I liked this post by Sarah Hoyt. Key quote:
Rebellion has become conformism. The pierced kids with multiple tattoos? They’re the ones doing what their boomer parents and teachers tell them. “Rebel, stick it to the man. Refuse to grow up.”
I say rebel for real. Love your husband. Don’t sleep around. Grow up. Think of your husband and family before you think of your own little psychodrama…
And maybe learn to enjoy hanging out with your family. Maybe don’t do pot just to conform. Maybe don’t get drunk and talk dirty just because it’s expected of you. Maybe find out who you are for real and enjoy that.
It’s okay to enjoy being an adult. A lot of us do.
Oh, I know, it’s not hip or cool and the entertainment establishment will think you’re hopeless. Have you noticed those guys are not so important anymore? In fact, you could say they were withering away, and old fashioned.
They are the man. The man wants you to dope and fornicate and get drunk.
Don’t do it. Stick it to the man. Speak truth to power.
I got to thinking about this because you see this a lot in SF/F – a book that claims to be “subversive” and “groundbreaking” is in fact a same rehashing of the tired tropes from the sixties. God is dead, free love is awesome, we can build a perfect society, the ends justifies the means when the protagonist does it, there’s no such thing as heroism, blah, blah, blah.
A really counter-cultural book would be the opposite of all that.
The linked post above was a reaction to this article. All I can say about that article is that I was a history major in college, and while this did not enhance my employment prospects, it did leave me with a sense of perspective. It is hard to find a life with adequate food and housing a soul-crushing prison after reading about the Great Famine of the 14th century, the Holodomor, and any of the other myriad miseries humanity has inflicted on itself.