OK, kids here's that rant you've been waiting for:
The lovely Jeanne (ex-roommate and archaeologist extraordinaire) sent me THIS link (via JohnU). Apparently she read the aforementioned article and thought I could do something with it. For those of you who are too lazy to click the link, I'll summarize: 7,000+ people came together in Idaho for the 39th annual "We are totally gay for Jesus and America festival" (or some such shit). All I could think of while reading it was the 'Labels' rant I've had swimming around in my head for the last couple of months, so I think that this serves as a good jumping-off point.
In any loosely defined sub-sect of society you will have individuals that have binding interests and/or collective identities. As soon as 3 people find that they share more than 2 things in common, it is inevitable that some fucking idiot will come up with an unending list of rules to govern said group. I've noticed it in high school, in college, in social groups, in politics, in vocations, in scenes, and all over the motherfucking internet. This shit has always gotten my nuts in a twist, but lately it's un-fucking-bearable.
In the case of the USA lovin' Christ fuckers, everyone seems to feels the need to get together in a huge fucking group to beat their chests, gnash their teeth, speak in tongues, and carry on to prove that they are pretty little pious patriots. I'm sure they then broke off into groups to decide what books to burn, what TV shows to protest, or which gay-friendly corporations to boycott. It's the whole; "If everyone doesn't see me do it, then they might think I don't love God and Country" mentality. Idiots.
Yeah, everyone can laugh at the zealots, but it gets even more ridiculous in the circles I'm familiar with. I grew up in the late '80s/early '90s Chicago punk scene. Those Idaho holy-rollers have nothing on suburban scenesters. Find any hipster sub-sect, and they'll have more asinine rules than the fucking Koran. If you wear these shoes, it means this; if you listen to this band then you can't to do that; if you have that haircut, then you have to believe this... it's all horseshit. It got so bad that Mr. Ben Weasel wrote a satirical article in Maximum Rock & Roll (the punksters' bible) on the rules of punk, and people started FUCKING FOLLOWING HIS NEW MOCK-RULES like they were handed down to motherfuckin' Moses. Fucking retards.
And now onto the fucking blogs... Elise touched on this topic earlier (I would link to her rant, but that would divulge her super-secret new blog address, thus leaving her vulnerable to the Mongolian hoards that seem to be after her), but this shit has been digging deep into my proverbial 'craw' for about a year now. Anyone that has a website/blog that purports to be part of a bigger scene/movement, leaves every fucking thought they have open to an unending stream of criticism from the hive-mind. I'm gonna pick on Kaka (sorry, but it's the perfect example). I feel bad for her, she can't even buy a pink shirt, or confess a love of unicorns without someone railing on about "oppressive gender roles" or pointing out that in history the unicorn was a symbol of theistic chastity, and therefore antithetical to the 'cause'. Sweet fancy Christ!
I'd always dated girls that were involved in the gender-equality movement, and I took a bunch of women's studies courses in college, but I can't distance myself far enough from the hard-core feminists crowd. They're all fucking nuts - It's all rules; rules pile high upon a myriad other rules, shit there's even rules that contradict other rules. It drives 'em wacky, and seems to rob most of any sense of humor. I'd be willing to do more for the 'cause', but it's a fuck of a lot less trouble to stand (far) back and giggle.
The thing that gets me is that most of these rules (across all groups) seem to be implemented by the weakest members of a group. It's those who feel alienated that implement the most stringent regulations. It's the poser outsiders who determine the rules of the game. Fuck those losers. Why bend to their fanatical whims? Hell, no one would even pay attention to 'em if they weren't raising such a goddamn ruckus. Why let those in a crisis of faith write dogma? Really, why do you even need this shit? It's not doing anyone a bit of fucking good. It's just an excuse for someone to act superior to the whole of a group.
I never have tolerated any of this shit, so it amazes me when others do so willingly. I'm a tattooed, punk rock listenin', gun owning, Vespa riding, SUV driving, agnostic, pro-choice, gay-friendly, flower photographing, antique syringe collecting, oil painting, well-read, tofu cooking, chain smokin', hard drinkin', blogging, puppy petting, libertarian lobbyist.
If there's anyone else out there that falls into this group, please STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME. And, no matter what, don't ever try to tell me how to live my fucking life.