Sideways perspective


We walked up a small path that didn’t seem to lead to anywhere.  It opened out into a rough garden in front of a small house.  Various motorbikes filled most of the space and you could hear people inside.  I was with a guy I’d only just met, he opened the door and some woman came screaming down the stairs in a vest carrying a rifle.  Music was beating out of the living room where she disappeared.  No one else seemed to react.  Right then I decided this was my kind of party.

The gun wasn’t loaded and she was only running around for kicks.  I didn’t know half the people there but the vibe was good.  People were littered around in various states of intoxication, no bad attitudes, just people having a good time.

I’ve been back to this place many times, its somewhere I feel welcome.  I’ve often thought about the stereotypes people put onto a place like this, they assume these sorts are a bad kind, not to be trusted.  I’ve found them to be quite the opposite.  Other than the phase of putting hair removal cream on the heads of those who couldn’t hack the pace, there’s no trouble, no fights.  People who cause offence are requested to leave.  We prefer to socialize in the early hours, when the ‘normal’ people have gone away.

There’s a wide mix within this social circle, many ages and many different jobs.  These things seem to separate people in daily life, social barriers causing division, but why?  I can’t think of one good reason.  If a group of friends can get on no matter what their background, why can’t this be the norm?  The things that unite us are a leaning to the leftfield, openness and trust until proven wrong.  We all have either a good appreciation for music or action sports/motorcycles in some form.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to paint a picture of a utopian Marxist society; we don’t live out of each other’s pockets and share our wealth.  The point I’m trying to make is that there is generally a negative perception placed upon the ‘alternative’ within our culture, something which I don’t believe can be justified.

Take Celtic Blue Rock festival for example.  Ever since it’s inception, the local council have been against it, as have the police.  I’ve been there a few times and always have a good time.  People enjoy themselves there, some more than others. There’s less crime and violence than happens on the streets of any major town or city on a Friday or Saturday night and yet is has been shut down for one year due to the persistent efforts of the Council and the police.

It’s an old argument, and I don’t think I’ve got any answers.  It’s just good to know that there are people out there defying social norms, having a good time and living good lives.

Gillan Williams


  1. I think most of society feels the need to pigeon-hole those outside the norm because of the tidy way they like to conduct their lives. Everything needs an explanation, a reason for existence. When you fail to provide the answer they want, you’re wrong, you’re the thing they don’t want around. The thing they want shut down, thrown out. I expect that is the case with the Celtic Blue Rock Festival.

    I pretty much spent my life in society’s limbo… Growing up in Portugal, I was too outspoken, too inquisitive. In the States, I am too socialist. In the army, I was the only female in my unit. Now I’m the weird mom who lets her kids read “Fight Club” and teaches them how to skateboard instead of going out shopping and gossiping about who wears what.

    I suppose the best you can do in life is live it the way you want and know that you’re still grasping at the sense of personal freedom and not falling into the trap of “normal” society’s expectations which are nothing short of a prison.

  2. your spot on gillan.a house full of sound people partying is what i live for,that and bikes.


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