“The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.”
I’ll start with what triggered this blog: How I met your mother (Season 3, Episode 5).
(You should watch the episode by the way. Hilarious!)
First time Ted meets Lily at a freshers’ party,
he approaches her by saying,
“Hey. You a freshwomen? I never use the word ‘freshmen’. It’s sexist.”
I laughed. Then I realized it is supposed to seem dorky. Do I talk like that?
(I am so sure I talk like that. Sometimes.)
Then again, last year I had read an article where Obama said, “Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up.”
(What. Did I only turn out to be a misunderstood teen when all I wanted to be was a radical?)
When I took up Arts, after my disastrous tryst with Science, I felt liberated by all the ideas being bombarded at me. I have memories of some crazy lectures where I’ve laughed, sat stunned or even be scandalized, but it always felt free. If I were a little more insane, I’d have been running from class to class screaming, “Freeeedddom!!!”
In my first year, I was reading Ayn Rand. In the second year, literature taught me Marxism and Feminism. I understood the pain and logic of all kinds of philosophy. I was always conflicted in my head, trying to choose what works best. However, my philosophy teacher was torture. She was everything a philosophy teacher should not be. She encouraged no argument, so I was left to counter-argue all by myself inside my head. On the other hand, my psychology teachers were freaking awesome! After the end of these three years, I still can’t choose which one of them was my favorite, the one with the apathetic humor, the condescending humor, or the anecdotal humor? About them, I’ll tell you this, if I have seen the importance of honesty in people’s writing, I have realized that ideal in real life by listening to them.
Arts swept away all the cob-webs in my head. It broke my set ways of thinking. It has made me braver. In some of the lectures, there have been times when I have reacted: ‘What? Did she just say that? Did I hear right?’ It made me idealistic once again. I am ever-so grateful for that. I have been living in inspired times!
I will graduate in a few months (that is, if the teachers’ boycott finds some truce. I hope it does.) and leave college. I worry now that I will lose this madness, that life will become sober. I hate that thought because I get the necessity of extremes!
Imagine if you never had someone pulling you towards an extreme! Then you wouldn’t have run all the way to the opposite direction. You wouldn’t even have found yourself loafing around in the middle ground trying to make sense of both sides.
I am an atheist. I think that’s because my father overdoes religion.
I am a feminist. I think that’s because I have known more dumb guys than great guys. Plus, I live in India- it’s a patriarchal party, here. Frankly, I am scared of being a feminist because sometimes, it does get a little unbalanced.
I have sat through literature seminars thinking, ‘Oh my god, am I doomed to be so bitter?’ or ‘Will I always over-analyze simple texts unnecessarily?’
See, I can feel conservatism creeping in. But I love being mad. How can I let it go?
Then I rationalize that I just need to pursue what I love and I will find people my own kind in an awesome workplace. Yes, I’m still idealistic about workplaces. Don’t burst that bubble.
So when Obama damns Ayn Rand to be for misunderstood teens, and people damn feminism to be for upset women, and when anyone damns any philosophy as frustrated, I would still like to believe that it is more than that.
Conservative of tomorrow?
“The soul that is within me no man can degrade.”