December 10, 2005


Since everyone seems to be in the business of coining terms these days, I’d like to have a go on that and perhaps credit myself with some novelty while I'm on it!

I’d like to coin the term “Typicalism”... It is already underlined with a red scribble by the spell checker, and Google returned no credible references for it, so I’ll entertain no claims over it, perhaps I can prefix it with the tag “Jordanian”... Now, allow me to dwell upon you with what I mean with it!

Basically, it can be either a syndrome that people who are usually identified to be “typical” suffer from, or it could be the social phenomena of being unable to identify the people around you or their acts with anything but being typical, a matter of crude perspective really!

One cannot help but notice how typical people can be sometimes! It is not that one can be so full of himself that he can no longer appreciate genuinely distinct individuals or their perspectives, but in our lame society that oozes with “typicalist” tendencies, people seems to be easily polarized and unconsciously segregated into mimicked herds sporting replicated and consumed ideas and point of views that seems to be viciously dull and awfully repeated over and over again.

The interesting aspect of typicalism though; is that people from different circles of the society can find themselves –to the awe of those usually at top- conjugated together under one “typical” perspective, especially when it comes to affairs that is widely viewed as a social axiom of an obvious nature!

Consider this: if you happen to be in your mid-to-late twenties and essentially unmarried, and you happen to be in a Jaha, engagement or wedding, you can easily identify an obvious trace of typicalism by observing the swarms of annoying sweet-talking wholehearted -allegedly- complements and pats-on-the-shoulder from every other co-guest: in the line of “3ugbalak… when you'll get married?” or “Shed il-Himmih… bidna inshoof 3arees”

Or consider this one: you are a Tawjhi student, and everyone starts treating you with flaring typicalism, be it your close family, extended one or even your all-over-the-place neighbors, you get bombarded with the same old questions, recommendations, directions or merely the uncalled-for motivational I’ve-been-there old Tawjhi stories! In return, you as a frustrated Tawjhi student; cannot help but retaliate with acts of utter typicalism, such as finding a strong urge for a private tutor, or skipping family functions to go out with friends in the name of studying! In case you fail to skip it, you blame your engagement with those many family events for your poor performance!

Or you can consider this one: if you happen to sport a fist-long beard, then you should expect to hear the same set of mimicked comments, advises and lectures from almost every other person you meet, wither someone he's acquainted to you or a complete stranger! -Personally speaking- No one seems to be able to amaze me with an alternative perspective when it comes to beards! from the open-minded claimants of western Amman to the bored passport control officers at Queen Alia airport, typicalism vividly manifest itself in the terminology used, objections, speculations and facial gestures; it just repeats itself whenever a beard is sighted!

Regardless of your age, sex, ethnic background, upbringing, level of education or current mind-set, you are bound to be suffering from one symptom of typicalism or the other, and therefore you are bound to have been the victim of circumstantial typicalism at best. Cases like the above are numerous, I can pat my chest with confidence and swear with my semi-shaved moustache that everyone can think of a personal yet typical encounter with our society -or a member of it- that rings a bill or two.

I must admit though that typicalism is not much of a serious deficiency as social profiling -for instance- may will be, you’ll find them conjugated when someone is at fault with profiling, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the other way around, for typicalism at worse can be an annoying little gesture, comment or advise that most of us can hear and let-go in peace despite its repulsive and aggregating nature.

Typicalists -or tepe(s) in slang- are mostly harmless people in essence if took at face value, for they are by definition typical people going about thier lives in a typical manner and sporting typical views!

Typicalism is trait that thrives in oblivious and debasingly-hallow societies, especially when there’s no strict code of conduct in place for either people to go about their lives on the basis of freedom of choice, or preferably an enforced yet consistent and unprejudiced set of rules, references and directives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Salam Sheikh..
We -for some reason- like to make sense of what we experience, label it and immediately act or not act on it, as the case maybe be.

More to the point -and more difficult, but more urgent- we like to make sense of WHOM we expereince, label them, and find quickly, a way of dealing with them, and get on with life.

Typicalism eases this process: it supplies ready-to-use images and on the spot character analysis, as well as a ready-to-use ways of social interaction to handle the situation in hand...

WHAT??? Na3am? do you want me to study and understand each person for what they really are, and handle a situation with the uniqueness of new encounter that every new minute brings in life?? NA3AM? Even when I pop in to buy sandweeshet falafel from Abu Zmiggeh?? WHAT?

Ay roooooo7 7ill 3anni ya zalameh...

:) :)
Salam, & Best Regards!