Pre-Approved Counter Culture?


You’re an individual. You march to the beat of your own drummer. You play by a different set of rules. You’re awake, not a sheep like the rest of the mindless drones shuffling around their conformist existence, swallowing whatever the corporations and politicians want to shovel down their throats.

Does the above describe you? If so, please fill out the following alternative lifestyle form, and indicate your desired pre-approved subculture on your application. Upon being approved for contrarian activity you will be issued a uniform that will vary depending on your chosen differing path. You will also receive a rulebook of guidelines as to which socially-unacceptable behaviors are permissible. NOTE: DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND, ‘HIPSTER’ IS NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.

I’m making a point here: that humans tend to be collectivist, even in “bucking the system.” We’re all different. We’re all special. We’re all unique. But we aren’t all leaders. We aren’t all brave. We don’t all have the force of mind and heart to truly be ourselves, to devise, and stand by, our completely one-of-a-kind life path. And so we stray from the mainstream, far enough in the direction of our true selves to feel free, but close enough to a group of some kind to feel safe. Strength in numbers.

Not to say that this is a bad thing. There is strength in numbers. It’s less lonely to be a loner if you’re a loner alone with a lot of other loners who are all alone in the same lonesome way. It’s also easier for the mainstream if they’re able to batch-process the outliers, as that guarantees that the main points of difference at least will be understood.

Then again, all that makes it hard for the truly unique. For those who lie outside of the outliers, the strangers to the strange. That’s too meta. Too many moving parts. If you’re a true outcast, be prepared to either be forced into one of the existing nonconformist groups, or else be marginalized completely.

To those who are outside of both mainstream society and commonly-accepted alternative realms, we salute your courage and tenacity. It’s not an easy life.

Photo credit: Martin Soulstealer

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.
  • Kamilla

    I love this article 🙂