Little Thoughts: HYPERPOWER

The way we distinguish ourselves is by showing our individuality.
Elisa Camahort, We Got Naked, Now What, SXSW 2006

Just like everything else in this world, I notice that it seems that power and popularity are starting to infect the world of blogging like the forums and message boards before them. I find it quite pathetic and disturbing. What is the point of conquering a world just like the one above it if you’ve already done so in the past? It’s like saying, what is the point of individuality when all things are the same or reaching a “sameness point”. Someone pointed out to me that cars are already reaching the trend rather unintentionally and so is fashion. There comes a time where we might as well lose the thing held dear and become clones in all ideals, maybe even in the subject of religion.

  1. I like to believe that there’s no way to be individual. That individuality is a misconception. It’s impossible to be different from others, because everyone does want the same thing – we just express it in different ways. Like with art. We all think our art is the greatest most unique and non-conformist stuff. But what is individual this second, in just a few short heartbeats becomes trend and doesn’t matter anymore. However, to the ones we love, we are always unique. We are always individual. Concerns then of a broader sense of appreciation for our “unique individuality” is meaningless. It is self-delusional. My clothes are not unique – they’re designed. My art is not unique – I’m a product of society. My thoughts are not unique – I read people’s blogs and they think the same as me. My whole concept of my “individuality” is challenged every day when I read someone is just like me. Nothing I do or think will ever change the fact that I am, and always will be, just another human with human issues and concerns. That I am just like that guy who shops in standard shops and buys standard items. Just my “standard” items are considered “alternative” which is in itself merely another self-delusion as once a genre or trend is defined it is no longer “outside”. Once you give it a name, or acknowledge its existence, it is automatically catalogued. I am a catalogued item. Off the rack. No matter how much I struggle against being just a sheep, I still went to see the Harry Potter movie. No matter how much I want to be “alternative”, I still bought my girlfriend some anime dvds. I slipped into the crowd, swam with the sheep inside a pool of conformity and called our pool “alternative” but I was wrong. However, I take comfort in the fact my parents think I’m weird.

  2. Like what? Race? I still think you’re incorrect.

  3. We’re all the same. Even from race to race. Watching foreign films shows we all possess the same desires, the same need to feel special. That’s all individuality really is – a need to feel special. Which was my main point, I think. That the only ones to whom we are individual are those we are closest to. After all, as you walk down the street every day, you don’t try to know everyone to see if they’re an individual. You just take a glance and make your decision based on shallow exterior factors. I met a guy once who had the most amazing collection of rare punk records and who currently listens to the most bizarre alternative music you’ve ever heard of – yet if you saw him in the street, you’d see a guy who looks about fifty, wears a suit and has absolutely no outward signs of his amazing taste in music. Not even a piercing! And he never had a mohawk (not because his mom wouldn’t let him! – obligatory punk reference) I call him an individual, but that’s only because I know him. Individuality is a concept. Not a reality. The reality is we’re all different – which makes us all the same. A catch-22 if you like. We’re just all so desperate to feel unique and special above the sheep that we like to think if we dye our wool, we’ll somehow manage to convince the rest of the world that we’re not the same as them. No one is a robot. We all just assume they are. Until we get to know them. Then they’re individuals. Think of being an individual as being a member of an audience. Sure, you might be a small audience to the most outrageous new alternative band, but you’re still just a member of an audience, and you will never escape the fact that you’re no more unique than anyone else. God, I struggle with that every day when I want to wear my Vandals t-shirt to work but have to wear my corporate outfit instead. Although, on the other hand, my Vandals t-shirt IS a uniform, too. I wear it around my friends, who all have punk t-shirts. Damn them. Why can’t I be the only person listening to the Vandals? I want something to be MINE. To prove I’m more alternative and more individual, more special than they are. Reality, however, intrudes. I guess that’s why some goths don’t listen to NIN or Marilyn Manson, but instead choose to claim unique status by announcing they prefer jazz. I like jazz.

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