For most of my life I have been absolutely obsessed with rebellious people. The dictionary states: “A rebel is an individual who resists authority or control or participates in a rebellion.” I think it’s a little more complex than that; I believe a rebel is an individual who sees things from different angles to the norm, is thoroughly true to themselves, lives life on their own terms and isn’t afraid to piss people off. A rebel would rather die than “follow the flock” and won’t abandon their values to simply please others or to have an easier life. There’s something quite sexy about the word and the whole concept of rebellion. Pretty much every hero of mine has famously rebelled at some point in their life.
At school I was constantly questioning things that others involuntarily nodded their head to, it wasn’t an attempt to be awkward or contentious – it was because I simply couldn’t justify doing something just because “it’s what everybody else does” or “because I say so.” My rebellion got me in to a lot of trouble in my youth and over the years I mellowed it down to rid myself of said trouble. Ironically, this watering down of my rebellious personality got me in to even more trouble than I could have ever expected; It left me feeling miserable and unfulfilled!
When you find yourself in the minority during most group discussions (tick), ruffle people’s feathers with your strong opinions even though you don’t mean to (tick), or find yourself deeply disillusioned with society norms while your peers crack on with every day life (big tick), you can’t help but wonder the million dollar question: Is there something wrong with me? No matter how much conviction you have, that voice shows up every now and then to rock the boat and fuck with your Ying and Yang inner peace that you so vehemently search for. I allowed that voice to get louder and it tortured my ears and ate at my soul at night while I tried to sleep and I was all for joining the “a job is a job” way of thinking. You know, that one that translates as: “You’re supposed to be miserable and discontented, that’s life – get over it already.”
When I started this clock in November 2010: I started a rebellion. A rebellion against an average life.
A rebellion against “because everyone else does.”
A rebellion against “shoulda, woulda, coulda.”
A rebellion against fear; a thing that if we can get over – can be the bridge between sadness and happiness.
The following 8 rebels are people who I have studied at some part of my life and a few of them are simple observations and thumbs up to their rebellious nature. They are all revolutionary in their field and have all marched to the beat of their own drum – because that’s just how they fucking roll!
1.) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Does Mr Ghandi really need any introductions? This man was the driving force in liberating India from oppressive British rule and responsible for the most finger-on-chin inducing quotations ever. Raised in a home where meat, alcohol and promiscuity were forbidden, Ghandi spent his spare time womanising, eating meat, getting drunk and smoking with his Western friends – doing the exact opposite to what he was told to. One fateful night, when a sixteen year-old Ghandi crept out of his house to meet a girl for a bit of ‘slap and tickle’; his father sadly passed away.
This was the making of Ghandi as he blamed himself and an overwhelming feeling of guilt made him feel that if he stayed at home, he could have somehow prevented his father’s death. Haunted by this, Ghandi went on to live a life of celibacy and constantly practiced and preached the concept of non-injury to all living beings. During Gandhi’s life he spent a total of 2,338 days in jail as a political prisoner, tallying up to more than six years behind bars. Even though I wouldn’t go on a hunger protest for all the tea in China, I can’t help but applaud everything else he accomplished. Ghandi’s non-violent methods of communicating and free-thinking got the people of India what they wanted in the end; freedom from British rule.
Favourite rebel quote:
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
2.) Tyler Durden
Okay so he’s not real and blowing up mass buildings in order to give the middle finger to big co-operations is a tad extreme, but if you’ve seen this film-you can’t help but deny that he’s a pretty interesting rebel! (The very under-rated) Brad Pitt plays this rebel role fantastically as Edward Norton’s character’s alter ego – the mental creation of what he could never be. Norton’s character was constantly being pushed over by others and Tyler Durden was the rebel who got him to man the fuck up and stand up for himself.
Durden encapsulates that old saying: “Men want to be him, women want to bed him.” He’s a dangerously cool, natural born leader-a trend setter. He follows nobody, for he is the followed.
Favourite rebel quotes (he gets plural, it’s only fair):
“This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
“Fuck off with your sofa units and string green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let… lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.”
“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”
Durden: “You have to know the answer to this question! If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?”
Norton: “I don’t know, I wouldn’t feel anything good about my life, is that what you want to hear me say? Fine. Come on!”
Durden: “Not good enough.”
3.) The Artist Formally Known as “Prince”
Chances are you might have heard of this sexually preoccupied, slightly odd, lyrical lothario; personally I think he’s a modern day musical genius and could possibly put him on par with Michael Jackson. Prince was badly bullied as a child and had no confidence. When he came home at night his father was just as cruel to him as the kids at school. If he wasn’t teasing him he was telling him how useless he was; in particular at playing the piano. Princes dad was a great piano player and when his son constantly asked if he could have a go he simply told him “No, because you’re not as good as me.”
Not so long later, Prince experienced more trauma in his life as his father left him and his mother for another woman – also leaving behind his precious piano. Prince channeled his pain and torment in to the piano, starting from scratch and teaching himself how to read music. Not only does Prince write for other artists but he has wrote pretty much every song he has ever produced. Do you think he’s a better player than his father now?
*A note to the bullies and Papa Prince*: You created a superstar – in your fucking face!
Favourite rebel quote (or lyrics in this case):
“I’ll die before I let you tell me how to swim
And I’ll come back again as a dolphin”
4.) Aung Sang Su Kyi
Like the aforementioned, Ghandi – Miss Kyi became a symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression in November 2010. Unfortunately with the news being how the news is, it gave her loads of coverage for about a week and now she’s completely went off the radar. Miss Kyi spent all together thirteen years under house arrest, her crime: fighting for the right for people to have an opinion. The Burmese government were more than happy with their oppressive regime doing everyone elses thinking for them, keeping them nicely ignorant of the possibilities of a free-thinking nation.
Kyi had other plans and still, after 13 years captivity claims she has not given up. You don’t have to be aggressive to be a rebel and she shows this with her amazing grace, even after the deplorable way she has been treat. I don’t know which way this is going to go but one things for certain; this lass is a 100% rebel and I have huge respect for her and her spirit.
Favourite rebel quote:
“I am not free until my people are free.”
5.) Martin Luther King Junior
If you can find me a better speech than the “I have a dream” speech, I’ll happily buy you dinner some time. I’ve listened to and read it probably thousands of times and it still has the aptitude to make my hair on the back of my neck stand up, produce a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. Racism is a poison that still lingers around today, but I’d like to think it’s not half as bad as it was before MLK worked his magic. While black people were seen as second class citizens and Malcolm X was doing nothing to help the problem with his radical hate war against whites, King did what the best rebels do: Think outside the box.
Martin Luther fought tooth and nail for civil rights, for equality and for peace through the power of his amazing oratory. There was never an ounce of malice in his tone, just pure passion and sincerity. Martin did not only stand up for what he believed in but also for others who felt like they did not have a voice. If there was any time when swearing is acceptable, it’s now-because this guy is a fucking legend! Sadly, he paid the same price as Ghandi for his commitment and the USA hold a Martin Luther King day every year in respect. Personally, I think the whole world should have one because I believe his impact did not stop in America.
Favourite rebel quote:
“I have a dream, that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”
6.) Jesus of Nazareth
Disclaimer: I’m not religious. I used to be; I was given a second chance at a Catholic school when most of the schools in the County weren’t too thrilled with the prospect of having me on their books. I felt indebted and became a Christian. As time passed, I started to question things (as usual) about the whole Christian thing and I couldn’t find the answers and so I denounced my faith. I don’t class myself as an Athiest, I’m someone who is constantly searching for answers and I remain open-minded.
I’m not sure if Jesus was the son of God but he was a rebel for sure! I believe he was a guy who existed and marched to the beat of his own drum. I believe he was a good person with good intentions who wanted to spread love and felt saddened by hate. He stayed true to himself, even when all others were against him. I think he had a big heart, was a revolutionary and a complete misunderstood rebel. Regardless of what I or anyone thinks or even if he existed-he’s made a monumental impact. I wouldn’t mind people still talking about me thousands of years after my death!
Favourite rebel quote:
“Do unto others how you would have them do unto you”
7.) Roy Keane
Disclaimer: I used to despise this man. Every now and then I try to dislike him again, but I just can’t. Roy Keane is the former captain of English football club Manchester United and the Republic of Ireland. I’ll get the bad bits out of the way first; He ended another players career with the most disgusting tackle and he intimidated his way through football matches. As a manager he got our fierce rivals (Sunderland) promoted, truly unforgivable.
But you don’t become the captain of the worlds most successful football team in history, unless you have something special about you. Every time this man speaks, I look for holes so I can despise him once again, but I always seem to end up agreeing with every word that comes out of his angry Irish mouth! Keane was always highly opinionated, never afraid to tell people when he thought they were wrong and a true rebel by nature. I have never once, in 20 years of listening to his interviews, ever heard him play the victim card. While his manager played the “woe is me” card after defeats and blamed the match officials, weather….etc he would never point the finger, often contradicted his boss on national TV and would simply accept “we weren’t good enough.”
One epic night in Turin during a European semi-final against Juventus, Keane received a yellow card for a typical rebellious “Keano” tackle. This yellow card meant he would be suspended for the European cup final if they progressed…most people would have crumbled. Manchester United were already 2-0 down and his younger team-mates looked dejected as they seen their cup hopes take another serious blow. Did Keane’s head drop? No chance – he rebelled against the odds, grabbed the game by its balls and produced the most heroic midfield display I have ever seen in my twenty years of watching football, netting a goal and inspiring a 3-2 come back.
I think my feelings turned for Keane totally when he was asked how he was going to celebrate his ‘manager of the month’ trophy and he snarled: “I’m gonna have a cup of green tea and chuck this in the bin where it belongs.”
Favourite rebel quote:
“I don’t think some of the people who come to Old Trafford can spell football, never mind understand it.”
8.) Border Collies
This might seem like an odd addition to a list of rebels and if you don’t understand it at all, it’s likely that you’ve never owned one! If there’s one thing that I love in the world – it’s dogs. Give me the company of a dog over a human most days of the week! All different breeds of dogs have their own personalities and most dogs can be trained to be 100% controlled…except the Border Collie. The BC is the most intelligent breed of dogs and are bred by farmers to round up sheep all day, resulting in them being one of the fittest too. And of course, they’re absolute beauties.
They are obedient to an extent but due to their intellect superiority over other dogs; they’re always trying to get one over on you. It can be frustrating being a Border Collie owner on these occasions but I simply can’t help but be impressed by their rebellious nature. You want to give them the squeezy football to play with? They’ll automatically want the tennis ball instead. You want to run on the outside of the curb? They’ll politely remind you that they’re the protector and your place is on the path. You let them on the sofa “just this one time?” They’ll remember…and they will let you know their disapproval in your double standards next time you don’t!
Favourite rebel quote:
Okay, they aren’t clever enough speak but I love it when they tip their head to one side when you give them a command as if to say “oh purrrlease, do you think I’m a Labrador or something?”
This brings me to the end of my rebel list. Now go and be one, you could end up as my number nine
Do you know any or many of the above list of rebels? Who are your favourite rebels? What is a rebel to you?