How many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb?
The number is really obscure; you probably haven't heard of it.
Deer heads and stags have been trendy for about 10 years now...but sometimes these trends get second booms. We saw a lot of stags this weekend. Tricia and I did a lot of second hand shopping. We saw this vest with Illinois sillouette and Lincoln sillouette and thought how funny! Then the front of it had all these hilarious buttons and badges...no no really look closer...
We did a big double take. The vest was $50 and would have been funny to buy except then Stagg might actually wear it, so no way!
When we got on a streetcar Saturday night as we went bar hopping...I thought shit, is this a film set? Is this a casting call for people who all dress in ironic retro wear and look about 22? Its like everyone on the streetcar had bought at the exact same store the exact uniform of hip urban bored ness. Its been decades since anyone could even attempt to find something rare or different in music and art. Any band you think you've discovered and fell upon, trust me they have a following of millions....there is no mysterious artist or musician out there, no surprise actor or movement, no unique music or alternative style. the alternative and folk is long dead and popularized within seconds. "Obscure" or "authentic" is all always everywhere for everyone...but even this sight on the Toronto streetcar was a surprise. I actually felt a little embarrassed for all the people who wish they were special and unique and knew cool unheard of music...those days are long gone...
There are two words I've always tried to avoid using. I have tried to not have them in my vocabulary and hope to have them not insert themselves into a pattern of thinking. These two words are discovery and progress. I simply do not believe there is any such thingas progress. Period. Or discovery. I think the human brain has the illusion of progress because it can't see the whole picture. I also think discovery is an illusion of the brain of someone who hasn't seen we just find things already in existence we don't discover them.
In practicing meditation and meeting many people over the years who begin meditating they often go through a phase. Well, many phases are found in "aspirants" f meditation. One phase is feeling special or unique. The idea that we are individuals is very strong part of what may surface when you begin meditating for the first time. We start to see that often our culture has programmmed in us the idea that we are original or different than others. Meditation begins to confront that philosophy.
I have had several friends who were in AA. AA had some very similar concepts and phases as meditation. One is a sort of aspirant when they first practice AA. AA had a adage or concept called "terminal uniqueness." In meditation the concept of terminal uniqueness is part of the ego. The ego thinks it can discover a new band. Or be "authentic" and find rare music and art and literature in order to represent it's own specialness. The ego will resist meditation and group settings "to do it alone".
I think a lot of restrictive thinking...thinking and programming from the kind of economy we have under agriculture in Europe, China, North America...is conducive to this idea of "obscure" and "special". This idea of obscure or unique or alternative feeds into addictive thinking and rigid patterns of behaviour that prevent us from seeing other ways to live and think. I couldn't help but feel a little sad and frightened by this mass manifestation of "obscure" and "authentic" mindset on the Toronto steetcar the other night. This is a kind of reaction to totalitarianism yet...it is just another form of totalitarianism. We want the "old ways" of clothes...a better time, not to be products of machine and economy that keeps us from thinking freely...yet we becme another form of group thinking. We don't want to be a "robot' and that wish is linked to addictive behaviour...and then we become robots in our revolutions.
No programs. No discovery. No progress. Go Occupy Wall Street. Go Occupy Everywhere!
1) Suttree. A novel where the character is a flanuer...but also is trapped in wanting to be "unique" and "authentic". 1979 book review of Suttree.
2) a blog post about terminal uniqueness.
3) "He's wrong... You don't get to do it your way. You don't get to make up your own special rules. We have a name for people like that. Those are people who suffer from terminal uniqueness. You don't get to do it your way." about Charlie Sheen, by Rob Lowe
4) Urban Dictionary on Hipster
5) Ego death at Wiki...and "how to meditate" suggestions at Meditation Oasis