I'm referring of course to the book and film series, not the time of day.
Leading on from my previous blog of personal choice with regard to interests and pastimes, and closely connected to it, I am fascinated by the phenomenon of popularity.
When I was growing up, I did something that most teenage girls don't do. I had the courage to announce my likes and dislikes openly and honestly. Some of us are just like that. Maybe you were, maybe you weren't. When I did this, sometimes I was told that I was brave. I never saw it that way.
Many young people follow trends like sheep. They lack confidence in themselves, and their own choices, and so, even if they do actually have preferences that don't follow the mainstream, they keep them secret. They don't dare to go against the tide with regard to fashion, music, etc.
There's always one who does though, maybe it was you. Maybe you wished it were you. Maybe you knew somebody like that.
There's always one who just doesn't give a rat's arse what everyone else is wearing or listening to. She does her own thing. If you don't like it, that's just too bad. Even if you tease her, she just gives you a look. I think this is where the idea of courage comes in, but trust me, there is absolutely no courage involved.
I say this in complete confidence, because it has been pointed out many times that courage is not absence of fear. Courage is being afraid and going ahead anyway. Courage is to be admired. I prostrate myself at the feet of those with courage, because I have very little.
No, those of us different drummers who do our own thing are not overcoming fear of being different. We are afraid of being the same. It's much easier for us to be ourselves, to be weird.
Other people think we are being difficult. Contrary, just for the sake of it. Trying to stand out, to get attention. Also untrue. I love attention, but there's nothing to be gained by negative attention. No, that's just an unfortunate consequence of being the odd one out.
There is often the assumption that the freaky one is sad, lonely, and left out. Tell that to Johnny Depp. It is perfectly possible to be different and popular. In fact Johnny discussed this in an interview some years ago. I wish I could find it, because I shall have to only paraphrase, but essentially what he said is that we've got it all backwards. He said that what we take for granted as normal is mostly really quite absurd. I know he's easy on the eyes, but it's sage stuff like that which makes me love the guy.
Our society is completely and utterly ridiculous. If an alien were to visit us, and send back a report on how we behave, they'd never believe him. It seems impossible, on the face of it, that we could survive, not just as a species, but as a modern civilization, considering the level of absurdity of how we do things.
He's not the first to have noticed or pointed this out, of course. Satire has existed as long as there are written records, and there is even a children's story to guide us.
It's one of my favourite old stories, and I refer to it a lot. We are surrounded by naked emperors, and we say nothing. We ignore the nonsense of our culture, we go along with it, and we join in.
I don't, and I never did.
I have been called a maverick, a rebel, an iconoclast, a troublemaker, and other words which are less complimentary. "Not joining in" is seen as a bad thing, apparently. No team spirit. "Why do you have to be so difficult?"
Of course, I do understand what upsets them. Culture requires that everyone not make a fuss, just go with the flow, don't ask questions, don't make waves.
I do understand that, and I absolutely don't cause trouble for the sake of it. I know some do. No, I've never been one of those. They claim personal authenticity, but they just like to shock. It's all about intent and motivation, and it can be a tough call sometimes, I know.
So there is controversy about any attempt at authenticity. There always will be.
All we can ever do is think. Before reacting, preferably. Consider. Analyze. Choose.
If you are quite happy with common things, there is nothing wrong with that. If you enjoy the latest trend, you are not doing anything wrong - sometimes popular and individual just line up. I'm not suggesting you are brainless if you share the opinion of the majority. My role here is to ask you to ask yourself if you're sure. To ensure that you aren't doing something just because it's the easiest or most popular thing to do. I'm here to remind you that you can select among the popular things. You neither have to select or reject based on popularity. You don't have to be a sheep. I've always been a rebel, and I survived.