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Oppositional Defiance

Oppositional Defiance

Remember the bad kids in high school? The ones who didn’t make it onto the honour roll or the dean’s list? In my day they were the long-haired kids (the boys) who wore James Dean-style denim jackets and smoked in the bathrooms. I doubt if those kids in the ’70s even knew who James Dean was, but he wasn’t yet too old-fashioned.

Today a kid like that would be labelled having ODD—Oppositional Defiance Disorder—and would probably be put on some sort of medication to “calm him (or her) down.” I’m not sure if kids like that even exist today; they all have likely been hammered into a uniform puddle of compliance.

When I think of our current “movement”—those in opposition to the agenda—I often think of those kids. When I was in high school, I actually did not belong to that crowd, I was a quasi-goody two-shoes, not really belonging to any sort of social group. I wasn’t smart enough to be a nerd and wasn’t “oppositional” enough to be part of the bad boy group, although I did wear my hair long, did not wash it as often as I should have, and had lousy grades (I also could be found reading subversive library material such as the Communist Manifesto as I mentioned in an earlier article). I really didn’t like those outspoken “always angry” kids. They scared me, and in fact, I was often bullied by them—having my nerdy trumpet thrown into the bushes quite often while waiting for the bus, where I would have to crawl on my hands and knees to retrieve it. (Ok, ok, maybe I was a nerd!)

I was intrigued, however, by their oppositional freedom, and often did oppositional things myself, like my aforementioned literary interests (for which I got detention), as well as skipping school for a day to drive into Washington DC to hang out at the Mellon Art Gallery (yes, I really did that—and got detention for it as well). Maybe there was a little bit more direction in my oppositional ways.

Even though our current group may not have ever worn James Dean denim, or gotten kicked out of high school, I still think we were closer in spirit to those kids than we were to the prim and proper “Future Sheep of America” members.

I am making this comparison to kids’ social groups in high school because I think there are a lot of correlations. Can you imagine the “good kids” supporting a “bad kid” uprising? —the oppositional group demanding that the principal and vice principal, and most of the faculty, step down and allow chaos to reign? They would not support such a thing for a second. If they did, they would risk being seen by all their friends as members of the “bad group,” they would mess up their chances to go to college, and they may get detention for it—a horrible punishment handed down by the great authority of all authorities—the school principal.

The first thing you might think is, “Yeah, but those are immature kids, the principal and faculty are adults, they have to have authority over children they are trying to teach and shape into good citizens.” Yes, so true, but if so true, why are we, the masses, treated like children by the “authority” over us? First of all, the government is not authority, but they sure look like it, with their mandates, restrictions, and militaristic police force following these kings and queens around and arresting people who try to speak to them (the kings and queens). We are not children, but they sure treat us like we are. And quite honestly, we do (the sheep-types at least) identify with that projection quite readily.

So, what makes one of us—those in opposition to the agenda? If we don’t fit into the “bad kid” class, but also do not fit into the “nerd” class, or the socially elite class, where do we fit? Our group is possibly a mixture of a lot of groups, and at the same time, no group at all. Although many of these “bad kids” I am describing came from broken homes, were often bad students, and possibly seldom, if ever, read a book, they did have more of an independent nature. Think of the movie Rebel Without a Cause. That film (where my James Dean reference came from) is a classic. Those “bad kids” could not be described in any particular way, yet I bet if they were alive today, they would be included in our ranks. Think of S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders—same deal regarding the greasers in that tale.

So, again, what is it? I think today’s adult “bad kid” has many similar attributes to the “bad kids” in these movies and from my past high school experience. Today we are indeed oppositional. I remember when the whole Covid “vaccine hesitancy” came about in 2021, there were calls to label the “anti-vaxxers” as oppositional defiant extremists of the community—fringe people. There was even talk that we were mentally ill and a danger to society at large. So “oppositional” seems to be an accurate label for us, but not in its typically negative connotation. I think the underground in France and Germany during the Nazi regime could be labelled “oppositional” as well as “defiant” but I think few people today, except maybe neo-Nazis, would consider these people as “bad.” What about the whole lot of those early American oppositional defiant ones who signed the Declaration of Independence in bold strokes?

I do find more old folks among us than young ones. That is probably attributable to our aged wisdom (seriously). Old people have seen a lot, and many of us remember a day before the brainwashing had seriously set in, as it is clear it has today. I also see that most of us I know are avid readers. I am very impressed with this observation, as I have found it very discouraging to discover that most of my clients in my psychotherapy practice do not read. Some of the older people do, but very few of the younger (20 to 35) do. I had one recent client, in his 40s, proudly announce he had never read a book in his life. He proclaimed this fact as if it were a badge of honour.

Please don’t lecture me about groups, labels, and this “divide and conquer” effort the agenda seems to be so set on. Unfortunately, we are indeed divided, but not so it is easier to hate one another, and not so we can establish boundaries between the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” If there is an enemy here among us, it isn’t the sheep, it is the agenda, and maybe the folks that make up the power structure pushing the agenda on the rest of us. Those of us below the line are brothers and sisters, sheep and shrew (follow this link to understand why I call our group “shrews.”

So, I do think the shrews, in general, are oppositionally defiant. The defiance part comes from most of our insistence we not comply with the mandates the agenda places upon us. We are willing to protest, to turn our their nose up to the establishment and say, “Hell no, I won’t go!” Even at great personal sacrifice. That said, I am not, however, one to believe that if you do not stand up fully to this tyranny at this stage in the game, that you are not on board. Most of us are a bit groggy when we first wake up after a long sleep. It takes a while to shake off the numbness and rub the sand from our eyes. If you are one such sleepy shrew, there is no better time than now to join the forces fully. Now is the time to stand up and claim profusely, and purposefully, “I am an oppositionally defiant shrew and proud of it!!”


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