Monday, 19 October 2009


The inside of my head resembles spaghetti junction. I have been following this, that and the other path trying to work out the difference between defiance and rebellion. I have always seen defiance as: won't, shan't, can't make me. Rebellion turns up as a picture: for example, pulling a tablecloth from under the china and glasses, food, too, if I am feeling particularly got at. I sense there is a difference but I cant quite quantify it. For a lucid moment, there, I thought defiance may be seen as disobeying an injunction, and rebellion as resistance to authority. Is there, actually, any difference ? I'll give you a for-instance from real life. I have a condition which means I should not eat sweet things. I do - eat them, that is. Try as I may to analyse this, all I come up with is the above wont' shan't etc. In the same way, if I am having a meal with a friend who, as my Mother would have said, eats like a bird, I pile my plate high and eat as much as she should have eaten as well as my own legitimate portion. I catagorise that as defiance. Rebellion would be more like the example in the last blog post: throwing out the food- waste bin all together. Incidentally, someone whispered in my ear that I may be fined £1000 for not re-cycling food waste. Oh Dear: the choice seems to be between the Pied Piper, running the rats out of town, or finding £1000 of taxed money and throwing the scarlet swimsuit - see a long way below - out of the door since there would be no more money for holidays. (Should that have read "re-cycling the scarlet swimsuit"?)

There may well be an element of resistance to authority in rebellion: that is, one needs A.N.Other against whom to rebel. Defiance could be against perceived rules, either in society or in one's conscience. Is it that defiance is a feeling and rebellion an action? Then defiance may lead to rebellion. Oh dear,oh dear, clearly we do have a spaghetti junction scenario. I know that I have written pieces actually called Rebellion before. This seems a whole different semantic ball game. And, you may well ask, what does it have to do with being 40 in a 75 year old body, anyway. Well, the answer would be largely in the physical. I will keep trying to do physical things I would have done without thought when I was 40. Alone in the house I decided to move a couch in to a different position. It was defiance that kept me at it and back-ache that laid me low for two days thereafter. There was also some denial of reality: as in, 'I would have moved this piece of furniture without difficulty when I was 40. I will move this piece of furniture now'. If it were rebellion would it have resulted in throwing the damned couch out? I don't know. You work it out and then tell me. On reflection, it may be just that defiance is what is left to you in the crucible of life when you are 75 and have burned off all the more dramatic reactions. It takes less energy than rebellion and is more readily accomplished. You don't have to burn your bra: you can simply not wear it - or go on wearing it, depending which way your philosophy is taking you. You don't have to stop sharing meals with your anorectic friend, you simply have to go on eating more than she does.

You know what? I am going to go back to bed with the dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus and defy the world to interfere with my rebellion.

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