The Contrarian

The Contrarian

Contrarian characters exist across most forms of recorded media, from folklore to Hollywood. I love them. We might see them as trickster-like characters like with the Joker, and his anarchist ramblings, to Marvels Loki, as well as with the court jesters of medieval Europe; it's that maverick characteristic. For better or worse, they test the status quo; often debasing established norms. The have to take a stand against someone or something, oppositional, adversarial even, always striving. 

The Fool is a less commonly used term for a Contrarian, but still, someone we are all familiar with, nonetheless. That oddball who pops up in Shakespeare's plays, those humour wielding jesters, who'll hit near the mark of the most powerful people within the king's court, even the king himself! The Jester eventually became a valued advisor to the Monarch!

However, my favourite Contrarian is to be found in the Rebel; a soul driven by a strong will to overthrow what they see as some kind of oppressor or evil. The Rebel Alliance vs the Galactic Empire, but then, there are real people like Erin Brockovich in the world who will take on powerful corporations: even I challenged my own local authority and for something my family needed and we got it, the directors written admission of guilt and apology was the cherry on top. The fight was very consuming, making victory itself feel glorious; indeed, Contrarians are quite relatable from my position. 

In reality, the Rebel Contrarian is also personified by the female emergency worker who exposes the oppressive toxic masculinity or chauvinism in the workplace. Campaigners, protesters and grass roots political petitioners, those who utilise power are Rebel Contrarians. 

Intellectual Contrarians might also be rebellious, but they are key at spreading the narrative, directing and educating; instead of simply opposing the status quo, they seek to expose faults, or illustrate the corruption of its religions and it's failing systems. In the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of improvement, almost like the Wizard or Sorceress, these intellectuals hone their discipline through rigorous deep thinking and/or academic illumination. I find them fascinating. 

Look at the anti-religious arguments of Christopher Hitchens, he was a brutal polemicist, but fair, and he inspired thought; people enjoyed having their minds opened by him. Jordan Peterson is a similar type of Contrarian who will not conform to over the top political correctness or left wing Marxism, as he calls it. The world has witnessed the sheer grit and determination of Greta Thunburg, despite harsh press she has not budged from her climate activism. The spirit of these people is that of champions of their causes. They stand in contast to their opposition. 

On the contrary to such Contrarians, there are those I see as a kind of  Club Contrarian; those motivated by desire to define themselves, they might challenge conventional ideas but only for the sake of their club, sometimes becoming unique sheep

After contributing my thoughts in a pseudo-religious esoteric facebook group, I was told 'if I wanted street cred,' I should 'take down' my post, simply because it contained science, which was not welcome. I wouldn't pretend their esoteric practices kept their Facebook group on-line. I left the group; curious how science could possibly be considered offensive.

Certain Club Contrarians present as non-conformist, such as the raving lunatic party, various cults, parody religions, or flat earth enthusiasts for that matter; strangely, however, they outline their own club ideas for which they expect people will sign up. The pseudo-science of the flat earth theory is pushed by its community. 

Contrarians are motivated to oppose something significant. They might independently gather resources, practice critical thinking, as well as keep up-to-date on the latest research to meet challenges. 

The Contrarian spirit is defined by that defiant front, which inexorably strives for change or subverting what's wrong with conventional ways; they are defined by the individual struggles they take. 

Who is your favourite Contrarian character? 



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