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of troy Offline OP
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i have been thinking a lot of ins and outs lately..
like the IN crowd (call it the A list or the GOP or what ever)
and people who are out of bounds..

and about words we use to define IN (and how one gets IN) and the words associated with rituals for being in..

every society has IN's.. you get born IN to one family, but have to Marry to get In to another family (and get In-laws)

you can join a church, but you have to be 'confirmed' in some sort of ritual to become an full adult member

people who don't behave as we expect, are called out of bounds (balls get labeled out of bounds too, in games)
unless they are really bad, and then they become outlaws

We live in a society, but labels others people as being 'tribal' --(i.e., afghanies, and their leaders, who end up getting called tribal lords)
but we recognize clíches, and clubs and organizations, and we all understand what i meant by Alist--(how is being a member of The 400 differ from being a member of a tribe?)
what are there specific characterisits (with specific words) that make a group --and what words are used to name specific rituals that mark a persons admission or rejections from a specific group..
(i have used of the type words i mean----words like:
A-list
confirmation
outlaw
tribal
society
The 400
and of course, In and out --
-this idea of being In or out, has come up on knitting boards (which style of knitting (or for that matter, the idea of knitting) is IN,
and here (in a PM about poetry) and today's NYTimes crossword puzzle titled IN Pairs, even Kathy Griffin has an artilce in today NYTStyle section about not being IN (and she claims its better to be on the worst dressed (celebrity list) than to be ignored--the idea of bad press is better than none--at the same time she champions herself as being the biggest 'star' on the C-list!)

and i was wondering about words used to define rituals that get a person in --or that mark them as out. and boundry words too, if you want!
(and what ritual do you think of, or recognize as being modern day 'rights of passage' IN to adult society--in what are they called?)


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Choose your tribe carefully. That atavistic fear of being cast out of the tribe goes very deep.

Although irreverently laughing all the while, I understood immediately the line about being worst-dressed is still being on the list, therefore, still in the tribe. But from where I stand, how horrible to even have to think about style. Horrors. That's one tribe I'm happy that I never had to concern myself with. Never having been a part of it, I can't call myself The Happy Pariah, but if I had been, I would.


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of troy Offline OP
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yeah, well STYLE is a constant issue between my daughter and i-- she subscribes to INStyle magazine, and is very conscious of style.. me, i wear what i like, and every few years, it comes into style, and i am happy, (because what i like is easy to buy) and then i stay with what i like, and fashion passes me on by (again)
(i sometimes wonder--is this a child of me? is she mine?)


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Interesting question O.T.

I remember in high-school, there were different IN crowds depending upon your interests. Wannabe fashion plates vied for a position in the girls group who followed the lastest fashions, wannabe rockers, vied for places in the rocker crowd and so on. What was In to one group was not necessarily so to the other.

I also remember being part of a group of friends where the need to belong anywhere else didn't come up. We weren't part of the cool kids, the rockers, the stoners, the fasion plates, the religious, the nerds or the hippies (I was a kid of the 70's), we were just regular kids. I guess the need to look elsewhere didn't crop up because we enjoyed hanging out with each other.


Now, I'm not quite sure what's cosidered IN.


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If I hear something's 'in,' then it's sure to be 'out' because I'm generally one of the last to know. In fact, what I know to be in is so out that I think the word should be s'out.


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All this talk about fashion reminded me of a picture I saw a few days ago: two little girls, probably six or younger, dressed "to the nines", if that expression can be applied to play clothes. That is, each had on a matching top and bottom, with socks, barrettes, etc. coordinated--and it was obvious that this was perfectly natural to them. They wanted to be in fashion, these little girls.

A friend brought up in conversation this afternoon the idea that males and females are "hardwired" differently (which the president of Harvard got himself in hot water for saying, if I'm not mistaken). A lot of guys do care about fashion, yes, but the percentages are way lower than for females. When I saw these two little girls, I could see that they knew that looking good was important, but I wondered what they thought the reason was. I have never come across a little boy who cared one whit what he looked like.

Being "in" a lot of groups, esp. in schools, strongly involves fashion. That is, if you don't wear what's in--and wear it the right way--you can forget being in. Attitude has a lot to do with it, too: even if everything you have on is "right", you have to behave as though this is the right look for you. A well-dressed nerd is still a nerd. I have never tried to achieve what I privately call the "East End look" (that's the part of Louisville where a great many wealthy people live): "preppy" clothes (if that term is still in!), perfect make-up, and that special, smooth, haircut where even when you toss your head, every hair falls right back into place. I knew I could never even get the look right, let alone the attitude to go with it. But I know it when I see it--and oddly enough, have to specially remember that any particular one might be an individual; I find that I have a tendency to see them as one of the herd...


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of troy Offline OP
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yes, Jackie, one gives up some autonomy to be IN --but gains social security (not the cash kind!)

there is an ongoing conflict between being IN (and less autonomous) and not being IN (more autonomus, and perhaps more lonely--or at least more alone!)

by joining, (even something as simple as being a sports fan) you let some of your happiness be somebodies elses job.. most fan's don't resent baseball players salary--that is until the team loses! Players are supposed to be the winners, and fans, they pay (and 'belong' to the team, too, so they too can be winners, by extention.

(did anyone see the Nightline episode about HS football players taking steroids (or any of the TV or Print articles about the same?) the story breaks, because one parent objects. they stand up and say, NO, i am not willing to sacrifice my son, my son's health, (his gonads) so the team can win.. but its not just the team--the whole town is behind the team, and the expectation is, when the team wins, we win, and yes, sacrifices have to me made. You should be proud your son is one of the chosen ones, one of the elite. boys are expected to offer up their personal lives (their autonomy) for the greater glory of the winning team--for the home town team to end up as the state champions. the price for belonging (for being IN) is high, but so are the rewards..the whistle blower parent finds themselves total cut out of town life.. ignored by all and sundry for the 'crime' of refusing to go along with the sacrifice.

(and yet, we wonder how it was that the aztecs had young men who willingly became human sacrifices and offered themselves up to the gods--and are shocked by stories likeThe Lottery)


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Heard in Sloane Square: "Dahling, she's just not PLU."


#140328 03/04/05 06:23 PM
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'Penitent Liberals Union'?


#140329 03/05/05 09:07 PM
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