Desperately Seeking a Shepherd
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. – Haruki Murakami
Maybe Murakami’s quote applies to everything. Perhaps I’ll out myself as a hopeless snob. If I lose a few readers or start a debate, GREAT. I’m typing what I have to say, because I can’t sit on it any longer.
I am sick of the simpering sameness that permeates all creative forms today. From the same few music acts whose auto-tuned voices are beamed at me everywhere I turn/click/read to our dismal summer movie offerings to ‘must read’ book lists that are all composed of the same PR’d-to-death tomes, I am an isolated, dejected weirdo who must not like anything popular or socially accepted.
What bothers me about this isn’t that social media seems to have turned our entire society into a herd of sheep, or that I feel like I have been sent on an endless trip back to high school where nobody ever graduates, grows up or evolves. No. I can deal with those things.
It bothers me to see myself becoming what I despise.
“I’m not going to see that exhibit, because I won’t like it. I mean, come ON.”
“This book? It just looks like something that’ll be a waste of time. Don’t ask me how. I just know.”
“That guy wants to be my Facebook friend? Didn’t he crank call me in 11th grade, say he had 10 inches he wanted to slide in and hang up? What a loser.”
“Well, if everybody’s seeing the latest comic-book-come-to-life movie, I guess I should watch it on my flight instead of this art film.”
Pride. Pride. Pride.
I’ve always been proud of how willing I am to experience things, even when I don’t always know how to categorize them. Especially when I think I may not like them. I am dismayed to see pieces of myself being absorbed by the ravenous cancer that is SAME. Bits of my brain are dissolving into the ocean of popularity. Every wave drowns my own ability to create. My Creative Tank is clogged with stale plot lines set to recycled tunes.
This week, my series will be about what I’ve done to challenge my own thinking, a desperate grab to fill my Creative Tank.
What do you do when you catch yourself becoming one of the crowd, Dear Reader?