Monday, March 10, 2008

Taste and Understanding

Most people assume
  good taste is both cultivated and inborn. The precise mixture of the two is not ascribed a formulaic measure and so any thought of the matter becomes unsettling. The insecurity springs an anxiety: Do I really have any.

The fear is hidden away, eased at times  by acts of consensus. It's an assumption that leads to the worst forms of elitism. Self assertive personalities usually backed by  economic cache exploit the doubt, ruthlessly when need be. Cliques form based on nebulous criteria while outsiders are left to look on enviously. The haves and have nots separated by a familiar gulf. 

But how much of the in crowd conviction is posture and the echo of received marketing messages from a well oiled machine. Are hipsters authentic or zombies parroting one or more of the forms of copy they've heard. It's an interesting question because it's wrapped in the meaning of freedom. Does it exist or are we all driven by the subliminal messages that hang in the ether of 21st century life. Hari Kunzru deals with this subject in a story Raja, Bohemian in this month's New Yorker.

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