Ecstasy, Yasaman Shayangogani

I wouldn’t call myself a cynic – just a deconstruction worker.

That said, you may have noticed throughout this year’s issues of Blueprint that I write and rant a lot about the counterculture. I consider myself to be a part of the counterculture, but lately – especially this year – I’ve become increasingly frustrated with and pessimistic about all things alternative.

Here I was thinking that the counterculture was supposed to be a kind of safety net for those of us who aren’t interested in or don’t fit into mainstream culture. Here I was thinking that the counterculture to is “everything else”… so to speak. It turns out though that it’s got all sorts of rules and guidelines too.

  1. Wear a button that outlines your favorite cause.
  2. Join (or even better, CREATE) a Facebook group that protests some corporation… like McDonald’s or Starbucks.
  3. Become vegan.
  4. Spend your life defending your values and your lifestyle. And try to do it as obnoxiously as is humanly possible!

That said, this issue is not supposed to be about my self-indulgent ranting. The truth is that I’ve begun to wonder if perhaps I’ve got it all wrong. Why does any of this matter? Why should I care if you’re vegan? I hear from friends that it does a lot of good for your body. And I wear buttons sometimes too! It’s a fashion statement and a way to make your causes known all at once.

I know I constantly take stabs at vegans, overly intense activists, environmentalists, etc. It’s not because I’m truly against all of these things. I’m a Rainbow Centre volunteer and a Blueprint section editor, for god’s sake! If I was anti-activism, I’d have no friends…

I just like to challenge culture. The mainstream culture is so often under the microscope (namely, within my group of friends, in Blueprint, etc.). So this year I wanted to dedicate a little time, energy, and thought to deconstructing alternative culture… just to shed a little more light on it too.

But! As I said before, I’m done with ranting for now. Here’s a thought:

Be who you are. Be PROUD of who you are!

Do what you want – as long as it causes no harm.

Take good care of yourself. Laugh a lot!

Talk to people. Be open-minded.

Never stop learning. Love a lot!

Lastly, do whatever brings you the greatest joy!

Aside from that… don’t pay attention to anything I say. What do I know?