Monday, May 16, 2005

Conformity As you may have already learned, public schools do a good job, well, a job anyway, of making us conform to their will. No bad language? Fine. No skimpy outfits? Fine. No hugging?! Where do we draw the line? Isn't all that a violation of the First Amendment? It is, actually, but because it's an institution, they can set their own rules. Basically, if you are the boss of people, you can tell them how to talk, how to act, what to wear. They are your robot.

Recently, a school in Oregon has banned hugging, as well as other forms of physical affection, like hand-holding. That's a little unconstitutional, public institution or not. They shouldn't be able to tell people whether or not they can express their love. These people should have no say on any of this - including clothing and language, which are mere subcategories of expression. It's reverse-racism. In an effort to please everyone by not offending them (in this case, it's lonely people?), we are really just aggravating everyone.

Hugging This can only go on for so long before people start to realize they are losing their fundamental rights inch by inch. We need to speak up for ourselves, for our rights. If you're offended by people hugging, there are other alternatives rather than banning it. If I don't like a certain style of music, do I have the right to go around to musicians and say, "You can't play that kind of music around here because it offends [us]"? No, I don't. Neither should schools, businesses, and any other public insitutions when it comes to mundane things such as hugging.

They're going about handling this the wrong way, anyway. If there's a problem, you don't solve it by blowing it out of proportion and making it a big deal known to everyone. Imagine you're a little kid, and your parents forbid you not to watch TV after 10 PM. What are you going to want to do? That's right, watch TV after 10 PM. It's psychologically pleasing to do something you're not supposed to do, which is why the crime rates are so high in the U.S. Look at the crime rates of other countries - some don't even have a crime rate. Why? They don't make such a big deal out of what is generally accepted as taboo. What fun is it to murder if no one cares? What fun is it to commit adultery if no one cares? It's not fun, because the entire premise of your taboo acts is that it's wrong. If it's right, or indifferent, then where's the spice?

First Amendment That's why if these schools want the kids to conform to what's generally not taboo in society, they should teach it rather than mandate it. They should say, "Hugging is acceptable, but if you want to be considerate of other people, don't hug too long or too often." In a country that boasts individuality and freedom of expression to the rest of the world, there sure are a lot of hypocrites who want you to be a drone who takes whatever the hand feeds. It sure is annoying when nothing you do is right, especially when you have to dodge the hurdles of not offending blacks (oops, African-Americans), Jews, Orientals, gays, the poor, and every other "minority," and then having to go through yet another obstacle course to avoid offending people who think too much about being nonoffensive. Eventually, we will have divided ourselves up into so many different groups that there will be no majority nor minority. And then who will we have to offend? We'll each be completely unique (as we already claim we are, but we can't discriminate without risking offending someone), and we'll have no way to offend anyone. Those with power will go nuts thinking of new ways to control people.

Disturbed People used to get earrings and tattoos to set themselves apart from society. But now that almost everyone has either an earring or a tattoo, it's become less nonconformist. That proves that people naturally discriminate. You see something, you differentiate it from the rest of the environment. It's like chameleons changing colors with their environment. They notice the color of their surroundings, and change themselves to suit. People are the same way, except it's slightly less cool, and slightly more costly (and dangerous, some needles have HIV because they've been shared between so many people). Remember back when a guy who got an earring in his left ear was noted as a homosexual? Now everyone is not only getting them in their ears, but in their eyebrows, noses, lips, all the way down to the toes. Is this the next thing that the higher-ups will focus on? Probably. There are only so many ways a person can express him or herself before the well runs dry, and eventually, it will be suppressed. When will people realize this is just racism taking on a different form? People with a significant other are just as suppressed fundamentally as women and African-Americans (minus the whole slavery thing). Our First Amendment (and others) should come before anything else, and in no way should anyone, regardless of job status, popularity, or anything else, be able to control how we express ourselves.