Have you ever rebelled? If you have, how did you do it?
A rebellion is a failed revolution.
You say, for instance, that all youth rebel.
But I missed my youth. There was the war, and then the war lost, and the epithet 'Johnny Reb' still rang for me like a trumpet-blast of pride at the sound of which I still swing my head and at which my eyes still light. But the Civil War was not rebellion.
The rebellion of youth is a desire for freedom, but they are young yet and do not yet know the difference between 'freedom from' and 'freedom for.'
I would count the first only as rebellion.
To have rebellion, you must have recognition of authority. It is not rebellion if one is merely doing what one would in the absence of authority. It must be a clear challenge. Acknowledging authority by combating it gives it legitimacy, at least in its own eyes. Conducting a power struggle creates a situation where power exists.
Ah, you want me to be more personal.
I am sure they called me 'rebel.' I am sure they thought I defied convention for the sake of mere defiance. But it was not so! I was always dying. How could I waste my time with that nonsense? I had no time to spend a single minute or hour playing the fool with people who demanded any ridiculous thing from me for the mere sake of... not even form and courtesy, but some misplaced idea of respectability. Who was anyone to question me? They could call me 'rebel' or anything they wished, and I would not only not grace them with an answer, I would remove them from my regard. And if they persisted in intruding
, in subverting and attempting to misdirect my attention, I would bear it full upon them and call them out. 'Why, let us dispense with games, deal with our antagonism in open honesty, and commence.'
You may think I rebelled against my father when I was a boy. It was not I who was rebelling against tradition and our family and community and our... country. It was he who was doing all these things. What kind of a boy rebels by standing for those things? And by studying hard so he could become a dentist? I had no time even then for rebellion. But yes, there was anger, there was resentment, there was incredulity. Yes, I stayed out later, yes, I joined another church, as my mama had bidden me. Yes, I learned cards and guns and did... things after dark. Yes, I meant to fight that duel. I went to bring my uncle home from the war. Was that... rebellion? You may so trivialise none of these things!
For that time I was so very alone, and from the tenets of my school, and from the examples of my heroes, I began to develop the ideas that would keep me for my life, that made me able to hold my head up with pride and look any man blazingly and directly in the eye, come what may. I decided to live with Honour. Does that sound rebellious? To swear to do one's very best always? And when I left home, and my father with his new 'wife.' *he clenches his fists and nearly hisses even now* Only six weeks after my mama was buried. Six weeks! And only a little older than I! It was indecent! How can one 'rebel' against indecency? *he is still offended and unforgiving, but recovers to resume* When I left home... I went to live with my Uncle John, who brought me into this world. And I was a good as I could be. I convinced Robert to get an education, emulate me in taking up dentistry. I studied. I made him, at least, proud of me.
And what I did after? Oh, you say I am a drunkard, a denizen of saloons and gambling halls, the consort of whores. A violent man of ungovernable temper and no conscience, selfish and perverted. You would call me Rebel, do your best to make me outcast? You say you are justified in these accusations? I do not have the time to expend the effort to acknowledge you.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 700
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Nulli Virtute Secundus