Saturday, February 05, 2005

Meaningful Meanderings

Please pardon this tedious additional alliteration. Sundry sage postings perhaps require rhetorical restraint while writing.

Sorry about that. Well, not really. Having fun is a part and parcel of life. Doing what you enjoy is the key to this happiness. Happiness should not be measured by money, success or even hits to your blog, but should be measured by your ability to do the things you like to do. Many actors enjoy acting until they distort their love of the craft for the acclaim of the audience. Many writers and bloggers pervert their desire to share insight or thoughts with the quantity of those who read their writings. In this insidious process, their own opinions are morphed and molded into what they believe are more publicly consumable material. You will not find such morphing here. What you read here has very limited appeal. Some find this blog fascinating, some repellent. Some find it fascinatingly repellent. Many of the postings may seem incomprehensible. That's to be expected. This world is filled with a diverse spectra of human intellect and development.

If you are younger your interests likely gravitate towards hormonal and socially cued fields. It is almost mandatory for sex, romance and the human desire to be liked and accepted to predominate the interests of folks between the ages of 13 to around 28. In this quest for acceptance and the urge to procreate, billions of folks around the world will emulate others. This emulation takes many forms. They will emulate the styles of clothes others wear. The music they listen to will likely come from external cues. The very phrases they use to communicate will come from television, movies and now, the internet.

In the old days they sought out "role models" for youth. It was well known that youth is more imitative and so those who felt the impulse to better society tried to isolate and put forth proper individuals to emulate. History has seen the emulation of writers, thinkers, soldiers, statesmen and people of considerable talent. In the era of motion pictures and mass communication, anyone receiving a high quantity of exposure became the object of youth emulation. Movie actors became "movie stars." Radio and then television introduced the youth of the world to new objects. Sadly, this illustrated to observant folks that many were not emulating folks because of their superior abilities, but were, instead, really just emulating whatever was visible. When young girls emulate some pop figure such as Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne or the Spice Girls they do not emulate excellence they simply mimic that which is put forth.

Corporations around the world understand this. You can bring forth a big pile of stinking manure and make a TV show about it or turn it into an advertisement and there will be a simple percentage that tune in faithfully simply because it has been put in front of them. Yes, a cartoon character based upon manure would sell when given proper bulk exposure. Even this fascinatingly repellent blog finds a marketplace. Some read it because it is there. Others read it because they are non-conformists. It is likely only a small (though I hope not) percentage read it because they are interested in what I have to say. Blog traffic is mostly just looky-loos following the flow of blog traffic patterns at any given time.

The popularity of home-pages such as MSN or Yahoo, which present and guide folks to predetermined and commercial interests, is mute testimony to the somewhat sheepish nature of humanity. The internet has primarily been used to exploit human patterns and insecurities, just as films, television and radio have done before it.

Here's a news-flash. There is no such thing as "popular" culture, there is only mass exposure and mass emulation. Think about it a bit. Even the blog-world, where original thought has potential expression, is mostly imitative and repeats sentiments endlessly like a room full of echoes. I could point out countless such blogs where the content is regurgitated in one form or another. Original thought and content is less common among mainstream blogs. It is found more often in personal journal type blogs, not surprisingly, these are often the least trafficked.

Older folks are less imitative, though most have been already shaped by their youth when they were more emulative. It's human nature. It's also quite scientific. We absorb the signals from that which we are exposed to and sympathetic signals will be regenerated to some degree. Our pasts and the data we already have absorbed will determine that which we focus our attention upon.

Emerson said it more succinctly, "Imitation is suicide."

Naturally, I had to end this entry and show that we all imitate to a certain degree. The key is to filter and limit that emulation as much as possible.



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