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Our Society; The Normal and the Different

From Mod Mania

What do we define as normal?

In our world, which has been developing rapidly over the past 200 years, most of us have come to the conclusion that being normal is the ideal way to live. Being normal is a lack of significant deviation from the average. And being different is deviation from the average. But where do we draw the line of being normal and different?

What is it that we consider normal in today’s society? It is believed that the consumption and production of objects has brought our society to be the way it is now. Our culture is made with the mass consumption of things. Producers keep on producing to feed our needs and our needs are usually similar so we tend to consume the same kind of things. It is the majority that rules, the more it is used, the more it is considered appropriate. We ourselves have created what is normal, therefore when someone does something which is “out of the norm” there will be looks and comments in which people tend to dislike. We have brought up to believe that if we behave a certain way we will achieve what we want in life. But that is not always the case as many have succeeded in their goals by taking their own paths with difference to others.

This message is incorporated in the film Gattaca (1997).


gattaca.jpg

Gattaca presents the vision of what society can become in the future. It is driven by people who are trained to enhance and select human being’s sperms to create people who become the most intelligent, healthy, basically perfect people. These people who would possess their parent’s greatest traits, are known as valids. Those who are conceived naturally would be known as in-valids. “I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. No, we now have discrimination down to a science”. Quoted by Vincent in the film, who depicted a character that was conceived naturally, and always being compared to his younger brother, Anton.

Vincent was secretly living and working in a society filled with valids, who basically are trained to be professionals like robots. He is driven by his dream to achieve his goal where only the most superior of valids could do. Throughout the film this character inspires us as he fights through the law in the society of perfect people. You should watch it =)

There is another movie, which I can’t remember the name of but it involves people who live in a confined underworld not knowing about what is beyond their world. They turn out to be duplicates of wealthy people. These wealthy people pay to have their duplicates trained up to scratch for the most perfect and healthy body so that when those wealthy people wear out their bodies can use their duplicates. Sounds disgusting? The movie was quite romantic. I like the notebook too. Anyway, this movie also incorporated the fact that we are becoming more and more concerned about being the perfect human being.

Being different can be defined in many ways, by the way you appear, your sexuality, to the way you fold your toilet paper (and I know someone who rips each it out one by one lol). But we are all different in some way. That is how we distinguish from one another. By far it is our appearance, which distinguish us from other people other than personality. The use of objects by a person can define their personality. People buy things to break out of the structure of being like everyone else. This drives a person to modify their belongings or even their appearance. Modifying is to change something from how it was before. Many people modify for different reasons, whether it is for satisfaction, desire, showing off, etc. With modifying being a more common thing in our society the definition of normal is changing to be more varied.

Therefore we cannot exactly draw the line between normal and different but we can estimate that the change in people have contributed to defining the word normal as more varied than before it use to be. I hope all this jibajaba makes sense..

Christine

reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gattaca

feel free to add anything even if u disagreeee =)


"What do we define as Normal?"

Normal what is it really? the Collins English Dictionary defines it as: usual; regular; common; typical. Does this really pass for normal? What is a normal person? This question can be discussed for hours, although my writing skills will surely disadvantage me due to my lack of writing ability =P

The normal. People will see this is people in everyday life. School kids will see some other kids at school and think they're normal, but others they would seem as weird or "out of the norm" I have to admit when i was in high school i saw many people who seemed abnormal. Normal can be seen with looks, but also personality. With looks people can try and judge who you are. When u see a guy with long hair, and at least 5 piercings, a few of them being on his face (excluding the eye brow) This by a group of people will be seen as not normal. Business men could possibly see factory workers as abnormal, simply because they do not work in an office. The same could be said in the complete opposite way in the perspective of the factory worker or builder.

Christine has mentioned the movie Gattaca and how the future could possibly seen. I think that with science going to all new highs the events that occur in Gattaca will come to be current events in life. The movie Gattaca brings hope to some people. The non-genetically modified man aspires to be one of the super humans, and succeeds eventually. It proves that everyone can achieve something if they apply themselves to work hard towards it.

The other movie that Christine was thinking about is the movie titled "The Island" The richer people of the world, have paid a massive corperation to make duplicates of themselves for when they feel ill. These rich people wanted to know that they have someone who they can pretty much kill so they can keep living. This would be seen not normal to the general community as the majority of the community would not be able to afford this.

This still leaves us with the question as to what is normal... Do we need to be different to be normal? as the saying goes, "Just remember you're unique, just like everyone else" This raises more questions. To gain others respect or friendship we often hide part of ourselves until we completly trust. We are afraid that people may think we are not normal, hence our thoughts telling us to only show what you think they will become friends with.

There are many things that can classify people as normal, but just as many classify you as abnormal. Another question that rises from this is if Modding is seen as normal? People will buy products and will not want to be in with 'the norm' so they decide to modify it and hence making something different. This could be done to stand out from others, or simply just so they're not like everyone else in society.

In agreement with Christine we cannot exactly draw the line between being different and being normal. We can estimate the change that people have contributed to the meaning of being normal. Thought i'd end this with a cool quote i heard once, but i can't remember where i found it...

"Accept Nobody's Definition Of Your Life... Define It Yourself !!"

Jonathan