Cathrine sez: ““Normal” in New York City is going to be different than normal in the heavily Mormon parts of Utah, in Western Africa, or in Thailand. Dig a little and I think no one will stand up to a “normal” litmus test.”
This is a really good observation. Because normal is something defined by conformity to the culture one is raised in. For me the idea that someone would willingly wear a burqa or chaddor in public is bizarre beyond all reason yet women do it to conform to standards of normal within their culture.
My friend from high school was thought to be weird also and was sent off to pshrinks because she didn’t conform to expectations of normal and she too escaped the hometown for a better life.
If one lives in an insane culture or a culture viewed as insane by others, say Mormonism or fundie Xianity is it normal to embrace that culture or is it normal to reject it?
What about bohemian culture. If one is artistic and creative and lives in a place with other creative artistic people, where differentness is common and eccentricity expected what is normal. I met Bill Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, next to Allen Ginsburg he looked like a small town business man and yet he was down right weird by almost any standard.
The Japanese have a saying, “The peg that sticks up gets hammered down.”
Yet where ever we look, unless people are utterly bland and boring there are people who are pegs who stick up a little bit and refuse to be hammered down. Who defy being hammered down even if only sticking an Obama bumper sticker on their car in an area where McCain is considered left wing and not a “real conservative”.