|When Does A Person Become A Weirdo?|
After a news piece about a "swingers club" quietly operating in my city, I found myself pondering the implication of its existence. In many ways, the members of such clubs fall into the category of sexual deviants in that many sport values far from society's norm. Back in college I took a course that explored social deviants, how they were, shall we say, trained and recruited. This is a very interesting subject. While some people move off mainstream values for attention, to emphasize their individuality, or during self-exploration, it does have implications for the overall culture. The growing number of people seeking tattoos is evidence of this trend.
The topic of weirdos is complex because it can also extend into the area of dysfunctional individuals from which society suffers no shortage. Whether crazy, stupid, or simply marching to the beat of a different drummer it seems the number of these people is on the rise. In many parts of the western world, society has been on a mission that encourages people to embrace their individuality and this is apparent by the growing number of eccentric people. What is leading to this explosion of "I am Me" and often self-centered behavior? One thing is clear, more people are being allowed to express their individuality and this can be seen in the way many people claim gender is no longer carved in stone at birth.
|Is This Weird Or Very Cool?|
Feeding into this subject is the concern that by adopting a hands-off approach to halting the expansion of this trend we institutionalize or make it a normal and acceptable part of our culture. It could be argued that self-expression is a human right and I'm not advocating denying anyone that right. As an example to highlight the fact this is an issue, the following was lifted from the comment section of a recent online publication where many of those weighing in voiced concern or noted what they saw as a troubling trend.
|Morbidly Obese People Are Often Seen As Impaired|
An article by Ralph Nader that appeared on Common Dreams explored the idea that if you want to see where a country’s priorities lie you should look at the direction its culture is moving. The article which is linked above exhibits a very strong bit of a "leftist tinge," however, some of the points he makes seem valid. Nader writes, Plutocrats like to control the range of permissible public dialogue. Plutocrats also like to shape what society values. If you want to see where a country’s priorities lie, look at how it allocates its money. He contends that while teachers and nurses earn comparatively little for performing critical jobs, corporate bosses including those who pollute our planet and bankrupt defenseless families, make millions.
|America's Caste System (click to enlarge)|
Circling back to the subjects of weirdos, diversity, and individuality could it be this is all being encouraged to weaken and divide the power of the masses? For years Japan has been pointed to as a society that functions with little friction. Much of the credit is attributed to their culture and its homogeneous nature. Japan has a strong sense of group and national identity and little or no ethnic or racial diversity. Another unique aspect of Japanese society has a highly structured approach to managing and resolving these differences.
Footnote: This article should be viewed in its entirety as a cultural "observation and nothing more." The fact is our culture is always changing. Please consider it "food for thought." Also, please note, a big problem we face today is society's inability to get people to obey its rules and laws. Long-term this has dire consequences. The article below explores this trend and its ramifications.