Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Combatting Popular Culture: Shields Up

I found the best way to combat popular culture is to keep it isolated from you. It is a contagious disease - to be engaged in and fought only with the adequate defense of more popular culture. Go at it yourself and suddenly you get killed, with your soul immortalized in the depths of newspaper archives and video tape. You are more than that, and you are not another trend for the economy milk for originality. Here is my reasoning on this subject, perhaps similar to yours:

Originality has always been a subject I’ve always grappled with that has been fundamental in my thinking. Now, as I progress onward into the job track – I find myself testing these values and seeing how very easy it is to contradict myself. This leaves me to say: are those who claim independence and freedom really free?

Yesterday, I found myself writing and publishing a piece of work which really had nothing to do with my own personal views – but rather – advancing the views of a politician, in order to counter another, whose demise may spell the emergence of yet another. First of all, is this really my work? I asked myself this question long and hard, and while in the long run I could see how this piece may selfishly affect me and reflect my views, I cannot say that this work was really mine. I instead found a shell of writing, highly affected by the views around it and defined as my own opinion. Do I really feel that another’s opinion is my own? Do I really want to represent my name with this piece of work in which I serve as a tool for another? I cannot answer yes.

So instead of using my own name, I chose to use a penname: my first electric guitar I ever owned. Surely, this would be distinctive and personal. Yet, the irony is now not only have I used a hollow corporate name to define myself, I have also written a hollow piece of material with no independent voice showing through. What am I other than an advertisement for others whom I share viewpoints with to some degree – who in turn have sold these to me, at a price? My vote, my time, my money - it’s all my opinion being sucked up by these machines.

Today I found how easy it is to fall from an extremist position to an easy position of conformity. How narrow these two are, yet how deep one can rebel through this mentality.

However, I can claim that despite this creation of a shell – I am still who I am inside, and I have simply manipulated the world of images around me to get what I want without personally becoming those images. I have successfully turned a mirror in essence – in order to put more focus on what I want. Rather than become sucked in personally to become the image confronting the non-human images around me, I can create a shell to step into combat with, and then emerge from that shell to deal with issues which I truly hold to my heart like spiritualism, individualism, love, originality, social justice... among other things...

So now I come back to my original proposition: Am I a ghost behind the mirrors, or a human being carefully crafting my position to manipulate the overall sum? Perhaps the answers here reflect bigger answers elsewhere.

I find that by having access to the mirrors, one has to have had the keys to get there in the first place. With myself as a guide, once inside this funhouse, the job of resistance and advocacy can take place in careful – determined shifts of a few panes of glass which even the careful eye could never decipher.

My question to the audience now is simply, do you support your popular culture funhouse? Are you shaping the house, or are the mirrors shaping you? I urge you to find the will to dive beyond these questions and through observation, create your own outlet for others who were once like you. Is this crazy talk? I ask you to decipher it in your own way, yet I urge YOU to come out on top before the mirrors are shifted and the paths lost.

0 --> 0ne <-- 1


Post a Comment

<< Home