Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Anyone remotely different always gets misunderstood

I maybe romanticise about the outsider too much: I often think all people rejected by society choose to be outsiders; I often think that all outsiders are hermits who indulge in the esoteric occult; I often think that all outsiders are into avant-garde art and write poetry. One thing I know for certain, however, is that when a person stands out and differs from the rest of the crowd, the person will instantly be misunderstood.

Most people are physically aware of themselves: they know what they look like on the surface. So they then judge everyone else by that very same standard without realising what goes on under our skin. Whenever a person differs from the rest of the crowd, it is difficult to reach an instant judgement on the person, so the populace will conjure up a label for the person and throw him out to the garbage.

'Different' people often have different motivations and orientations. Their motives are never the same as the crowd's. When a 'different' person happens to be an artist, that person often feels the urge to go into the 'prohibited' zones of the human psyche with his art. Society instantly feels repelled by this subversion, and applies their judgement on the person. The artist's intentions gets lost amidst the tumultuous controversy and he gets misunderstood.  

Society always has norms, conventions and standards which are then imposed over the individual. When the individual's mind-set doesn't correlate with this specific ideology of the prevailing fashion, the individual stands out. Whatever his intentions are, they will always be scrutinised and laughed upon. 

And what's sad and pathetic about all this is that people who are subject of this 'dismissal' from society often attempt to hide their idiosyncrasies and will do nothing about getting ostracized. All these new, exciting tendencies they experience are suppressed so that they can be part of the crowd or at the very least (in the most extreme cases of the eccentricity of the individual) obtain a couple of friends.


Doug said...

It is not the reaction that happens when confronted with some remotely different that bothers me most.

It is the the reaction that doesn't happen.

Something I've noticed alot recently. Especially through work (I work in a book shop).

When confronted with something unusual. Unexpected. New. Challenging. Etc. Most people tend to stop thinking.

Simon King said...

Yes, I completely agree with you actually. I currently go to college and because a I stand out from the crowd so much I am the most invisible, insignificant person there. No-one even acknowledges my presence.

But I'm mainly talking about different people who DO get noticed... Sometimes these people become famous and cross over the mainstream and, as I say, their motives and intentions get lost in the process of 'moral outrage' or many other reasons... Aleister Crowley, Frank Zappa... etc etc

Simon King said...

Incidentally, have you seen any of Jean-luc Godard's movies?

Doug said...

I've seen Breathless.

Enjoyed a great deal.

Would like to see some more.

Simon King said...

Is your fragmentation intended? I like it when people invent new rules where grammar reshapes itself and redefines the possibilities the use of commas, apostrophes, full stops etc. etc. Cormac Mcarthy is a great exponent of this way of writing, and I really like it.

Forgive my digression...

Kyle said...

A good post. Not only are "outsiders" different from "the group", they are different from each other.

"The group" is different from "the group" as well, but rarely does "the group" recognize this. More often, "the outsiders" can see it, though.

Doug said...

sk: perhaps. this lack of caps, however, is entirely down to a bad stomach ache.

i've been meaning to read The Road for quite a while.

kyle: there is no group

Kyle said...

"there is no group" -- Yes, that is another way to say it. But just to be clear, by "group" I meant what Simon called "society".

Doug said...

Even society is a questionable word.


Plug for something less fractured.

For the musically inclined:

Doug said...

semantics semantics