Friday, August 22, 2008

Rebellion Among Rebels

Check out this story of rebellion.

Living in this town makes you think rebellious thoughts, against the rebels you thought were your people. I wouldn't go so far as to say i am thinking of voting for John McCain or anything even remotely that delusional, but when the sounds of the choir resound around you, and the preacher's speech sounds just like last Sunday's, a rebellious spirit just begs you to strike a sour note on the piano. Just one little misstep.

I even rebel against myself. That ashtray in the 'Saturday Night Table' blog post was a marked rebellion against myself, and my rules about no smoking in the house. When i felt like breaking the rules, just once, to hell with her (my) strict rules. I do the same thing at the clubs where the hipsters come to look cool and listen to cool bands. When a band is cool, i like to move my body. When the hipsters around me don't dance, i shake it even more. So far my rebellion has not taken on any misanthropic bent -- you know, like buying a Hummer, throwing plastics in the trash bin, or hating on cyclists. These things could get you beaten in this town -- and so far i am still on the side of conservation.

But i am not even close to as rebellious as that four-year-old pixie who lives in my house. The girl loves anything sugar, but if i suggested she eat some at the wrong moment, she would protest. She would protest that her favorite pony is not her favorite pony, if i suggested it. I sigh and accept her rebellion. It is what i have bred in her, and what i have named her. Not too long ago in Kauai, my daughter -- whose name is short for Independence -- was having a rebellious moment in the corner of the condo, crossing her arms and harumphing in the most catty manner. My nephew, meanwhile -- whose name means Fearless -- was launching his one-year old self upside down and backwards off the couch. My dad giggled to my sister and me, "you're the ones who wanted to name them what you did." Indeed. We did get what we asked for.

But how far is this rebellion going to take her? Will she be snarfing down raw meat, right off the bone? Will she be leading the Teenage Republicans? I have taught her to think for herself -- so when the world around her is full of bleeding-heart liberals (and my kindred spirits) -- where will she turn to find true rebellion? I have so much to say about this topic of rebellion for rebellion's sake, i have to continue it in another post.

I am baffled by the thought that what has shaped me as a person all this time may have just been me being contrary to the patriarchial, middle class, middle-America lifestyle that was around me. And now that that is not the case, i am confused about what to do. Yikes.

Nevertheless, maybe it's time to get out of here for a while, and give myself and the girl some perspective. I certainly plan to rip her from her comfortable world off and on throughout her life -- as i 'endured' when i was a kid, and now cherish as the best gift my parents gave me. We all need a good mix of looking from the outside in at a way of life, and also being on the inside, as part of it all. I am terrorized by the story i put above -- of a daughter rebelling against her famous feminist mother, though i have to agree that the mother went to the extreme to live her values. Alice Walker chose to bear a child herself -- in spite of her view that marriage and childbearing are a system set up to force women into a lifetime of servitude. Then she rejected her own daughter when the daughter procreated. She is missing out on so much love. I agree that we should think through our choice to procreate, when we still have desires to be solitary -- but when they are here, we must love and love and love. No rebellion from that core of love.

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