[This was going to be the beginning of my zine but I had a different story to tell for that. What is written below is very generalised but it felt right.]
What remains of the legacy built by the generation that came before us? The path they trod in search of individuality and identity has been swept away and paved over. In its place lies, well nothing. No movements, no rebellions just mindless acceptance in comparison to their fight. The punks, rastifarians and hippies have aged and become the machine. What became of the voices that cried out, sang and rose in chants to warn others of the future we now exist in.
Individuality is marketable. Mass production ensures us we can look different enough to assure ourselves we are unique. Yet the sameness of our garments allows us to integrate with our peers, slip quickly into cliques and survive. It is the white blood cells job to dispose of intruders in the body, this is the fate of any one who is considered ‘foreign’ in a group of people. If they don’t fit perfectly they are discarded, chased out and left behind.
Social Networking sites try to replace the community we have lost, connecting us with invisible ties. Dramas are played out in a public space, while it is claimed that this space belongs to everyone. Yet-much like the rest of the world-it is owned by the few. So we settle for the shallow remains of relationships which are reliant upon the mechanical sequences we go through to reach the conclusion…that everything is fine. Our life is a pantomime, our stage a box created by coding and hyperlinks that trap us within double meaning and recycled thought. We can learn of the mundane tasks completed on a regular basis. All this prepares us for the reality of work which involves performing the same exercise over and again until we don’t die inside. It is enough stimulation that your mind remains active, but you become tired. Too tired to fight or remember the idea of freedom.
Fortunately for us the recession means we are no longer affluent enough to buy the con. Are we free or not? If not what is the point of it all? If we only work so that someone else benefits, are we still grateful?
Yet in the corner of a manufactured world people still exist who hold the belief that the search for change should never be abandoned. They teach us that a person is never an island and must reach out to others, sharing their ideas. Only then can the world innovate and become more habitable for all human beings.
I finished Notes from the Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture. I must say the book seemed to have a defeatist tone. I’ll probably review it but in the meantime while I’m not blogging I am writing or building my own legacy-whichever sounds cooler or ‘sick,’ or ‘heavy’ or ‘deep.’