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How To Turn Anything into a Desired Opportunity (Or At Least Try) -- The Philosophy of Subversion

Updated: Feb 14



A flying zombie.

"A tragedy when only your alternative selves are the ones successful, and you are not" -- John Duran



How Subversion Opens Up New Possible Pathways


In theory, any situation, either positive or negative, can be transformed into a beneficial opportunity, benefitting whatever need or intention one has. This concept, often unforeseen and surprising to those unaware of its potential, is known as subverting expectations. It is difficult to grasp a situation that cannot be subverted in some way. This extends beyond mere circumstances and, and inludes literally anything in existence's several layers.

Consider the unexpected sight of a woman confidently striding down the street in a tuxedo. This simple act, by defying the traditional expectation of what's a "feminine" wear, subverts societal norms and challenges its expectations. Such subversion, in this case, stems from good intentions, aimed at promoting self-expression and opposing sexist philosophies.


For a woman seeking to project respect and professionalism, a well-tailored tuxedo can be an empowering and unconventional choice, defying the limitations of traditional expectations associated with feminine attire.


At the same time, in today's climate, a man attempting to achieve the same level of respect through feminine attire may not always achieve the desired outcome, which indicates the ongoing struggles with gender fluidity and its acceptance.


The power of subverting expectations lies in its ability to break free from the limitations of the known, and open doors to the less known or the unknown. This challenges the very fabric of our understanding, making our understanding never fully a reliable source.


Through questioning the reliability of our current understanding, we not only gain individual growth and liberation but also contribute to a more inclusive and dynamic world. A world where boundaries are constantly redefined and perceptions are forever evolving, in accordance to the truths we discover throughout our lives.


Laughter in the Face of the Unexpected


Subversion, in its essence, is a mischievous "dance", or toying, with expectations. It is the act of pulling the rug out from under someone's feet, leaving them surprised, delighted, or even just slightly confused. We can trick people easily as well as be tricked ourselves. It's all a question of whether or not we know what they think of us, and how we can use that information against their expectations. This shows that reality might be far more dynamic than our understanding, making the latter have problems with keeping up with the former.


This act of rebellion can lead to fortunate accidents which can be refreshing. However it also comes with the potential for the unforeseen. Sometimes, the outcomes we hope for can subvert us in unexpected ways, leading to frequent disappointment.


Expecting what shouldn't be expected is what makes our mentality so illogical and inconsistent. We seek certainty, yet every moment holds the potential for the rug to be pulled out from under us. Perhaps Socrates was onto something when he declared his ignorance – maybe true wisdom lies in accepting the absurdity of attempting to control the unpredictable flow of life.


How can we control what can't be controlled?


Subversion is a tool wielded masterfully by comedians, allowing them to twist reality, finding humor in the unexpected. I recall the anecdote of a comedian who skillfully subverted the situation of a woman's illness, by transforming "cancer" into a pet crab. In this instance, laughter became the antidote to grim reality, demonstrating the power of subversion to find light even in the darkest of moments.


Life is filled with such instances. When confronted with a narrow-minded individual who criticizes our emotional expression, we can find comfort in the playful subversion of their words. Just as a "chicken" can be interpreted as one who has "eggs" rather than an insult, we can choose to interpret negativity in a way that empowers rather than diminishes us.

However, as the fate of Fidget in "The Great Mouse Detective" reminds us, every action carries the potential for unintended consequences. Fidget, carrying out his duties, met his demise by being thrown from the very airship he helped operate, when he told his boss they need to discard extra weight for the airship to fly (and thus got discarded himself). This serves as a caution, reminding us that our actions, even those with good intentions, can shoot us in the foot.


While an optimistic outlook on life is valuable, we must also acknowledge the power of subversion. It is a force that can not only dismantle negativity and ridicule those who seek to harm us, but it can also transform the grim features of life, into unexpected moments of joy. Ultimately, embracing the unpredictable nature of life and the potential for subversion within it allows us to navigate the world with either humor, resilience, or even both.


Not being too reliant towards the confidence of our expectations, is therefore the realistic thing to aspire to.


Bonus: Charles Darwin's Sting

In a song called "Ash Ketchum VS Charles Darwin," Ash cruelly mocks the famed scientist for losing three children to disease, stating they caught all the fevers ("Gotta catch them all!"). Darwin, surprisingly, doesn't deny the pain, acknowledging but admits it. His reply, however does seem to serve his rival's sting back at him:


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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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