Wednesday, July 27, 2005

My Sentiments Exactly



Beth Lisick asks, "With all the co-opting of underground culture, why is anything even considered weird anymore?"

It strikes me as an observation with both optimistic and depressing attributes. On one side, the cutural elite don't get to out-hip the unwashed proletariat anymore; which is kind of refreshing to me, but probably makes the trend-setters miserable. Maybe they can take some solace in knowing it's the corporate monolith which is acting as the co-option machine, spoon-feeding said cultchah to said masses. Money being everything... as it is written.

Is it cooler to be down with the uber-obscure band of the next minute, to use the rarest of street patois, or, is it hot to have a universal cultural landscape and lexicon within which anyone can feel comfortable playing along?

Beats me!

Watching the river flow, without prejudice or op-ed, may be the last outpost of the out crowd. The question is, is there gold in the hills of ambivalent nihilism? Dylan, for one, has been mining that vein, for a long time.

In any case, Beth's latest book is a very enjoyable set of life-vignettes. She writes the funny in a lively manner, while (seemingly effortlessly) embedding little nuggets of wisdom - for our edification and enrichment.

{A little koan came to me, while up in the Sierra Foothills the other day: A solitary prospector, with a nugget in his Levis, slips and tumbles down into a deep ravine. He cracks his skull open and perishes. His body is never found and it decomposes around the nugget.}

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