What is a rebel anymore?

My response to the Daily Prompt titled Rebel.

What is a rebel anymore? What does it mean to be a rebel in 2018?

It seems to me, for all that’s worth, that due to things like the changing political landscape, a societal shift in attitudes, and the internet, the things that used to be the hallmarks of a rebel are different now.

For lots of people it used to be about non-conforming, about giving the finger to the establishment, going against the grain, speaking you mind, being anti-religion. Things like that.

Although it did always use to make me laugh how all the people who would claim to be rebels and non-conformists always wore the same things, listened to the same bands, and just generally all liked the same things. You had to do these things to fit in with them. I was such a rebel and non-conformist that I didn’t conform with the non-conformists.

But it doesn’t seem to be like that anymore. Such things seem dangerous in the modern world. Although doesn’t that still make them rebellious? If speaking your mind can upset and offend someone, if that can now get you in trouble, if that can cause you to lose your job, isn’t that still rebellious? Isn’t that what rebels have always done? Challenged the status quo. Pushed boundaries. Pushed back against the establishment. Had thoughts and ideas that were shocking and challenging.

Maybe what it means to be a rebel hasn’t changed, just that the people who used to call and view themselves as the rebels, the non-conformists, the outsiders has. They grew up. They got into the positions of power and authority. They finally got to bring about the changes that they wanted so now they are the establishment. They are the status quo.

Is this just the natural order of things then? One group will be the rebels until they get into a position where they become the establishment and implement their ideals, at which point a new group will form to challenge and rebel against those ideals, and on and on we go.

Although that doesn’t really answer the question of what it means to be a rebel in 2018.

This has been far more serious than I intended it to be when I started writing it.


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