Culture is often dependent upon silent consent. Like, people go along with something that they are neutral about because they don’t want to stick out, and those aspect of culture they don’t comment on isn’t that important to them.
It is when you change culture that these cultural habits can become problematic because suddenly the aspects that you’re neutral about become the defining aspects of the new culture that you’ve moved into. If you try to be neutral about things that the new culture emphasizes, then you stick out because of that.
So, Mr. “That is so gay” New-Boy felt excluded today and tried to let off steam by joking about the whole thing that happened yesterday, and to display his magnanimous personality by declaring that it was water under the bridge. Which didn’t endear him to anyone because he sunk into more trouble, and fell further in esteem, and even one of the quiet girls took a pot-shot at him.
Culture is defined by consent, and what is not consented to does not become an aspect of culture. Culture is also fractured, a prism, a kaleidoscope and different aspects are displayed in different environments. What goes in one local is not acceptable, or is more acceptable, in another.
I’m sorry, I didn’t behave much differently today than I did yesterday, which is something that I’m cursing myself about. I most kept to my little clique, and observed the antics from afar. My school is quite firm about things like bullying and the work-culture, and Mr New-boy crashed head-long into this culture, and I can honestly say that I don’t think he’s a homophobe. Ignorant, not particularly bright, a bit spoilt – yes. But I don’t think he hates anyone.
I just think that he is finding out that culture is not a universal aspect of human society, and that what is allowed there is not allowed here. The bane of the culture warriors is that they do not understand this, and that’s why they are fighting so hard to “change the culture” at the top by making laws. But culture is changed from below by not being silent. Evil is only possible if people are silent, and evil at the top is only possible of evil is ignored at the bottom.
Norms exist because the people that don’t care about it, just go along with them. The people that do care have to run into this indifference that can become hostility if change is demanded. It is easier for the indifferent to do as they have always done, and the demand for the end of indifference can in itself create hostility. Which is probably why I’m behaving like I am.
Tomorrow I’ll be better. I promise. I’ll bring Mark along and snog on the table here in front of Mr New-boy.
Mark’s father is coming over to us this weekend, and the two of them are going to lay a new batch of beer together, which means that Mark has carried all the old beer bottles down into the sink in the basement. There are quite a few missing. We had 48 last time, but now we only have like 35.
I think he should use a barrel instead. It makes it much easier for him. Maybe we should go somewhere and buy one, but I have no idea where. Maybe that website where they buy the kit? I will have to have a look when I go home. Maybe I’ll try to see if I should start a wine batch? We could become brewers here; and become a ring that supply alcohol to local youth.
If you hear about a vast brewing operation that has been demolished in Surrey, it’s not us. Not yet, at least. Give us a few years to get going.
Everyone is talking about those French murders. The people who were killed were from Surrey. It feels surreal to listen to all the suggestions about what’s really been going on: from fratricidal rage to Al-Qaeda connections. It feels a bit unreal, to be honest.
It’s affecting Abbie too, because “the muslim danger” is at the forefront of people’s lips. So he becomes the defender of the faith, and become annoyed when people start to speculate about what’s been going on. It must feel like they’re criticising him, that he’s part of it simply because he’s a muslim.
My year, the bit I know of it, is fairly leftist, and it feels kind of strange to hear them discuss all this in that light. Not that the left doesn’t have its own hang-ups and inconsistencies. Just look at the Assange-case where you have people like Galloway seriously slut-shaming the women that accused Assange of rape.
But then again, this is a middle class school. Deeply so. The sated arrogance that the middle class knows every fix, and can’t be accused of any foibles, runs deep here. Where I lived before, in Auntie’s basement, I thought that I was surrounded by clones of the Dursleys from Harry Potter. I don’t think this school is much different. It’s just not so much in your face. But scratch the surface, and you’ll find the Dursleys hiding beneath the emo dress and the thick mascara.
It’s free time, and I don’t know what to do. I have free until the end of the school day, and while I should not fall into the trap of wasting it on antics, I feel that I’ll probably just go home and work there instead. While it’s technically Mark’s turn to cook today, I feel like doing it.
It would take my mind off things, Mr New-boy and the things he’s bringing up in me that I’m not too keen on. It would be a nice change of culture to a local where I and Mark decide everything. Our little bubble of reality without difficult intrusions, where we can forget that we’re this apart thing. This odd couple that are more of a symbol for people, than just two people who love each other.
I want a hug from him, and the faster way to get it is to go home, and not sit here any longer. Over and out.