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I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn kids: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.'” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, just congratulate them on being so observant.

~ George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

I remember one hellishly uncomfortable road trip. 18 hours on the way to the Poconos with an aging Elvis impersonator, a seven piece band and a road manager cramped up in a Ford Transit van.

The one person in this crew that I knew was the drummer who often had an incredible knack for rubbing people the wrong way. He would make truly bizarre and insensitive remarks and repeat punch lines from tasteless jokes over and over. Despite these quirks, I considered him a friend and through the years I had noticed that his outbursts of odd behavior often happened during the presence of fatigue and stress. And this was a really stressful fatiguing run. The rest of this particular crew had their fill of this guy quick and would have gladly voted for him to walk the plank if that were an option.

This whole affair was a one-off casino gig that paid pretty well…a quick turnaround. On the long haul back home, as we lumbered through Indiana, the band leader (Elvis impersonator) started to question the irritating drummer about his rumored involvement with Scientology. This turned in to another reason for the rest of the crowd to hate the guy and as Elvis was shouting “Are you a Scientologist or not?” and the mob cheered and egged it on.
I must admit that by this time in the trip I was pretty tired of this guy myself and I was taking some pleasure in his comeuppance.

Anyway, the drummer was trying to be evasive in the face of interrogation and finally said something along the lines of “I admire some of the concepts and principles of Scientology but, I’m not a member of the church.”; something like that but, the horde wouldn’t let it go that easy and continued to berate him for many miles.

I feel bad looking back on it. I could of stuck up for him if for no other reason than, he was refusing to be identified as part of a group while others were dead set on labeling him as such.