Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My little slice of conformity

Hi, I'm James Moore, I have a blog, and I'm a conformist. It's true. Go ahead and laugh, but you're one too. In a strange way, my public speaking class and Cornerstone this week both dealt with conformity. As a result I give you this post. If it's popular, trendy, or "cool" then most likely it's got conformity written all over it. Everyone at college drinks coffee, huge generalization, but the prevalence of starbucks is shockingly obvious. I find it funny that everyone goes to starbucks to "study," even though talking and facebook seem to be the only real activities. Also, why else would people continue to visit a place that is distinctly designed to sell coffee, which I have been told has mediocre to crappy coffee. I know: conformity. Going to starbucks says I'm cool, because I'm earth friendly, and I love their smooth jazz and singer-songerwriter background music selections. It validates your desire to be seen, and to tell people "hey, I'm at starbucks studying, you know, cause that's what I do." It's harmless, but a lot of people probably couldn't honestly tell you why they enjoy starbucks. Although, they can tell you that lots of people like it, so all those people must know something. Maybe they do.

Another "fad" I find conformity laced is the wearing of Northface. Look at me, I've got this cool jacket and so does half of my floor. Do they make other colors than black? I find it impossible to believe that it can possibly be as comfortable, warm, and amazing as made out to be. So why do so many people have them? Well, mainly because so many people have them. It's cool and expensive, which means it's absolutely necessary. If I sound jealous, I'm not, just suspicious of the cult-like potential of Northface wearers. Girls seem to especially play into this. In fact, sorry ladies, most fads of conformity seem to be female centered. Like: Uggs, those ridiculous purses, and my personal favorite Twilight. I'm probably not suppose to get the appeal of any of these, but still I really don't get the appeal. Are they more comfortable than other boots? Doubtful. Do the purses carry more than others? Not really, they're all huge and duffel bag like. Is the guy in the movie really that hot? Honestly, that's beyond my ability to judge. I'm sure the book are great, but most girls seem more concerned with trying to kidnap Robert Pattinson than anything else. Is it genuine attraction or just mass female hysteria that if you read the books you have to think he's the greatest thing ever. This reminds of when Transformers came out, and every guy immediately wanted Megan Fox. No lie, she is really hot. Regardless, a lot of this attraction was conformity based. Any guy who would have claimed to not be attracted would have been called gay or some other insult which questions manhood or is designed to mock the individual. This brings me to my next point. These obsessions, fads, and the like are mostly harmless. What happens when conformity produces something that isn't?

Throughout history, fear, dogma, and rules have been used to encourage conformity of the wrong kind. As a result, the masses hold many beliefs that are irrational and often entirely false. Many Christians believe that drinking is evil, which is funny actually. Jesus drank wine, it was a cultural thing. Alcohol consumption isn't evil. However, massive consumption of alcohol is unhealthy and stupid. Yet in college conformity, and Greek culture, encourages binge drinking. Why is this cool? Well, because everybody is doing it, and it feels really good when your grilled cheese from lunch comes shooting out of your mouth. Also, it's fun to wake up with a stranger, especially if they haven't been tested. Not to mention, I really love falling down stairs and random bruises. This is dangerous conformity, and it doesn't stop there. Sexual experimentation, drug use, and other questionable behaviors are also a product of conformity. Suddenly following the crowd isn't so fun and harmless. Of course, Christian conformity can be just as dangerous. The idea that you have to listen to a certain type of music, wear those clever t-shirts, and follow all these rules. Aside from biblically absent, these ideas are just plain wrong. God gave us free will to live and choose our course of action. As a Christian, man is suppose to converge his will to God's, and let God take the wheel. Following arbitrary rules isn't a part of this, and actually prevents God from leading the way. This is the only kind of conformity we really need, the kind that has us following Jesus. Sure, you can follow the crowd for harmless fads, but they'll fade away before you know it. Given the chance everyone would trade temporary pleasure for lasting peace. This is what God offers, the promise of eternal peace in the most pleasurable place, so much so that it isn't even imaginable. Feelings last for a night, a high for hours, and a pair of shoes for like a year. So, yeah, I'm a conformist. I'm just glad I won't have to bring my yo-yo, Pokemon cards, and Wii to eternity.

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