This weekend I caught snippets (it ran all day) of a program called The Seven Ages of Rock. It’s actually a fairly comprehensive review of the different stages in the development of rock and roll and provides some humorous insights into the inspiration of the most iconic bands.
Anyway, one of the bits that I watched was discussing punk rock. I never really got into the punk rock scene much myself. Growing up as a suburban white kid doesn’t really give you an “edge.” Plus, I always felt that punk rockers were trying too hard to make a statement, but that’s just me. My sisters insist that I was more of a “grunge” person, but the truth is that I’ve never really much cared about clothing and for a brief while neither did anyone else.
I’m only bringing all of this up today to help provide some background to my almost overwhelming desire this morning to self destruct. As I was shaving (every other day whether I need it or not… thanks Dad!) and faced with yet another day of (almost) smiling at people, mindless and meaningless “Good Mornings!” and the certainty that while we may wish otherwise, today was going to be exactly like every other day for the rest of our lives; (And no, I haven’t been reading Søren Kierkegaard again!) I thought about how fun it would be to really fly in the face of all this, to really hand out a giant middle finger to The Man and damn the consequences!
How was I going to do this? How could I defy and ridicule the Establishment? Some folks would take this opportunity to be surly and rude to their coworkers, but I’ve already made that my M.O. to such a degree that when I express good cheer at work they cringe and shudder and refuse to turn their backs to me. I suppose that I could rebel against the Corporate Shills by refusing to wear a tie, but I think that I only own 4 and 3 of those have cartoon characters on them and I’m not really sure where they are right now so I doubt that would be effective.
I knew how I was going to rebel against the insanity of The System! I was going to leave my shirt untucked! Yes! And when someone asked me why it was untucked I was going to either shout, “Eff you, man!” or “I’m sorry is this against school policy?” depending on who it was that asked me, because that’s the kind of rebel that I am! I’m not someone that can be pushed around and made to act like a mindless drone for someone else’s sick amusement! This isn’t how people are supposed to live!
After I had finished shaving, it occurred to me how sad I am. This is what I came up with as my Great Statement? I would have wept in self pity right then, but my capacity for sympathy died a long time ago and all I could do was stare into the mirror with a tragic expression on my face (art students would have made an indy film about it). There was nothing for it and in the end I tucked in my shirt and went to work.