Often after people find out I used to work as a social worker one of the questions that they used to ask me was what does a child abuser look like, I used to say pick up a mirror and look at the reflection. Abusers come in all shapes and sizes they are a percentage of the population. In a population you will find all sorts of people however, living in a small town amplifies deviance. Clique groups and power brokers seem to wield influence beyond their sphere of influence and conservatism rules. This is not necessarily a bad thing, the problem lies with how deviance is defined. The fact that my children are relatively safe walking the streets compared to where we used to live is an example of a how in a small town deviant behaviour is much easier to see, and to a degree it is not tolerated. This is fine when we are talking about anti-social aberrant behaviours which are harmful to others however, the way behaviour is classified as deviant in a small town is very different to big towns and city.
There are a number of reasons for this, small towns should reflect big towns, society should be made up of the same kinds of people and in similar kinds of proportions, there in lies part of the answer, what may seem to a large group of deviant people in a city is perhaps not so true, they are probably just a whole lot more visible. Just as there are more deviant people there are likely to be more tolerant people who live in city, what it comes to is the amount of influence that these people have. That is the theory however my experience tells me a different story. You see here in Morrinsville many people see me as deviant.
I am deviant because I don’t vote conservative, I am left wing, how do people know this, well I stand up for what I believe in. I have been involved politically, I don’t shut my mouth when I encounter injustice and I don’t fit into the mould. Some of those moulds have changed since I was a young person but here in Morrinsville it is the conservative, conventional suits that rule, no ifs no buts no maybes, and to be honest I see them as deviant, is there any midway between.
Well I guess common ground can be found but I am not sure enough could be found for either of our points of views to meet in a real meeting of minds but I am not completely set in my ways, my views can be changed because I know that I don’t have the answer for everything and that is what makes me normal, well normal is a wide kind of a label but it is the word that comes to mind. Deviant is a loaded word that carries a lot of baggage, and as I have written before when we label people it is so much easier to denigrate, ignore and debunk their beliefs. In reality that is an approach that is used so that people do not have to engage with their own issues, they cannot admit to being wrong about one thing in theory life because that may mean their whole world view could be challenged.
I am not writing here of people that like or don’t like Paul Henry or Mike Hoskings or Julia Christie. I am talking of people who in the face of overwhelming evidence will deny there is a problem, like bullying, deviance starts at the very top of our country, parliament. Politicians deny things that are so glaringly obvious that it beggars belief. If I had such an aversion to the truth I would probably be locked up in a mental hospital and labeled deviant, yet politicians get away with it, go figure. So I guess the way I look at it is deviance is contagious we catch it from politicians.
Remember for the little crazy they calls you deviant and lock you up, for the big crazy they call you Prime Minister and pay you lots of money,
yours in craziness,