Thursday, March 27, 2008
Leaving the future behind to the beat of a different drummer
Innovation is seen by many to be individualistic and original, as if it were both daring and interesting. Take, for example, music from "new artists." Often it's marginal and meant only for the small group of friends the musicians might have in some circle of fashion that excludes the majority, willingly n both parts, one would guess. "The latest" is something few if any actually care for, putting anyone who indulges in a category of near uniqueness. It passes for hip. And when, in turn, something unique and daring is adopted by millions if not the vast majority as unique and daring, as revolutionary and moderne, it becomes the standard conformist rubbish the vanguard of the masses despise as old and worn, as anti-individualistic. Thus I find myself disgusted by the childish Conformity Hippies among us who rail at what they see as counter to their coolness: they rail against quality and authenticity per se in the mistaken belief that the "new" is too cool to be trifled with or dismissed as the same old same-old. Conformity Hippies just don't get it. The same crap in a new bottle is the same old crap,however noisy.
Thomas Sowell's name caused some recent time ago a book dealer to launch into frenzy of choking fury against "racist hate-mongering" when the book dealer was asked about Sowell's work. No, the book dealer didn't realize that Sowell is a Black man, and it wouldn't have mattered, Sowell likely being thought of by such a book dealer to be an Oreo anyway. Or so his friends would tell him, and he, being a hip and trendy guy would accept that anyone whose a "racist" is a racist. Or, as one girl said to us some years back: "My friends don't say that."
Ilan Pappe is coming to the Vancouver Public Library soon to discuss his dhimmitude in front of the limited public. How daring, he. He will stand before the eyes of the world and rehash the same old cliches and lies of the times in the full expectation of receiving accolades for his daring too. Yes, an Israeli will say vile things about Israel. Cool? There is no end to it. We, of course, being Rightwing religious bigots who will protest his presence, are, well, Rightwing religious bigots. Forget the facts, it's the words one say that count for cool.
These days in Canada we witness the unfolding if not the unraveling of the Human Rights Commissions in this benighted land as we find that the people in charge of said commissions have been running wild in the streets protecting victims from -- themselves, actually. (What pronoun reference?) No, there is no end to the parodic antics of the Social Gospel fanatic Christian/Gnostics who are too cool for the rest of us to truly understand. They are on the edge of some grand revelation, on the other side, as it turns out, beyond us, and aware, unlike those left behind. We who are uncool talk about them. We talk about Thomas Sowell as well. And yes we will this evening talk about the racist neo-Nazi hate-mongering reactionary and ya ya, Geert Wilders. We discuss such people and their ideas, ideas not new but old, and we do so openly in the hope of attracting others to join us in this discussion. We miss out on the latest bands, it's true, and we aren't the most fashionably attired, as someone mentioned to me recently at the second-hand store for the blind; but we have our various ways of being interesting nonetheless. We're interesting, that is, if you aren't one of those who is so locked into the reigning conformities of the time that you are one to shove a reader of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism out of your local Starbuck's.
We meet at Blenz coffee bar in the atrium at VPL each Thursday evening from 7-9 p.m. If you're not a blinkered Conformity Hippie so wrapped up in what your friends think that you have no ideas of your own, if indeed you have some concerns that perhaps your friends really don't know much beyond the latest news of the latest bands, come and join us. Retro? No, I have no interest in pretending to be from my father's generation, some uninformed imitator of the Beat Generation. I'm not that cool, having seen it all before and having been unimpressed by it when it really was new. If you care for open debate and free discussion unbound by the dictates of conventional conformity hippiedom, we await you.
For those of you who were lonely as you read this, allow me as a Canadian guy and a nice personoid to leave you with some reassurance that the world is still yours as you have always known it and that you don't have to go away feeling alienated: Death to Israel, Death to America, Stop Global Warming, Fair Play for Cuba and so on.
See you this evening.