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How To Be a Modern-Day Rebel Without a Cause

How To Be a Modern-Day Rebel Without a Cause

By Lucy Hutchinson

Have you seen Rebel Without A Cause? Some say it's a classic; we say it's dated, tedious and smells funny, but maybe that's just because we were forced to watch it in every Important Films 101 class we ever took, so we're bitter. In the film, James Dean plays a character whose name we can't remember, who drives around causing G-rated trouble and crying because sometimes his dad wears an apron, LIFE IS SO HARD. He makes friends with some weirdos and (SPOILER!) one of them dies at the end, but we can't remember which.

Doesn't all that sound like fun? Here's a step-by-step guide to becoming a modern-day rebel without a cause, because nothing says "rebel" like a numbered list.

1. Develop a berserk button. Pick something slightly annoying, and overreact to it wildly. James Dean hated being called "chicken," which led to him getting in at least one knife fight and nearly driving off a cliff. Be creative with your irrational hatred. "HOW DARE YOU CALL THIS LASAGNA!" you will thunder at your lunchlady, flinging lasagna across the room. When people say "Calm down, Mallory," shriek "I ONLY GO BY SYLVIA!" and storm out to brood in the parking lot.

2. Gather some cronies. There's no point being a mysterious loner unless people are around to notice. James Dean made friends with the pretty girl next door who had a really weird relationship with her parents, and a strange boy who acquired a gun at some point. All you need is one other person willing to watch admiringly while you litter, jaywalk, and post Arcade Fire lyrics on Facebook because you don't even care.

3. Get a red jacket. James Dean had a red jacket. He gave it to the weird kid with the gun. Yours doesn't have to be an actual red jacket, just a signature item of clothing that says "Whatever, okay!" That's a lot of pressure to put on one piece of clothing, so choose wisely. Consider long sweeping black coats, fedora hats, or scruffy Converse. Of course, if you really didn't care, you'd just wear a burlap sack, but it would be a statement burlap sack.

4. Loiter. Find a place. Mutter "I can't wait to get out of this place." while hanging out in that place, all of the time. James Dean was hiding from the police for reasons we can no longer remember, so he and his posse went to an abandoned mansion and lit a bunch of candles, which seems ill-advised. If you don't live in a town where people just up and leave their candle-filled mansions unattended, loiter around a play park or convenience store instead. Make sure you don't smile or laugh, but instead moan about the state of the world and how no one understands.

Remember, when you're out rebelling, stay in a well-lit area and don't talk to strangers. Safety first.

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Tags: movies, old movies, funniest, rebels, james dean

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