Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"This is me, expressing myself."

Taking this outside the work uniform context: How do you express yourself? Is your chosen medium so tied to mass culture that all unique content is lacking and you're actually indistinguishable from your fellows? But how effective is it to express one's self outside such modes? Doesn't their expressive ability in some measure depend on having sufficient recognition in the outside world to get your point across to others? Pretty much any garment, book, or song that isn't made by local artisans, a small press, or Your Favorite Band Before They Sold Out is to some degree part of mass culture, and at minimum it's informed by it or follows in a mass-culture tradition or genre.

There's certainly a middle ground between someone who makes all their own music, garments, and literature and someone whose entire life revolves around brands, modern tribal insignia, and commonplace totems, making them walking billboards for shallow slogans and cliched jokes. You know, the ground where people actually live, where they put together assemblages of found objects and adopted badges of belonging and things they make up on their own and use them to convey a sense of identity and character to their fellows.
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