Indignados: The Malcontent. What a beautiful name, and how poetic how the movement is blossoming throughout Europe, growing is size parallel to the “Occupy” groups everywhere. I got to experience it first hand today, joining a peaceful protest in a local park between working hours.
Pamphlets, speakers and weed: Everything a modern-day hippie meeting needed. Still though, I was quite disappointed, especially by the low number of people who showed up but also the lack of aggression. Turn it any way you like, a protest isn’t a real protest without anger, and passion- It’s a picnic.
No fists in the air, no riots. I wasn’t expecting much of it anyhow: We’ve got it so warm and cozy here in Belgium, there’s just little to protest about. I saw it as a tribute and support for the Italian and Greek citizens, now literally fighting for their rights.
They could have chosen a better nickname though: “The Malcontent” doesn’t really stand for a damn thing. Every protester is malcontent. About their pay, about their number of holidays, about the simplest political issue: They wouldn’t protest if they were happy about it. And in the same vague manner, this enormous amount of people just run amongst each other like chickens, each declaring some different problem and solution.
A whole generation of people won’t stand for it any longer, and takes to the streets. As one, they let their voice be heard, and the result is white noise. A cacophony that stands for nothing, only against things. Against pretty much everything, against anything, but, if anything at all, against it- as opposed to for something. For tolerance, for money redistribution, for political change…? None of that. Just angry, malcontent. It’s like they just prefer to sit and mope publicly.
A teacher once told me, how unions work these days: Less work, more money. Sounds easy enough but it’s obviously contradictive: You can’t have both. Just like you can’t save Greece without raise in taxes. You can’t continue to pay every pensioner person in Belgium without raising the retirement age.
I too want an increase in comfort and a decrease if effort, but sadly it doesn’t work that way- Not without exploiting other countries. Of the few that did have a strong, voiced opinion… Very few actually made any sense.
I support them, don’t get me wrong. Any group of people this big demanding change should be heard and I am glad to be counted among their numbers. If revolution will come for the Italians or Greek, and who knows what other people, it won’t be thanks to the passive middle class sitting and watching from the sideline. If I have the opportunity to do my share, I’ll take it when I can rather than making excuses for why it could, should, would never work.
So the hair is gone. A friend called me immediately after she heard, worried sick, because the last few times when I went skinhead, it was a way of starting over after things went tits-up again. But not this time: I just felt it was time to move on. I might go back to the mohawk, I might not. I think of all people, I care least of all.
It didn’t come across as such, though. I would often be told that I tried too hard to look “different”. In a sense I suppose they would be right: I do try to be different and how I look is an extension of that. When I make a first impression, regardless of what it is, I like it to linger. I don’t want to be one of those people whose names I forget because I can’t put my finger on any specific trait. When people glance my way, I want them to think further on the character that might be hiding.
I remember being introduced to the actors on one of our theater production: The sound tech, not “The guy behind the laptop” but “The guy with the mohawk.” I get off on that, so sue me.
On the other hand, the time I actually spent “trying” to look like that, was around 30 minutes every month, in front of a mirror struggling with my trimmer. 10 minutes if someone else did it. I can accurately say that whoever judged me as “trying too hard,” probably spent a lot more time and money on trying to look conform to everyone else. I just liked the way it looked, it’s not like I went around pointing my hair at everyone.
There’s plenty of people who come home from work and change clothing first thing. They feel more themselves in some goth, punk or whatever outfit, and only adapt to society when it suits them. I didn’t have that luxury: Whether I was working, trying to score, or applying for a job, I always looked the same. No matter if others found it acceptable or repulsive, it was a part of me like any good or bad side. I never had the feeling I was “trying” much, I just looked the way I liked and didn’t care much about others’ opinions, good or bad.
So why the do, baldylocks? I suppose those 30 minutes in front of the mirror were still too much. Or maybe I felt it was time for a change. Because I now care more about being liked than before. I don’t know. People change and evidently, so does they way they look.
So do I now feel like I look more like myself? No. But it will grow on me. Truth is, I still don’t give more of a shit than before. Back when I had long hair, I thought I’d change forever if I cut it. When I joined the army, I found that I was still as much myself as before.
Looks are just the way you look. They reflect your character but just like your actions, can do so in so many ways that a mohawk, or bald head, can mean anything- There’s such vast amounts of character to reflect that your appearance is just a tip of the iceberg. Before, I wanted to passively point that out; Now, I accepted it as true and don’t feel like educating others, anymore.
Back then, I was a punk. Now, I am a fascist. In a few months, I’ll probably be a hippie. Caring about how people judge is a waste of time. It’s different when my friends are concerned, but even then their opinions fall on deaf ears. The only exception is my sister- She has always been a point of authority on many things.
Don’t tell her that.