A live video for German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten features the interesting comment: “Don’t forget the people who don’t want to be different, but want to look different. World of difference there. Back in sixth grade, 10 years ago, I was the one kid with spiked hair, safety pins holding my homemade clothes together and with CD’s you couldn’t hear on the local radio stations. But now I look around my small town and it’s emo after emo, and I’ve even been forgotten as the kid who made safety pins holding homemade clothes together cool.”
It is an interesting comment, not that it has much to do with Einstürzende Neubauten. It’s mainly because, regrettably, I look back on my youth and see myself similarly. I tried to be different and could not do so very much personality-wise, so it manifested itself a bit in my choice of music, and even my attempts at fashion. I wasn’t very good at developing fashion sense, or my own individual style, though. I thought being punk was about getting weird hair, so at one point I colored my hair with markers. Later on, presumably when I was a bit more mature, I took a more professional route and actually had my hair died teal (a greenish blue color, in case you didn’t know that). I also bought different types of pants and did this and did that, all to look like a rebel of some kind. I pretty much was not a rebel, though, and still am not. I look back at these memories with a mix of tender fondness and potential revulsion.
Now I am over 30 and not much has changed. There’s still a part of me that wants to be a rebel in some way, but I can no longer fake it. No more hair dyes or wardrobe changes. I even realize my taste in music hardly makes me rebellious. In fact, I am basically a boring conformist with light fantasies of being different. Thanks, Youtube comment! You both brightened and darkened my day.