Art for the Sake of Image

Read this piece today in Pitchfork. The article doesn’t quite touch on any new ideas, or spin any old themes in a different angle. Nonetheless, it was well-written, and I appreciated it.

And it got me thinking. How much art and culture do we consume out of genuine personal enjoyment? And not for the sake of social-media-what-if-somebody-stalks-me image branding?

I’m no innocent. I plead guilty for consumption of the sake of cool. Indeed, I find myself not listening to songs sometimes because I don’t want them to show up on my profile. Even if I know that no one visits my profile, I have this base urge to maintain this carefully crafted palette of Taste that I present to others. I go through far more trouble than I should to get tracks scrobbled on my software, get slightly irked when the tracks I want to show on my feed don’t scrobble, and have cumulatively wasted much time listening to things I don’t quite want to listen to to get certain artist scrobbles up and cover others. (Though I swear swear swear that my love for Bjork, Titus Andronicus, and Neutral Milk Hotel is genuine — not a ploy.) I go through all of this because people judge by taste. And I begrudgingly admit that people’s judgments do matter to me. Not everybody, but people who I want to impress/people who I respect and want to be respected by. Oh yeah, ha. Who doesn’t like to push that “Fuck All Y’all I Do What I Want All Day” streak as part of their image — along with their Cool Taste? That is one of a few precious things besides weed that unites slinging gangbangers with preppy college students. You really don’t give a fuck? Come talk to me. I’ll look you in the eye and call bullshit. Perhaps it’s actually biologically possible to not give a fuck, but I think statistics and probability would be on my side.


People say what they’re not.


The more I learn about people, the more I chuckle. We should be homo hypocriticus and not homo sapiens. Yeah — I guess this sounds negative and cynical. But you know what? This is who we are. I make this declaration in my admitted youth and inexperience. But prove me wrong, elders. Our hypocrisy is truth, and in my opinion, the sooner society at large can embrace that fact and not just grumble about it, the better.

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