What is normal? Who decides what is normal? The media? Oprah? You? Me?
Nobody knows what normal is. That is a fact. It used to be that in high school the popular kids would be normal and everyone else was a geek, nerd, skid, headbanger, jock, preppie…you name it, the popular kids had a name for it. I was one of those popular kids, but with a twist. I liked everyone from every niche and tribe of the high school landscape. The skids or head bangers as we used to call them, appealed to my taste in music and not giving a fuck. The nerds appealed to the tech and the underdog in me. While the preppies my taste in clothes and the jocks my love for competition. I could go on and on, but everyone had something unique about them that I liked. This is why I would hang out with all of them, plus my needy obsession for everyone to like me.
I think that back in the time before mass media you could assert your moral code on the masses just by sending it through the right channels ie. church, government, community leaders. Then television, radio, print started to get the word out to more and more people. The ideals of a few could be amplified and targeted to those who needed a direction. You notice in the fifties that all houses were the same, a housewife looked like this, this is what a business man looks like…it was all cookie cutter.
Then cutting out decades of peer pressure, along came the internet, the great equalizer, people started to realize there was others out there like them. No matter what your preference for video games, style of hair or what animal turned you on, people discovered there was a place for everyone. We realized we had found a place where we could belong, or at least some of us did.
Some people accept being different as normal and finding others out there like them vindicates this. Other folks can’t accept the fact that they don’t fit in. When cavemen roamed the earth the only stress was “Don’t get eaten!” Now we have thousands of stresses weighing on our already fragile egos. I’m too fat, I’m too thin, I can’t afford the latest Louis Vuitton bag, I’m not reading what Oprah wants me to…it is kind of overwhelming! No wonder the pharmaceutical companies are wringing their hands and laughing maniacally at our predicament. From Aspirin to Zoloft, they got us be the short and curly synapses.
So I say screw being normal! Being fucked up is the new normal. We need to celebrate our differences and stand together in our unique tribes, learn from other tribes and share ideas. That is how you feel normal, by contributing, building something, creating something and sharing it with others. Don’t just tear down and destroy, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean others won’t. It’s like the biker that discovers Bonsai trees or the house wife that falls in love with the gun range, you can never judge what someone is going to like. So make something, anything and put it out there, you never know what can happen.