The Monster Rebellion Manifesto
“Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” -Mark Twain
I’m beginning the Manifesto with this quote for a specific reason. Actually, maybe I should explain what the Monster Rebellion Manifesto is first. The following blog will act as an insight into why I have decided to create Monster Rebellion, how and why I use the subject matter I use, and why Johnny Red exists, or does he actually?
Anyway, back to the above quote by Mark Twain. It’s probably my favorite, and accurate quote ever. You see a big part of Monster Rebellion came about from my uncanny ability to complain about things I find frustrating, or corrupt, or painful in a way that makes people…laugh. My Tom Waits, and Top 5 categories are good examples. I can’t count how many times I would be explaining something awful that had happened in my life to get this result.
The people laughing would eventually catch their breath long enough to explain that they aren’t laughing at me, but are laughing at the way I’m explaining my problems. You can probably understand this was somewhat upsetting for me. I used to hate this reaction from people. I mean I didn’t picture myself as a clown for their entertainment. But after awhile, well after the torture that was my twenties, I began to realize that making people laugh not only made them feel better, but by doing so made myself feel better.
And that is when I truly began to understand why some of the funniest people who have ever lived, were also some of the most fucked up people who have ever lived. I believe humor, I mean real humor, not stupid knock knock jokes, or those clever forwards you get from your friends in your e-mail, comes from relating your issues and problems with people in a way that they can understand. And as a result you help them laugh at their own issues and problems.
That’s right. Humor is actually my therapy.
Life is hard. Actually it’s more than that. Life is an unrelenting assault on your senses, willpower, and patience. We all go through it. But rather than grow completely cynical, hateful, lonely, etc. Try making someone laugh. At least once a day put a smile on someone’s face.
Moving on, I’d like to talk about mediocrity. More specifically, my complete and utter hatred for it. We live in a world that embraces mediocrity, and worships the banal. And why is that so? Well my belief is that if everyone was able to be original, and were able to pursue their actual dreams without restraint then the world would be in utter chaos. But what a beautiful chaos that would be. Through the many disappointments, heartaches, let downs, fall outs, and failures I’ve experienced pursuing a “normal” life, I’ve come to a realization.
I’m no puppet. And no one person, organization, system, corporation, or government will pull my strings. My very existence has been anti-normal. And here’s the punchline. I’ve always wanted to be normal. I wanted to be married with a steady job, 2.5 kids, pet dog, the whole thing. But strange circumstances and unfortunate events had always got in the way of that. Yeah, I’m the opposite of those people that try so hard to be different and against the grain, but end up being defeated into mediocrity. I’m not different and weird because I want to be, I’m that way because it’s all I’ve known.
Oh, and Doctor Steel will be dropping some insight throughout the Manifesto to help explain where I’m coming from.
I do understand the irony of a world that I feel is completely insane, to look at someone like myself and claim I am insane. Maybe we are all insane, or all sane with different points of view and experiences that have led us to those. I have many friends that live a good life, and have good families. And I know they have gone through many hardships and have overcome them and now get to enjoy a normal life. I’m happy for them because I know they didn’t choose that life because they settled for anything less than what makes them happy. NEVER SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN YOU DESERVE! And if you’re like me then perhaps you haven’t overcome those circumstances or hardships, or maybe you just have bad luck.
But maybe the life I live now is the life that’s been chosen for me to help make sense of all this mediocrity.
So, let’s say you’re like me. Let’s say a normal life is beyond reach. You’re too young to be grey, and too old to be green. I call these the exiled years. Well you do what you can to create a life that has meaning, if only to yourself. I see so many people struggle to live their daily lives, trying to make sense of where they went wrong. Have you ever thought that maybe where you went wrong is what can propel you into a completely independent life?
“Where you stumble, lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell
We are pressured so much everyday to have to compete for the good job, the good education, the biggest and best in material possessions. But who does that really serve? Sure you may have the best mowed lawn, and your stock portfolio might be the subject of praise at the water cooler, but are you truly fulfilled?
You see we stumble and make mistakes because most of the time we are chasing a dream that is based on a capitalist structured lifestyle. And if the current state of our economy is any indication, then perhaps that lifestyle has done nothing but hurt us, and set up unreachable goals. So why get depressed or feel like a failure if you know for a fact that the system allows for only a small percentage of people to reach those goals? Where am I going with this? I know that’s what you are saying.
I say, take your life back! Reach down inside and reignite that fire that was put out by society! Create a truly independent life!
I know what you’re saying. I still have to work don’t I? I still need to pay the bills. I know that all too well. I work a job I don’t enjoy. I feel used, underappreciated, and mostly underpaid. BUT I chose not to let my daily job define me as who I am. Now I look at my job as a way to get by.
I use the metaphor of how a diamond is created to help explain my own personal revelation. Much like that piece of coal that is buried beneath a hundred miles of earth, you feel pressure every day. It’s dark, cold, unforgiving. The pressure builds and builds, and when you feel you cannot take it anymore…a light breaks through. Not every piece of coal becomes a diamond. But if you can hold off long enough, be strong enough then that light will eventually break the surface, and you become a rarity. And not unlike an actual diamond, you can bring something of value to the world.
“The vitality of a vital person vitalizes those around them.” – Joseph Campbell
And what was the diamond that broke the surface in my case? Well, Johnny Red of course.
So who is Johnny Red? Johnny Red is the part of my personality that I held back for years. All those years I tried desperately to live the so-called normal life. And with every disappointment I experienced Johnny Red’s voice grew louder and louder. I ignored that voice for so long. Until one day he was practically screaming inside my brain.
“Hey dumbshit! You’re doing it wrong! I’m here to help!” – Johnny Red, inside my brain helmut
So I just let go. I gave complete control to that side of my personality that I believed was too weird and insane to ever be accepted. And guess what happened?
Everyone who reads and follows my blog accepted it. I’m actually taken back by how many people have commented, or emailed, or left messages on my facebook account about how much they enjoy Monster Rebellion. I want to thank you all for taking the time and patience every week to read my blog.
Johnny Red has become my fortress. This bizarre side of my personality is what I use to cope with the things in life that seem completely unfair, or irrational. The Johnny Red persona also gives me an outlet to discuss in a humorous way the things I find completely amazing and strange in the world we live in. Remember, there is no such thing as fiction. Oh, and to reassure everyone, I’m not suffering from multiple personality disorder. I don’t black out at night and awake to have the blogs typed up and ready to be published.
Sure Monster Rebellion isn’t as popular as most blogs out there, and sure it will probably never be marketable. Damn you Google Adsense! But as long as a handful of people still read it I’ll continue to write these insane blogs. And I hope that as I do I can continue to make people laugh, and more importantly think about the strange world we live in.
And yes, the sad part of everything I’ve learned so far in this life is that honesty and morality rarely come out on top. Douchebags will always win. But whenever life hits me with it’s greatest haymaker I can now confidently stand up, spit the blood from my lip, and allow Johnny Red to laugh maniacally back in it’s face.
John Michael Gagnon…Nothing that comes easy is ever worth getting…Johnny Red