on the issue of social acceptance.

August 19, 2009

dearest readers,

let’s get down to brass tacks. how come it’s so important for some, if not most of us, to put superhuman effort into becoming bland, consumable by-products of society? assume not that i am impervious to this phenomenon either. you think i just let anybody see the priscilla, queen of the desert dvd i have stashed at the back of my bookshelf? this is exactly why the vintage harry potter circa-first-year-before-daniel-radcliffe-became-semi-hot poster, complete with hilarious fake alan rickman signature thanks to my bff (love you!) is on the back of my bedroom door.

i’m not saying it’s not okay to like things that aren’t exactly mainstream or ‘cool’. in fact, it is completely okay. i mean, besides the porn – keep that hidden. ahh, but therein lies the rub – why do we hide this stuff? why do we, as a society, find some random, magically-determined trends so captivating that upon meeting someone for the first time, we find ourselves subconsciously assigning them to a position on our mental social hierarchy based on whether they adhere to them or not? what’s with the whole superficial thing going on here? sure, you hide the porn because you don’t want to skeeve out your date or accidentally trigger an awkward relationship with your family members, but why do we care about how skinny our jeans are or if we happen to be vocal about our enthusiasm for dungeons and dragons? and is there really a logical, intelligent explanation for the frankly baffling, supposedly self-sufficient statement that ‘tan is the new black this year’? (i’m lying; i don’t really know what this year’s new ‘black’ is. shame on me.)

i’d love to blame this one on our parents or society, and undeniably they both had their roles in helping collate a list of stereotypes for us to apply to everybody we meet, but most of the blame falls on us, as individuals. we haven’t been able to transcend those base knee-jerk responses. maybe they’re already engrained into who we are as people, who we are as a generation. it might seem like a fruitless endeavor, but even so, we have to try, right? i know i have to. and i know i’ll be a little careful about what kind of comments i make around my future babies. maybe if we start working on this now, the gut reaction judgmental crap will thin out generation after generation until it becomes some vague, horrendous social interaction that the future global community will look back on, without completely understanding how we could be so quick to judge – even if we didn’t mean to.

i guess what i’m trying to say is that i get the whole ‘being cautious’ thing. i sure as hell don’t let my dates see all of my crazy until they’re completely submerged into my world of insanity…or, well, the third date. whichever comes first. but in my opinion, when our society has gotten to the point where we are pigeon-holing people within the first minute that we’ve known them, we can safely say that it’s something that needs to be addressed, right?

yours truly and truly yours,

chanelle

ps: i feel like i might have come off as a little bit holier-than-thou in today’s post. i swear this social commentary isn’t an attempt to prove that i am better than everyone else because, quite frankly, i am not. case-in-point: my old guy crush on jean reno. i don’t run around shouting my love for his goofy, sad eeyore-like face from the rooftops…but how i wish i could. how i wish i could.

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3 Responses to “on the issue of social acceptance.”

  1. chench Says:

    Hihi,

    A couple of observations:

    -Conformity is trust. If we both like Harry Potter of D&D it becomes a common thing between us. People require a certain degree of commonness to know that the dude they just met isn’t going to eat them. It’s why we find people with strange manners disturbing. It probably comes from back when we were in smaller groups, so you’re probably right about the knee-jerk reaction. But what indication did you have that we’ve moved on?

    BTW there really isn’t any magic to which topics get chosen. If enough people like it, it snowballs. If it’s old enough, it’s tradition.

    -First impressions + the desire for commonality = hiding the City of Heroes game box and the 20-sided dice until the 3rd date, and the S & M equipment until the 10th. The first impression is the strongest, so if your beau finds out you’re a closet nerd, or really kinky, six months later, he’ll probably go in his subconscious “but she and I still have a lot in common”, due to the “normal” stuff being the first thing he saw. Humans…

    -I LOVE SCIENCE FICTION. There, I said it.

    BTW, I feel a bit self-conscious using capitalization on this site.

    • readersbeware Says:

      you SHOULD feel self-conscious. in fact, right now i am mentally ostracizing you. just fyi: you are now at the bottom of my social totem pole. 😛

      anyway, i definitely didn’t mean to give the impression that we’ve moved on. in fact, i was implying that society needs to be nudged into a higher plane of consciousness, because there’s sort of been absolutely no communal intention of moving past the knee-jerk reaction at all. of course, there have been legal and political responses to the more severe cases of social ostracization, but there will be no real changes until we address the root problem.

      otherwise, all your other points are very viable. touche. but i do think that it’s not the number of people who like it, but the social status of the people who like it. by god, if one eccentric, avant-garde fashion designer somehow gets the idea in his/her head that hot pink garbage bags are the next big thing, you can bet they’ll be on the runway – and hanging in store windows – by the next season.

      and ps: i don’t think we fight. haha 🙂

      • chench Says:

        We fight? 🙂

        I don’t really think it’s possible to go to a higher plane of consciousness without a). a lot of training, and b). genetic engineering. I suspect both are needed.

        Avant garde billionares are respected and followed because they’re billionares. It’s the same reason a D&D-hating boyfriend would stick by you if he had a good first impression. Heck, he might even be tempted to join. Sure pink garbage bags could be popularized by such people. He’s already earned our following by accomplishing the most respected achievement of our civilization: getting rich.

        I’m at the bottom? :,(


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