Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick

I really don't like doing things that everyone else is doing. I'm am not someone who ever felt pressure to fit in. If anything, I felt the opposite. If everyone is doing it or there's some cultural expectation of conformity, you can pretty much count me out. It takes some real discipline and an activity of unimpeachable importance for me to just "go along." That's just one of the joys of knowing me, I guess (full sarcasm in effect).

Which brings me to St. Patrick's Day. There are a lot of those "Real Saint Patrick" videos circulating on the internets today, so I'm not sure I need to go into any real detail about how the celebration of this day in the US has almost nothing to do with the man himself. I actually have a ton of respect for St. Patrick. He gave up his life to serve people who treated him badly. He responded to hatred with love. Plus he (and his legacy) managed to maintain a mystical and authentic alternative Christianity alive throughout the corruption and capitulation of the Roman and Medieval periods of European History.

The dude was pretty cool.

But I'm not Irish (although my ancestors did manage a brief decade or two stopover on the way from Scotland to Canada) and I'm not a big drinker. I have developed a love of green clothes recently, but I'm not pulling them out today. Conformity is the last thing Patrick would have endorsed. He spent his life doing the opposite of everyone around him precisely because he thought there was a better way. I like to be the guy with the alternative script, the different perspective, the "yeah... but." I've never gotten the whole, "I'll exercise my freedom by looking and acting like everyone else," thing. It's just not me.

As much as that's true, however, there is still a part of me that is contrary just to be contrary. I mean I like the notion of reminding people that difference perspectives exist. I think it's helpful to the world to challenge commonly-held assumptions and perspectives. There's another part of me that just wants to be different.

Maybe it's because I often feel invisible or forgettable; maybe I'm just a jerk.

I do wish everyone a happy Saint Patrick's Day. I like green food and mint chocolate cupcakes. I fully endorse parades and celebration. I just don't want anyone telling me how I should dress or what I should do.

(And as for this pinching thing, I think it meets the basic definition of misdemeanor battery, so think it through.)

No comments: