I’m a pretty straight sort of person.
I never exactly rebelled. I’ve never taken a great stand against the injustices of the world. I’ve never marched against the barricades, waving a placard and chanting slogans. I’ve never broken the law – well I have a little bit but only on the tiniest scale imaginable.
I’ve lived my life following a road that could not be any more conventional. After school, I went to university and got a degree. Got a job, got married, bought a house and had a family. I don’t think it gets any more ho-hum than that. Okay, there was the fifteen months I spent hobo-ing (in the broadest sense of the term) around the world, but that stands out more as a blip against the fashion of the rest of my life.
There’s no doubt that I’m the last person you would ever apply the label of rebel without a cause (or even rebel with a cause, for that matter).
Except for one thing. One small act of defiance against the world that I perform every day. I write.
It doesn’t seem much. When compared to the great acts of rebellion and revolution, it hardly seems to be anything. But to me, it’s the one opportunity to snub my finger at the rest of the world. To show that underneath all my conformity beats the heart of a true rebel.
Partly, it’s just the act of creativity. In this world where everything is so prescribed, and most people’s minds are so closed, just taking the time to craft something that never previously existed counts to me as a major act of subversion. Even if nobody else gets to be witness to the fact, I still know in my heart what I’ve achieved.
But also, it’s the nature of the stories that I’m writing. It’s the combination of absurd humour and sly satire that allows me to let the world know what I really think about it. It’s my chance to make sense of the stupidity that I see around me every day, and also to let out the frustration that builds up from constantly having to deal with the inanity and nonsense of day-to-day living.
I don’t see my writing changing the world. I don’t see it even starting to solve the intractable problems I see around me. And I certainly can’t ever see myself leading a march of protesters down the street. But I’m still trying to get my voice out there with my one act of defiance – my writing.
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