the same thing happening among the so called ‘non-conformist’, alternate, pseudo-edgy blogs. There are bloggers out there who love nothing more than to decry what they consider mainstream, boring, popular blogs and bloggers. Apparently it is cool to say you don’t like / read / buy into a blog that many others do. Even cooler to rip into the bloggers and say crappy things about them. As if being popular or mainstream makes you a fair target for criticism. (And I am not talking about my blog, I am not nearly popular enough, although sometimes special exception is made for me) They pretend to not buy into any thing that these mainstream blogs stand for. They don’t kiss ass, they don’t ‘go commercial / get paid for blogging / run ads’, they don’t …… (whatever it is they think is conformist), and yet, they are doing exactly the same thing, in their own way. Forming their own little set of standards, their own operating practises and norms, their cliques. And their faithful readers / commenters, who, by the way, accuse the commenters on the other blogs of ‘kissing ass’, do exactly the same thing to the ‘non-conforming’ blogger. Where’s the difference? All you’ve done is swap one set of norms for another?
It seems stupid to me. I don’t get it. So what if someone is normal, average, conformist, mainstream. So what? If they are happy, then can it be all bad? Why is bitchy the new cool? I don’t know, I don’t understand the need to be angry and bitchy all the time. But then again, I am just a normal, boring mainstream conformist ;-)
Sometimes it really is perfectly fine to be average / normal / happy.