In the 90’s I owned a fantastic T-shirt. It featured a random barcode and the words: OBEY CONFORM CONSUME
I loved that shirt because it summed up my reaction the explicit over-consumption and personal greed that I witnessed as a teenager in the 80’s. Ultimately, however, the joke was on me as I didn’t even know that this was a pull quote from the 80’s cult movie ‘They Live’ by John Carpenter. That’s how switched on I was in the ’90s.
Now that it’s 2019, notwithstanding the intent of that slogan, I find it dissatisfying as something to repeat. No-one gets the joke, the double entendre. Instead, they either glaze over or become antagonistic. I also realised that it’s a statement that people mistake for advice, some kind of exhortation. And my intentions are nothing like that!
Are a result, I have developed a new slogan for my work: REBEL REJECT CREATE.
Change only ever comes when we break the rules. When we become rebellious enough to question the status quo and try things out for ourselves. And these processes are the very core and root of creativity. Consumption, work: these are destructive acts. We need more constructive, creative acts in the world. We need new options, new ideas, new ways of doing things
The old ways are killing us. The old attitudes, views, opinions, traditions and beliefs. They are killing us off. As a species, we need to start challenging many of base-level preconceptions.
To do this, we need to break away from the way we are told to do things. As animals, we do not need all the things we need. As thinking beings, we should not accept that cheap goods rely on exploiting other thinking beings.
The current discourse simply holds that Communism didn’t work; Capitalism is the only other option. This is no more than yet another in a long line of false binaries, a polarisation designed to nullify actual, intelligent engagement with our political reality. There is any number of other options. And we can make them and then some more and then some more.
The good news is that you don’t have to be political to Rebel, reject and create. You can do it every day at work, with your routine at home, with your assumptions about other people and the value of things. And by doing so, you will impact others with your new perspectives.