Conservatism and Orange Juice

I’m living on the edge.

No, really, I am.

I’m drinking orange juice.

Despite what all those gym instructors and nutritionists out there say, despite all the lectures they give you about how you may as well eat an actual orange instead because a glass of juice contains the sugar of 1000 oranges or whatever…I’m having a glass. It’s NOT the same as eating an orange! It’s refreshing, it’s tasty, and it lights up my life like a candle in the wind.

But this blog isn’t really about oranges. It’s about conservatism.

The other day, a friend called me “conservative”. But not in a laidback, “Yo lady, you’re conservative” way…but, “You’re CONSERVATIVE”, like, “You side with VOLDEMORT”. Like, “We SPIT on you!”. Like, “Thou art BANISHED”.

Ouch.

I haven’t felt this rejected since primary school, when the “cool” girls would laugh at me for not sneaking off with them into the big kids’ playground. Well, we weren’t allowed to! It was against school rules! And school rewarded you for not breaking the rules! You got stickers.

So, just as I felt socially isolated back then for following the rules…I find the same thing happening now. But…the conditions aren’t as simple. It’s not a matter of, “rule-breakers are in the cool group, squares are not”. It factors in religion, diet, politics, dress sense, music sense, the number of languages you speak, the city you live in, the money you earn, the type of job you have, your relationship status, your relationship experience, and the number of times you’ve had dinner with Barack Obama.

I can’t keep up. Now I’m eyeing that copy of Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety on my bookshelf  and thinking I should probably read it.

Being called conservative has definitely hit a sore spot. And here are the three things that bother me the most about it:

  1. I do not, and have never, sided with anyone called George Bush. In fact, I was pro-Dixie Chicks all the way in that documentary Shut Up and Sing.
  2. I don’t even know what it means to be conservative in this day and age.
  3. I thought it was hip to be conservative!

Let’s expand on that last point. Cardigans and 1960s’ housewife dresses are totes in. Tim Minchin irons (see below). Heck, even the Amish are getting their own reality TV shows. So why am I feeling so ostracized?

This is what my Apple dictionary says about being conservative:

conservative |kənˈsərvətiv; -vəˌtiv|adjective
holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.

Hellooo, I don’t even follow politics or religion. As for being cautious about change or innovation, that’s not relevant at all. I totes love and welcome every new Apple release. As for holding traditional attitudes and values? Traditional to who? And what?

In this day and age, it would be considered MORE rebellious to run off and live with the Amish, than to sleep around and party and take ecstasy. How is an Amish community in 2012 different from a hippy commune in the 1970s? They’re both poo-pooing convention. They both have long hair. They just wear different clothes.

I realise that I may be missing the point. I have not checked my facts. In fact, I have not listed any facts. I am merely drawing on my emotions, which is usually the best way to present a balanced argument.

But I don’t care. I’m a rebel. And I will do as I damn please. And I will pour myself a SECOND glass of orange juice.

So take that, world.

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