Whenever you start talking about how to do or be something, the first thing you have to establish is what exactly that thing... you know, means.
If you go look it up, you find some weird stuff around it. On the one hand, you have this noun for a mean or belligerent person with extreme attitude, behaviour, or appearance.
On the other hand, you have the adjective, for having extreme attitude, behaviour, or appearance... that is considered admirable.
Among the synonyms, you have "admirable," "awesome," and "wicked" in the sense of "Excellent; awesome; masterful; deeply satisfying." Also five related definitions of "cool" - "calm and in control," "unenthusiastic and skeptical," "audacious," "considered popular," "part of the in-crowd."
And, of course, the 1970s-era definition of "bad" - which means, you know, "good." Because in the 1970s, we were still on the 1960s drugs and only just getting started on the 1980s drugs, which meant we were all twice as fucked up.
All of this adds up to a rather schizophrenic definition of someone mean and calm, belligerent and in control, audacious and unenthusiastic, good and popular, extreme and part of the in-crowd. It's a mass of contradictions. What the fuck is that? When I talk about the badass manifesto, about the concept of being a badass and the process of becoming one... what, exactly, do I mean by this?
Continue reading What Is a Badass?