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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from ashley)

In response to Alain de Botton’s TED talk, Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want, and Coontz’s What We Really Miss About the 1950s.

Freedom from Want.  by Norman Rockwell

Freedom from Want. by Norman Rockwell

In the small space of this moment, I want to question the myth of success and individual opportunity which dominates our culture. With the relative quiet of my morning, I’m wondering why exactly I am going to do what I plan to do today.  I’ve worked hard to create my own definition for success and  to ensure that my daily activity aligns with that definition but,  I can sense the enormous power of culture myths in my thinking; and its unnerving. _MG_5617

Questions resist the limits cultural frames impose on our perspective and so in an effort to bring awareness to my acculturation, I’m asking questions.

Why do I feel the need to ask, “What do you do?” when I first meet a person?

Of who am I envious and why?

What is my relationship to the world?

Do I buy into meritocracy?

Am I chasing the elusive American Dream?

What do I worship and why?

What events or trends am I experiencing that are important for understanding our current mythologies?

What is nostalgia good for?

To what am I saying “yes”? And as a result, to what am I saying “no”?

Do I leave room for the haphazard, or do I rigidly accept responsibility for all my good and bad?


Today, I’m going to leave space for the answers, and though it may be near impossible, resist the ready-made answers pounding at the door.


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