Sunday, March 30, 2008

Who says?

Funny how there's a mold that every societal subgroup creates to which all in the group are expected to conform. Who creates it? How does it become what it is? Who says?

Someone once said that New York is the city of misfits.

I think it's true. And then again, it's not. A social class system permeates the island. The elite should do this and the poor should do that. The West Side's like this, and the East Side like that. A child should be raised this way, and eat this, and wear that. They should go to school here (says the Cat in the Hat.)

Before I pay further homage to Dr. Seuss, I'll stop there.

This city is full of people who don't fit many other places. But at the heart of the island, people are concerned with who's in and who's out. It's almost as if it's made up of three kinds of people. People who are "in," people who desperately want to be "in," and people who could care less about being "in," about rules and status and labels.

We belong to the third group. The misfits. The ones who don't care about being "in." But by saying it, we're fitting in. You know what? It feels really good to fit into that group.

12 comments:

majorsteve said...

So NY is like the world's biggest high school?

Chaotic Hammer said...

This made me think of a scene from a South Park episode:

Raisins (Stan and the Goth Kids scene)

(It's South Park people. All the usual language and content warnings apply, blah blah blah.)

"If you want to be one of the non-conformists, all you have to do is dress just like us and listen to the same music we do."

Popcorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seth Ward said...

Yeah, I suppose Sugarland is quite similar... and Katy...

But Houston as a whole? I don't think it is so bad because the zoning is so weird. It is usually more apparent in the cities where sections are uniquely divided into big class-chunks. In Houston you can have a 450,000 dollar house right next door to a 100,000 dollar house (if you live in the Heights.)

Popcorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Popcorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julio said...

But where do we belong to?
Who should we go?
What should we do?

Does that sound familiar to our ears??

truevyne said...

tagged ya to write a six word memoir if you are interested:
http://thetruevyne.blogspot.com/2008/03/six-word-memoir.html

Kristin said...

I like your rhyme.

I think CA was a bit like that too.

FancyPants said...

Popcorn, I'm not sure we're on the same page here, so please don't take offense to my quoting you and disagreeing... It's the best blogging system that I've found that really allows for understandable discussion.

others rebel against the notion (acceptance) and sport anti- social costumes that reflect their efforts to renounce conformity while really only advertising their inner angst stemming from their horror of acceptance failure.

I agree that there are most likely those people out there that rebel against conformity for reasons of inner angst. But there are also people out there that are just different, no inner angst, no rebelling, no anger at the status quo. They just don't fit in. That's the kind of misfit I mention here. That's the kind of misfit most usually found in NYC.

The conformity I mention in my post doesn't necessarily have to do with class or money. (Although in New York, it shows there clearly, because well, the place is swarming with money.) The conformity I mention is surely in all people groups everywhere, which was the purpose of my first paragraph. It fascinates me, how we get to that place, that particular mold or set of rules for a group of people, whether it be the rich, the poor (they, too, have a status quo), Evangelical Christians, Catholics, blacks, whites, Asians, moms, dads, the list goes on and on, down to one's very own family, as small as that.

For whatever reason, New York seems to hold many individuals who don't meet the criteria for the subset from which they came. Misfits. They're not trying to rebel. They're just trying to live and get by like everyone else.

But the presence of conformity is as inescapable as the subgroup itself. Which is why I mention the ins and outs of NYC.

There are people in every single city who feel they don't meet the status quo. They either try to meet it or they don't. Those that don't are either lonely or they find people like them that don't meet the status quo. There happens to be alot of those kind of people here.

The irony of it is that the status quo can become - not having one.

Fork said...

I feel lame going out at night, then running into friends who want to go to a trendy restaurant or bar. I enter and everyone looks at me because I'm wearing something I bought at a discount clothing store on 34th Street. And I'm ruining all their fun. :^(

FancyPants said...

Fork, discount clothing stores on 34th Street?

Cough it up, Fork. Names. Cross streets. I am in desperate need of affordable clothing.