Hitting the Small Time

Yawn. We are all bored limp with popular culture. Aren’t we? The pert silicone-packed, airbrushed, pure, synthetic gangsta world of commerciality where everyone is pretending full speed to be somebody else. And when we walk into the dressing room before the gig, we find that same somebody else shivering in fear at being The One. If he sniffs and struts enough maybe everyone will believe that he really is the Wizard of Oz.

So, we are all tired out, and we don’t want to explore our non-conformism inside one of the stereotypes carefully poured out by mass-culture. We want to pick and choose. Mix and match. Same goes for off-the-shelf religion, the marketing villages for self-actualizers, both pro and anti-capitalism. The point is: where is my own uniqueness? When can I give up that anxiety about not being someone else? Because, now I am way past adolescence, I realize that I can only ever be exactly me. And my fingerprints for better or worse are unidentical to anyone else’s. And, oh, yes, what can I actually do that might keep the planet running for a year or two more? Apart from satisfying my rage by joining some eco-cult group, or pretending that leaving my waste-paper out will save the Andean cockroach from extinction. How can I really ensure that the air will still be breathable for my grandchildren?

Okay, I have to share language to be understood (as if we could ever actually be understood), and I’m going to buy music that has been recorded, and wear clothes that came from shops, but that doesn't mean that I have to sacrifice my self to the Beast. Let me be my own guru. Let me piece together some thoughts that don't belong to any minority but me. I can listen to Viv Stanshall and Elgar back to back, and annoy my wife by putting a silk tie over a flannel shirt. But I can also challenge any indignant opinionation, resist apathy or cynicism and watch whatever soaps I want to. Oh, and maybe I can live a life that might just be healthy, rather than pining away because I’m ashamed of my addiction to whatever commodity from crack to pizza is being peddled.

Big time? I love the new culture that wouldn’t touch it for that million bucks (who listens to Vanilla Ice, anyway?). Where musicians enjoy playing in the back room of a bar rather than waggling their codpieces to the stadium load. Where writers enjoy being read rather than adolescently adulated. Where mystics keep their mouthes shut.


February 2005