I’m what you call a misfit. I don’t fit in.
But wait. How can that be? I’m a blue-eyed, blond-haired (well, when I had hair) male. My mom is French-Canadian, with Native American heritage. My dad, a heartland-born American told me we have Scotch-Irish and German ancestors. Regardless, my heritage is diverse.
I spent my formative years (12-18) in the most multi-cultural city in North America: Montreal. I grew up around people much different than myself. Living out my teenage years was in a place one would call a celebration of the diversity of humanity.
I explain this because I know all about accepting what is different from myself. I understand people come from different walks of life. They come from different socio-economic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. I get it. I’ve lived it.
Generally, people like to associate with others that look like them. People want to associate with what is familiar. I can say that as a Caucasian bald man if I were in a room full of Caucasian bald men, I would be very uncomfortable. Even if it were full of bald men from diverse cultures, I can say I would not feel like I am with my people. While I can appreciate that many men will go bald, being in the “bald club” is not on my list. But I digress.
My friends came from many ethnicities and religions. From Greek to Iranian, from Asian to European, they introduced me to their cultures. I learned people are different. And that can be a good thing. Sometimes conformity can be a good thing too. People within any culture also have different interests, likes, and tastes. There are things that I find impossible to enjoy about the culture I live in. I am not like most people.
I don’t like most pop culture themes such as man buns, long burly hipster beards, droopy pants, hoodies, tattoos, etc… What I see happening is “life depicting art”. A lot of fashion and other trends come from the entertainment world. People are living out what they see in their entertainment. It seems they want someone else’s fantasy to be their reality. Some of these trends are silly, obnoxious or plain stupid.
Movies play a large role in this culture. People become obsessed with movie themes. For example, I am not a fan of Harry Potter or the Marvel universe. Nor most movies where you have to suspend your beliefs to enjoy them. There are few movies these days that tell a normal story, without fantasy, to depict morals and how to handle real-life situations. Yes, I am a fan of Star Wars. There are reasons why it is an exception.
In today’s culture it seems the audience is only interested in good defeating evil at any cost. The audience wants special effects, booms, and explosions. The more provocative the better. People want to be wowed, thrilled and enticed. There is little interest in being enlightened or instructed. They do not want to come away from what they watched with a better understanding of life. People do not want a story that conveys or crosses cultural differences. Some of these new movies do show different types of people. But it’s easy to get along when there is a common enemy. People today do not want to watch something that can provide a lesson, a moral to the story to use in their lives one day. They only want to have a mind-numbing experience. Hollywood makes more of this because people buy it. And Hollywood has to out-do itself every time, or the audience gets bored. And we are doing nothing to combat the short attention span rising out of our social media culture. But again, I digress.
I do not read many contemporary writers. In this modern era, anyone can be a publisher. Yet, they have no editor (guilty). As such, it is difficult to read what many bloggers, authors, and journalists write. Careless with grammar and sentence structure, their content is difficult to read. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium are thriving with this mediocre content. There is some quality content, but it requires time and effort to scroll through the crap to find the gold. I do not rely on the algorithms because the algorithms only promote “popular” content. And people are sharing mediocrity because that is what they enjoy. I do not think that the idea behind the content is good enough. The presentation must count for something. This culture is getting sloppy with presentation.
Modern music. There is little to discuss. Needless to say, as someone who came of age in the ’80s, I prefer to listen to 80’s classic alternative. Bands like The Cure, The Smith’s, Echo and the Bunnymen. I also enjoy 80’s rock and pop. In truth, any rock or pop pre-2000’s is tolerable. But once we get into the new millennium there are few musical artists I enjoy. I will confess there are some, but very few. And aside from true Classical music, the great music is from the ’30s to the ’50s. Today’s generation have little exposure to it.
After reading this, I’m sure you would agree that it is difficult to find anything in common with me. I am very different. I am very picky about what I like and enjoy. So, it is clear that I do not fit in.
And have no desire to change. If you believe people need to be accepted as they are, then you will have to tolerate and accept my differences. I will not go along to get along.
I’m a misfit, a maverick as it were.