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Monday, November 5, 2012

Editorial: Eccentric Behavior

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I can see two main reasons for eccentric behavior - attention seeking (by either person to person viewing or fishing for an experience for storytelling), personal aesthetics, or both.

Obvious attention seeking:
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

If the eccentricity is an aesthetic preference, the initial experimentation might be done with the goal of wider experience, which in my opinion can be healthy.  Eccentricity developed would be the test turning into habit.

With the goal of making a story by doing something taboo or odd, social media allows us for instant gratification. There is obvious potential for social backlash however if your eccentricity is taboo and known.  Considering this, you have to be prepared for negative responses from people who align themselves with their culture's taboos.  Personal aesthetic alone can outweigh the potential backlash.  Attention seeking on the other hand gains easy reinforcement.  A combination of these makes the eccentricity an easy fit into one's routine.    

Wikipedia gives examples of using a quill or wearing a top hat as examples of anachronistic (use of outdated, misplaced antiquated objects, cliches, etc. in a modern setting) eccentricity.

Image Credit: Public Domain - BWCNY

You might feel guilty or scared of rejection sharing your eccentricity, with valid fear.  Sexual eccentricity can definitely be such a case, often viewed with prejudice.   On the taboo side, a penchant for fetish porn, clothing yourself abnormally, or a connection of pain directly with pleasure are all primarily done for the aesthetic.

Unaccepted eccentric habits are often easily noticeable when it's involved with something like eating or drinking, where hiding it from public eyes gets tricky.  I eat my pizza with a knife and fork.  When I was young, my brother Joe taught me how to use a fork and a knife in a specific way, and encouraged me to use them with a much wider variety of foods than normal.  Habit became aesthetic. Buffalo wings -- fork and knife.

I'd go further into my own naughty taboos but I've got a reputation to keep up!  Feel free to share your own in the comments section...  If you dare!


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