I have a tragicomic history with subcultures.
I’m a joiner, and ought not to be. I get a crush on a new one, go on a couple of dates, start to get really into it, go steady, and then there’s a loud messy breakup or maybe just a slow tapering fade into failure. The groups I’ve been through with since about junior high school age include (in no sorted order):
- Gamer dork
- Amateur radio
- Evangelical Christianity
- Left wing politics
- Gun nuts
- Car nuts
- SF geeks
- Music scenesters
- Entertainment people
- Computer geeks
There may well be others I’ve blotted out. It never works, you see. There’s always some dealbreaker, something about the subculture that drives me nuts, and it’s not going to change. My choices are to bug out or flip out, and I go insectoid. If you look at that list, once you stop giggling, you’ll see why. The geeks and dorks can’t see out of their fanboy worlds, and are socially retarded. Scenester-hipster-entertainment types are self-absorbed social climbers and users. Both the Christians and the radical political crew demand ever-strict adherence to a code of thought and conduct which eventually becomes insane in either the Stalinist or ultramontane way. The only partial successes in that list are punk and cars, because you can always yell FUCK YOU at a punk, and you can back slowly away from the person who’s obsessed with mopar and go hang out with the Subie crowd for a bit.
Usually people list the groups they’ve failed as badges of pride. My identity is so strong, they say, that I can’t compromise for anyone so I’m a lone gun! They tried to tell me what to think, but I’m a rebel, etc.
I think it’s a failure, though. Something about me needs not only for the entire world to love me unconditionally, but for all my groups and circles to get along with me and each other, harmoniously, forever. I am that despised moderate liberal intellectual softy who wants to find the common ground everywhere, and ends up pissing everyone off. Goddamn Menshevik. If I had more balls I’d be able to tolerate the local craziness of groups, maybe, and not get all twitchy and leave.
I sure don’t miss the music scenesters, though. Yecch. Give me a good honest gun nut any day over that.