The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hammers and Pegs

I have bucked trends all my life, it seems. I always thought of myself as a round peg constantly being pounded into a square hole. Or maybe it's the other way around... Either way, I didn't feel I fit in no matter how hard others tried to make me. Yet, I have gotten sucked into fads and social fancies from time to time.

I jumped on the surfing bandwagon in 1964, for example. Which made me want to have blond hair and a great tan. I took up drugs just a few years later... about the time it seemed that "everyone" was doing that. I wanted to be artsy and deep, profound in my thinking, aloof and mysterious... I wanted to be part of "the scene", maybe even a focal point.

 If you were part of "the scene", you could get the chicks.

I didn't want to be a lemming, I wanted to be a leader of lemmings. Because, as Mel Brooks said as Louis the XVI (in "History of the World: Part I"), "It's good to be king."

As time went on, I changed my outlook. For one thing, those chicks that were part of the scene seemed as shallow and phony as my own persona and probably were. For another, it was hard work being someone you really weren't. And, above all else, I am lazy. After awhile, I gave it up. I suppose I realized it was difficult to lead lemmings if you're a gerbil. It was also pointless. After all, the ultimate goal was to find a cliff to jump from.

Eventually, I stopped fooling myself into thinking I had to fit in.

This began after I had been in the Navy for a couple of years. For the first two years, you pretend you are still a civilian at heart. You change into "civvies" as soon as possible when you have liberty, and you pretend you aren't just a cog in a vast military machine. After a couple of years, you start leaving the base in uniform. You stop pretending. In prisons, they call this becoming "institutionalized." You accept your status.

You still don't try to "fit in", however. But you do begin to realize that you are the "hammer" that's trying to pound you into that hole you do not fit in.


Tom Sightings said...

I share both your experience (well, I wasn't in the Navy, but otherwise ...) and your attitude, See

Douglas said...

Yeah, that was a great post, Tom. You often muse much better than I.