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.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Nonconformists, Get In Step

I used to be as noncomformist as one could be... but that was long ago. Now, I am just another old white guy; amost indistinguishable from all the other old white guys in this city.

There's a standing joke at the golf course when someone asks, "Hmmm, don't know him, what's he look like?"

"Old guy, gray hair, wears glasses... you can't miss him."

I don't have all gray hair (but it's "salt and pepper") and I do have a gray, almost white, goatee. And, like most of the gentlemen around here, I have to at least wear reading glasses. And I dread the day I will need glasses to drive.

But, when I was in my teens, I followed my crowd and wore white dress shirts, black slacks, and black shoes ("Italian loafers" we called them). Now the "soshes" (short for socializers) wore pegged pants of various hues and tennies without socks and pastel shirts. We weren't much liked by them; they were the kids of professionals mostly or ones who were destined for college and a professional life. And we were mostly street thugs, at least by reputation.

I bring this up because of a cartoon strip I read on Sunday or Saturday:

Which, of course, got me to musing about conformity and how we look at it.

When I was in the Navy, conformity was mandatory... there's a reason they chop off all your hair, put you in ill-fitting uniforms, and demand you get into formations. They don't want you to be an individual.

There's a good reason for that, you need to identify as part of a team, loyal only to your outfit and your branch of the service. After a couple of years, you find you like it that way... call it "institutionalization." Like what happens to criminals in prisons after awhile.


Tom Sightings said...

Reminds me of the quote from Jonah Berger's book "Why Things Catch On": "When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate one another."

Douglas said...

And that is the basis of many ad campaigns, I think. I am reminded of an ad for Dr. Pepper which touted the individuality of those that drank but ended up with a huge crowd of people (I think... dancing in the street) shouting "I'm a Pepper too."