As I began reflecting back on my time in the chaotic land of Gamma. I replayed the competing discourses in the park and the diverse offerings of film, music and newsprint on the side streets. I came to an important realization for me as a traveler through this domain of dissent. I recognized that there are actually three different kinds of dissenters and rebels in this land. First, there are the “rebels without a cause”.
These are often the young dissenters who are simply angry about everything and about nothing in particular. A dose of adolescent angst or mid-life truma produces the “angry young man” or the “angry middle-aged woman” or some other version of diffuse alienation from the world in which one lives. There are not really any heroes among this first group of rebels (only anti-heroes, such as the one the James Dean convincingly depicted in the movie appropriately called A Rebel without a Cause). Do the heavy metal rockers also belong in this category?
The second form of dissent and the second kind of rebel is one with a specific cause. Orators on the Gamma soap boxes were focusing on a specific issue and were diligent and determined in an attempt to make a difference regarding resolution of their issue. I think about someone like Caesar Chavez who focused his attention on the rights of migrant workers. I think of: Susan B. Anthony (and the other early 20th Century suffragettes who advocated for the rights of women to vote). These rebels with a cause are providing first order change. They are working hard to create more or create less of something that already exists in their society (such as wages or access to shared political authority).Download Article 1K Club