Different isn’t bad

Rosie Sinapi, Sports Editor
Rosie Sinapi, Sports Editor

I was country when country wasn’t cool.­­––Barbara Mandrell

Hello, my name is Rosie and I am a hill-billy-a-holic. Yes, I can admit to some of my not so trendy feelings. I find Stetson cologne appealing. Give me a man who wears Wranglers and I’m a happy cowgirl. My dream ranch is located in Nashville, Tenn. And last, but definitely not least, I no longer watch MTV, VH-1 or BET for videos; no, now I have CMT and TNN.

Unfortunately, I have not come across that many country music fans at ULV. So when I drive to school blasting George Strait, as soon as I cross “D” Street, I lower my stereo.

Sociologists explain the condition of doing what is socially unacceptable as deviance. According to sociologists Edwin Lemert, Howard S. Becker and Kai T. Erikson in The Social Reaction to Deviance Approach, no act is inherently bad or good, but the way society defines and reacts to it is. Therefore, what is defiant to one person may be acceptable to another. If someone is defiant, than they are going against the social norms of the present society.

It is difficult to to be different when an opinion, lifestyle or habit is socially unacceptable in your surroundings. Although my confession to loving the twangs and chords of country music may not cause me severe retribution, others with more socially acceptable beliefs, it can. Humans suffer from a need for consistency. We do not like radical change and we frown on persons or ideas that threaten our way of life.

Just think, four years ago no one would dare have a nose ring, but now it is the sign of the true hipster. In the 1950s, it was a social faux pas to say a women was pregnant. A pregnant person was “with child.” Now, it is possible to say “she’s knocked up.”

Most persons believe defiant behavior to be bad. It’s when someone breaks the law, but that’s not the case. It can be wearing a tux to the beach or as complex as the need for a homosexual liberation movement. The former may be a little silly, but the pack mentality can turn into the unacceptability of a person just because he or she may not espouse those things you find acceptable.

In the July 26 issue of the Albuquerque Journal, a May incident was recorded. Markair Airlines apologized to a passenger, Rosalyna Lopez, after a flight attendant ordered her to stop speaking in Spanish to a relative traveling with her on a flight from Tuscon to Washington.

“No Spanish,” said the flight attendant, “English Only! Do you understand that?”

There are no laws saying you must speak English only when traveling on an airplane. What happened was that Lopez violated the flight attendant’s idea of normalcy.

In everyday life this happens constantly and it happened to me last week. I was walking Tuesday night between Founders and Miller Halls. It was lined with tombstones listing alcohol related statistics. One read that nine out of ten fraternity or sorority hazing deaths were alcohol related. As I walked, a man (and you know who you are) was the first of many to kick over the tombstone.

Now, I’ m not going to greek bash here. It is not relevant because the girls who helped make the signs were greeks themselves. What is relevant was the fact that an immature student kicked over a sign just because it violated his idea of normalcy. Although he may not have agreed with the tombstone, he should have been accepting to it.

We sometimes do not see that just because something goes against our idea of acceptable or normal, it is bad. So whether it be the acceptance of a person who loves country music or a tombstone, we need to recognize deviant behavior, change or whatever you want to call it as necessary.

I was country when country wasn’t cool, but I guess being cool is relative.

Who knows?

Maybe in a year or two everyone will be singing the tunes of country and maybe the next time S.T.E.P. puts up a tombstone, no-one will argue with it and accept it.

Rosie Sinapi, Editor in Chief
Rosie Sinapi
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