We live within a system that awards conformity and penalizes individualism. We get on Facebook and Twitter each day, ranting about how “they” are fucking us over or how “we” have to rebel; terms suggesting conformity to the majority. The truth is that most of those rants are veiled attempts at getting more people to conform to a particular notion presented by the mouthpiece. True rebels think and do what they want without caring what others think. They don’t care about being “proper” or “polite” or wearing the right jeans or driving to the right church on Sunday. Individuals aren’t worried what purse they’re holding at the cocktail party or what the label says on their beer bottle. Conformists worry about what other people think while individualists think.
Rebels must conform to a certain degree or they’d end up in jail, dead, or typing manifestos in the wilds of Montana. Fringe conformity ensures a degree of self-preservation. In a twisted paradox, one of the most enduring representations of individualism comes from the commercial realm. Doc Martens: a big “fuck you” to the masses.
Thorn earned a B.A. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. from Duquesne University. He has spent the last twenty years researching mysticism and the occult in colonial American history.