Not everyone is out to change systems or redefine cultural norms. For many, the only way to deal with the state of the world is with a dose of quirky, camp, and totally unapologetic humour. Likely to go vegetarian after watching Cowspiracy but stealth-eat a post-party kebab, the Contrarian is down-to-earth and embraces their contradictions. Whether they’re idolising Instagram influencers yet supporting body positivity, attending murder mystery parties and still making memes about JOMO, or talking about therapy and then seeking spiritual guidance from a pug on TikTok, these people are hunting for new experiences, living for today, and are determined not to take life – or themselves – too seriously.
Whether through inside jokes or meme culture, the Contrarian engages through comedy. Both a way of life and a coping mechanism, they use humour as a lens through which to view social or political issues and to highlight the complexity and contradictory nature of it all.
On the Library: Memes for good? The science of digital civicism
On the Library: How are ‘huns’ defining British identity?
Lockdowns made the Contrarian realise exactly how much they were missing and all the things they would still like to do. They are living for today because they are secretly fearful of tomorrow and want experiences that take them out of the ordinary.
On the Library: Chinese Gen Zers meet for murder mystery game
On the Library: Japanese households hire chefs for lockdown cuisine
The Contrarian knows they aren’t perfect and doesn’t expect others to be either. They are an active participant in the influencer economy and so they’re suspicious of those who seem to know and have it all. The Contrarian knows that modern life is full of paradoxes and they want their cultural leaders to embrace their imperfections as well.
On the Library: Bella Davis: promoting body-positivity via Instagram
On the Library: How are expressions of digital self changing?