Wednesday, August 10, 2011

That's not a bug, that's a feature.

Susannah Breslin claims that she's "unemployable" because, in part:

1. I don’t fit in a box

I have never fit in, really. I have been a freelancer for 15 years. I have covered some unusual subjects in my career. I am six-foot-one. I grew up in Berkeley, California. In other parts of the country, the goal is to fit in. In Berkeley, the goal is to not fit in.
At this blog, there are no boxes allowed, so that's not a bug, that's a feature.

Most people don't fit into boxes.  They want to, because it makes life easier, especially for employers, but it leads to unhappiness.  Creative people are especially hurt by being forced into boxes. Prison boxes.

The reason I named this place "No Boxes Allowed" is because I know that first hand. 

Everyone who knows me calls me a study in contradictions.  I am a (nominal) Republican with a Democrat's personality.  Not Republican enough for Republicans but too Republican for Democrats.

I am a security hawk but a social liberal.  I am absolutely and notoriously ruthless on security issues, but think we should have less crimes.  I think the EPA as it stands today is a malevolent force in America, but that we do need laws and regulations to protect the environment.  I'm a scholarly smartass.  I oppose affirmative action but support rights for gays, lesbians and transgendered.  I love "guy" things like football, military history and cars, but also love "girl" things like ballet, dance music, Shakespeare and reading.  I'm happy in a football jersey, a leotard and tights or armor and a skirt.  I'm a fiscal conservative who supports government spending for needed services.  I'm pro-union but I (famously) think some unions have gone way too far and need to be stopped.  I'm a proud ROMAN Catholic who doesn't care about abortion and supports the death penalty, divorce and birth-control.  I want to be the knight in shining armor (so long as that armor is Roman lorica segmentata) but I can't imagine dating a woman who doesn't have or want her own career, her own dreams.

I don't fit in a box.  And people, especially powerful people, really, really don't like that.

And I don't particularly want to fit in a box.  And people, especially powerful people, really, really don't like that even more.

But we're not supposed to fit into boxes.  Boxes are conformist and totalitarian.  All the same.  We're not supposed to be the same.  Not in a free society.

A free society depends on the marketplace of ideas to survive and prosper.  That's why the First Amendment to the Constitution is the First Amendment.  It is unique to Western civilization, and is, to be sure, its guarantor.  We're supposed to be different from each other.  That gives us more ideas to choose from.  Makes us stronger.

Breslin understands that, which is why she has struck out on her own.  Successfully, I might add.

Since Breslin lives in Berkeley, I'm guessing I don't agree with her on much.  But we should all be happy and grateful she has found success escaping the prison boxes of the world.

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