You may think i’m a mild-mannered, sweet and personable sort of type – and, most of the time, you’d be correct but like most people, i do have my anarchic moments and i’ve even been known to go completely off the rails from time to time.
At heart, there’s a bit of the suppressed punk rocker inside of me. Secretly, buried away deep within, there’s a person who wants to dress in tartan drainpipe trousers, sport a mohawk and wander round with an excess of attitude and a plethora of strategically fastened safety pins. None of your tired, modern, namby-pamby, post-post-modernist, Greenday faux punk either – i’m talking your good old fashioned, pogoing in the spit pit, bottle-chucking, public school reject, anti-establishment, ‘we’ve got something to say and we’re gonna say it with really rude words’, proper punk!
Obviously, it’s not something that i’d ever manifest in rl – i’ve gone way too far down the sensible shoes and mustn’t grumble route to ever express my inner punkette in the real world, but freed from the strictures of polite society, cringing embarrassment and having to get up for work the next morning, that inner demon occasionally gets an outing in sl.
You see, strait-laced and institutionalised though i may be – at heart i’m a bit of an anarchist, and sl is the perfect outlet for all that pent-up aggression, anti-establishment aggro and railing against the mediocrity of the world i’m expected to conform to. In sl, no-one gives a damn about anyone’s taste in music, clothing, political leanings or world view – in fact, it’s those who have no convictions, ideals and moral views who are viewed as ever so slightly odd and – dare i say – boring!
In the same way that sl allows us to explore and pursue our creativity, it also enables us to adopt the persona that we would choose to express ourselves, if only we had the same opportunity to do so in rl – but, unlike rl, to identify with a particular group or niche in sl does not bring with it any stigma, social alienation or stereotyping – we can be who we choose to be. Uniquely, in sl – unlike in the real world – we can do so at will to suit our mood, feelings, or just to fit in with the company we happen to be sharing. Let’s face it – to style our hair into a spiked purple mohican and adorn ourselves with outrageous piercings in rl takes a particular kind of dedication and a freedom to express ourselves that may well be denied to some who would otherwise embrace the look. Whilst i personally would have no problem speaking to a bank manager who chose to look like that, i’ve no doubt they’d have a hell of a job finding a bank that would employ them!
Similarly, there must be times in rl when those who appear ‘different’ on the outside might very much want to merge into the background and become just like everyone else – not so easy when you’ve spent a good deal of time and effort cultivating a particular look. Here is where sl excels; in giving us free reign to suit our mood and feelings. A lot of the time, i don’t feel like a punk rocker, or a South American freedom fighter, starship trooper, mod, geisha or steampunk aviator… sometimes, i do – but not every single day. In rl, i’m faced with a choice – either plump for and adopt my particular niche and stick with it, perhaps also having to accept the intrinsic day-to-day awkwardness and inconvenience that may bring, or just be ‘normal’, leaving the yearning and the ‘real’ me that is itching to get out, as a purely mental exercise. In sl, i can be all of those things, and more, at the drop of a hat… i can be the person i’m feeling, the person i want to be and the persona i want to be seen as – no hangups, no hassles and no consequences.
Right now, i’m feeling the need for studs, safety pins, bovver boots and the urge to flash V-signs at coppers – the need to stew my brain on cheap lager, in sweaty clubs with bloodstains on the dancefloor and punch-ups in the bogs. It’s something i can’t do in rl – i don’t have the opportunity or the guts, but nip into sl and i’ll tell you where to find me… i’ll be the one with the crazy hair, in the mosh pit, gobbing all over the band!
And I wanna be anarchy
And I wanna be anarchy
Get pissed destroy
Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK