I’m drawn to people who self-admit to being, what society would call, stubborn. Or in some circumstances, assholes. On the surface it has seemed to me that this is because these people by nature disregard a lot of inherent rules that we hold ourselves to, thereby making them more interesting/fun by default. But I think there’s more to it than that.
If I was reading this as a reader and not as a sweaty wanna-be blog writer reading over her draft for the 10th time I would perhaps be thinking: “Chick, you’re in Timor-Leste and you’re writing about stubborn people who are assholes? I’ve seen your Instagram photos but really I thought some more depth would come out of this experience. Disappointing.”
To this I say: Patience, young grasshopper. One day I will bloom into somebody who may be able to write directly about my experiences without it sounding like a bad sitcom. I also feel kind of weird writing about everything knowing that this might be a reader’s first intro to this country and it’s people (maybe only?) and it’s coming from a little white girl and not from anyone who actually knows the nuances of the many things happening here. But quickly I would like to add: Timor-Leste is BEAUTIFUL and, like any other country, it is extremely complex and riddled with both the light and dark sides of human experience. I would urge any of you who are interested to read up on its history as it has too often been turned a blind eye to by those outside it’s shores: http://adra.tl/about/abouttimor/history/.
RE: The adoration of society’s assholes. I do want to emphasise that the people in question who gain my adoration (WHAT A WORTHY PRIZE) must be positively-stubborn assholes. That is, any action that is taken (and action is the important part) has been/will be directed at people, systems and concepts that are not only oppressive but are simply not working to benefit the largest amount of beings possible. You might be operating within a system, with a construct or navigating behaviours that you know ‘aren’t working’ in this way right now. It’s so much easier to disregard channeling any sort of personal action toward these. More than that, it means discomfort to do so. For most of us, challenging the status quo means loss of cash money, that awful puppeteer that keeps us all in our rightful place and what not. Those who ARE active challengers- in any way- are seen as outliers and the media spoon-feeds us the story that this is so incredibly WEIRD. They’re unstable, temperamental and completely turning their nose up at perfectly good jobs that pay them enough to eat oats and baked beans every day for the rest of their lives. Who wouldn’t want all this MONEY? And this 6 MILLION DOLLAR MANSION THAT ONLY TWO PEOPLE LIVE IN? HIRED STAFF WHO GET PAID BELOW A LIVING WAGE? MTV back me up here.
Just sayin’… We should appreciate the shit out of these people! They’re participating actively for those who can’t (and of course, a lot of us can’t!)
Positively-stubborn assholes use anger to ram a point home. Just as sadness is not inherently morbid and can be cleansing, anger can also be a positive force of social change. Emotional ‘power points’ are not good or bad by themselves, it is the application of the emotion according to circumstance that makes them so. Their output could be dependent on things such as intent and/or personal control and consent of emotional longevity and depth. Demonizing those who choose to use anger is keeping us docile- a sound financial move by (an elite power of your choice) TM.
So, Thank you to society’s positively-stubborn assholes (I’m lucky enough to know many)- no matter where you are in life, how you choose to effect positive change through emotional power points, how ‘big’ or ‘small’ your perceived impact is, whether it’s internal or external to what you are fighting against. Your action is required and I aspire to be you.