At 32, I’ve begun exhibiting the concerns of a high school sophomore in a punk band. I’ve begun to worry about becoming normal.
Despite one’s best attempts at inoculation, each day—by way of (primarily digital) media one is confronted by a hastening cultural homogenization that that media’s very existence engenders. Were the song of this homogenization one that chiefly valued beauty, social justice and self-awareness it might be a good thing. Instead, its operating principle is to find lowest common cultural denominators and exploit them for the easy evocation of feeling, often aimed at persuasion of some kind. Given the time even the most devoted creators and thinkers are wont to spend on the Internet, I wonder: how many of us are being persuaded; how much of this homogeneity is bleeding through to our psyches and potentially inhibiting our creativity and willingness to take risks? Because artistic risk, with a rooting in craft, is what is needed now more than anything. If not to expose the populous to otherness and alternative thinking, than at least to sanction the free expression (and spectrum) of human emotion and affirm the efforts of those who continue to practice it.
It is my hope that the quickening pace of cultural homogenization galvanizes a bolder, fiercer artistic resistance to it. Our humanity may very well depend on it.
Editor, Fogged Clarity