Society has a set of norms to which many comply at least outwardly. What goes on in the minds may differ from the outer presentation. And we have to be careful in what we say, in electronic media for example, lest the wrath of these normative pressures be turned against. What is acceptable is loosely defined but those tut-tut-tuts are never far away, they come from the conservative and the narrow minded. One doesn’t have to be an out and out bomb wielding anarchist to be a misfit. Anything which strays too far from the centre of expectation automatically has you no longer fitting, hence you are a misfit. And so, the psychologists have developed a plethora of disorders to categorize, coral and explain any “wayward” behaviour. Maybe in time we will all have a label, a badge. And in the limit unless you too have such a badge, you will be a misfit.
Of course, I am talking about prejudice here for that is the final arbiter in what is and isn’t a misfit. People cannot handle those who stray to far from the “accepted” norms. Rather than learning to accommodate, the finger points, “ooh look he is a misfit, a whacko”. If things aren’t packaged in a way we like, then they cannot have value. They are simply wrong, off. If we can’t control them, they are scary. People must comply to the societal norms.
I have a hypothesis in regard of the mental health crisis and it is that minds are starting to reject en masse the way we currently live. Instead of looking at this we dish out more pills which keeps big pharma happy. Before long we may all be on pills.
It is in this misfit phenomena whereby some change begins. Unless there are misfits, nothing changes. And it is only in some unrealistic and unattainable utopia that we would find any absence of misfits. We have two choices, to exclude the misfits or learn from them. It takes some courage, some character, to stop compliance and kowtow.
The major problem stems from a lack of familiarity, anything which is unfamiliar can evoke a prejudicial fear. Things not in our family are strange. Even if our family is fucked up, it is best. Everyone else is wrong. The problem with family style thinking is that the thinking is incestuous and prone to mutation. We get Galápagos syndrome on a macroscopic scale, an institutional one.
There is a shit load of snobbery in this world, where anything not according is looked down upon. There are some very pompous people out there utterly convinced that they know best, even though they lack personal experience of that which they profess their knowledge about. This Nanny attitude sucks, especially when nanny doesn’t have much of an idea outside of her nice warm nursery. Ideas and strategies sound all highfalutin, but they may diverge significantly from reality. It is all about control but that which is controlled can go pop.
I wonder what percentage of the population consider themselves to be misfits? It is probably a lot higher than we might imagine. Back when I did pastoral care the “misfits” used to come to my office and I spoke with them, often. I had a little “gang” of misfits, my waifs and strays, as I heard others refer to them. Which in itself speaks volumes of the mind-set of the norm.
Although I am not perfect, I am not freaked out by the freaks, nor those with rough edges. I can walk into the roughest of bars, and the poshest of hotels. I can talk for hours with a drug dealer on a Jamaican beach, who by the way changed my life. He called me on my bullshit. Why is it that we have to be so fucking prejudiced?
Having cued this up, one question:
Do you consider yourself to be a misfit?