So my band reveres Blink-182 and Weezer. Being a trio, this leaves me, the note-less Dominican drummer, out of their pop-punk universe. They insist on playing Blink-182 songs, and when I tell them I don't know it, their faces melt into an unvocalized question:
"HOW DO YOU NOT LIKE THIS?!?!?!"
During these moments I yell "I DON'T LIKE YOUR TRITE POP SHIT" I sit there and give a mute response to their disembodied question. Why DON'T I like them? What specifically compels them to respond to Blink and Weezer in a way I don't understand?
Playing detective, there's only one dramatic difference between them and I.
Our teenage environment.
Our bassist moved during the last few months of high school, to find himself knee-deep in reggaeton knockoffs who thought he was a faggot; something that startled him. That's because who he was and what he enjoyed was once in symmetry with his environment.
As for our guitarist, well, Bloomfield, NJ is where the white trash congregate to mutter green about their upper class Montclair neighbors and say the word "coffee" like an "a" "w" gangraped the "o".
Let's tawk abouwt Lindah over some Vehginiah Slims 120s and a lahtay, sweeahrt.
So he was in his comfort zone too.
My sub-culture experience wasn't quite so arms open. Newark, NJ is the epitome of every African-American/Hispanic stereotype. It's laden with rap/hip-hop influence, hood rats, and rampant fucking.
Rampant fucking is a decent super.
It was taboo to go against that.
As a result, the few of us in my high school who did embrace rock music found ourselves in bed with obscurity. Why? Because the further we moved in towards our persecuted love for rock, the further away we moved from the cunts that hated us. We wanted nothing to do with a mainstream that didn't want us around. Some of us loved death metal, some of us adored indie rock, but all of us were underground as shit.
So we formed our rock niches and crept inside. To my recollection, I cannot remember any pop-punk band like that being revered by any circle in my high school.
This is in stark contrast to my fellow bandmates. There were no angry minorities yelling at them about their music preference.
In fact, that's what was cool to like.
They didn't have to dig deep like we did, 'cause their world was content with one another. And so, their planets revolved around the unified joy that was Blink-182.
So therein lies the difference; us Newark kids enjoy our source of music with a strong sense of "Fuck you". It's not merely love with us; it's also a need to protest the world that hated us for it. It's too close to the surface of the fucks we fought against, and their lyrics express a cultural harmony that we've never fathomed, let alone experienced.
And that's why every time our bassist spins that "Carousel" bassline, my body reacts like a cancer's infiltrated it's vessels. It just doesn't speak to me as it does to them. It's too popular. And popular has never treated me well.
Not that this is actually popular.
I think I'd prefer it this way, however. Even if it means Newark has left me with a permanent and sometimes unnecessary struggle against the mainstream, it's instilled some punk in me. I've learn to respect people's preferences and not to piss on their happy parade. But what's wrong with being a little rebellious?
After realizing that, okay, I was kind of a dick to the Blogger-world, I took a different approach.
Shutting the hell up?
I looked at the situation and still felt something was fundamentally wrong, so I moved the pointed finger at the system, and not its subjects: the BoN nominators themselves.
There is no written criteria for BoN glory. The blogs are scoured by whatever dweeb in the enigmatic Blogger HQ deems noteworthy when they hop links that day. This means the spotlight is cast seemingly at random.
Please welcome our new lighting operator.
Or is it?
When you sift through the BoN page and glance at the nominees, there are existing patterns. They are so consistent, in fact, that they do imply ways to please our Blogger lords.
And then God said, "Let there be small hobbies and material interests."
I will make an effort to demonstrate this:
Pictures of doors and shit!
Wow crochet and shit!
Actually, I quite admire this. But let's move on.
Fancy food and shit!
Like my blouse? I brought it from shitsy!
Hey here's a picture I turned black and white! Aren't I artsy? And shit?
I guess I just wish Blogger would bother to give more credence to writers and less to what amounts to Internet scrapbooking. Not (just) because writing is of greater value, but because, seriously, that's all the BoN appears to reward thus far. A blog should succeed on the quality of its writing, not the quantity of its pictures.
I'll pull the curtains up for a bit; in the blog "P.S.", I was perfectly aware of 3 gaping chasms in my argument against the presumed girly-girl content Blogger is filled with:
1. Really, a lot of Blogger is filled with decent content of just the subject matter I so deemed honorable.
2. My request would heavily marginalize the diversity in Blogger's content.
3. It's hypocritical of me, as someone who's heavily into being yourself absolutely, to ask someone not to post the content they so feel like posting.
Despite this, I still posted the blog. Why? 'Cause people pissed me off. Because it pains me to see people be so simple. This is also why that, despite posting the first three, the only blog that deeply annoyed me was the "TV" blog; the others have creative merit, and perhaps driven by some sort of venerable passion. But to solely recap the event of a glowing box as your entire blog epitomizes my disdain for America's culture in general.
But this is a whole other blog for an entirely different day.
So clearly, I'm capable of great love, and fierce hatred. And I play both cards well.
The beauty in this, however, is how I don't believe this is so dissimilar from anyone else. We as people have chosen to isolate ourselves in a universe revolving solely around us. This leaves little room for deep introspection into the understanding of others. As a result, we end up more or less greying who we are; giving ourselves a little of every quality/character trait, even if we don't truly own them.
Even though I'm assuming, I'm pretty certain that everyone else has/does practice the duality of great love/fierce hatred in some form. That these two foils co-exist with us day-to-day, and is not a unique feature of anyone's.
It is this lack of awareness that causes us to grow insolent and, ultimately, a little lonely. And this is also why it is not kindness necessarily that we admire, but the courage it takes to be kind.
In the midst of all this gift-wrapping, I've lost the pretty bow to tie it together. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that it does. "Be nice, don't assume, and don't be a douche" maybe? Yeah. Let's go with that.
There are no presumptions made, no inferences drawn; a blank slate. Or tabula rasa, if you wanna get pretentious, though I'm probably already there.
I stare at them directly, eyes empty, waiting to be filled by their personality.
Admittedly, I draw judgment after the initial impression. But I provide a decent filter of skepticism, giving room for the person to break any assumptions.
This is the blueprint to my system of first impressions.
While this is all meticulously crafted for optimal objectivity, what I'm unsure of is the incentive. Whether or not this is absolutely sincere, or if it's because of an underlying condition.
I think it's the latter.
I have an unyielding thirst for approval. I'm a predator of attention, endlessly hunting through a winding forest of philosophical and psychological thought. And people are the prey.
This implies manipulation, and I'm well aware I'm capable of that. However, I've never intentionally practiced it. And while I do seek approval, it is not without some reciprocation if/when I do receive it.
My kindness and willingness to connect is not entirely generated by my propensity for attention-whoring, however. There is some choice being practiced here.
Why? Simple. I sometimes find myself being greatly annoyed at the ignorance of others. I can craft a drink with care and precision, then make eye contact and gently exclaim a sincere "Thanks" and "Nice day". And yet some of them can't scrounge for a few words to reply. No, this isn't all of them, and perhaps not even the majority of them, but it's enough to ingratiate some tumorous hatred of them in my calculated way of being.
I've made the choice not to encourage this side. At least, not ultimately.
There is a hole here, though. It's possible my said "choice" in the matter is still subject to my psychological shortcoming; that, in conjunction with the rules of approval-seeking, the optimal route is to be consistently kind and upstanding.
But ironically, as you'll read tomorrow, I find myself bitching in a way that's not so golden.
Of course. How could I possibly garner the attention of a Blogger audience who's attention span is only as wide as the channels between Oxygen and the Food Network?
I spent my day doing the Konami code on my remote.
I suppose I can't argue; I am here, and the audience that dominates this space is what it is. I could get the hell off if I was really that displeased, but alas, I'd find myself with nothing to bitch about.
So I'll settle for this instead:
Dear Audience of Blogger (i.e. Every registered user on Etsy),
Please, stop being so generic. For the love of vintage clothing, broaden your goddamn horizons. No, this isn't a terribly conspicuous plea for your traffic.
But rather, that you not be so easily categorized. We as humans should press to make ourselves as distinguishable as possible. We should strive to utilize Blogger as unique and unadulterated form of social, philosophical, and psychological expression. Not into a chimera made of Vogue and whatever those shit little tabloids are with the weight loss advice. You know; the ones that are 6 inches preceding the Reese's and gum at a checkout lane?
Thirteen things I've never cared about.
And I know that, the lot of you being chicks, you're interested in chick things. But for once in my life, I'd like to see not just a girl, but anyone who's willing to break all of his/her stereotypical gender barriers and be more than their bestowed genitals.
Someone who clearly isn't an 18 year old white girl.
There is a common phenomena amongst scene kids that is rarely documented and yet widely experienced. It is the sudden sensation that rages when two members of similar sub-cultures cross eyes in a territory that they would otherwise be unique. This sensation has been coined "Indie Cognizance".
Let's have an obscure baby together.
This often occurs during public transportation; the perfect setting, as it forces every individual from a varied pool of neighborhoods to congregate in one place. Generally, a bus or train is tightly packed with average American citizens, who have made no considerable effort to aesthetically define themselves. There are many features indicative of this, but namely:
Clothing: - University/College sweater/hoodie. - Sweatpants. - New Balance sneakers. - Nike's most rejected set of running shoes. - Uggs (Now unisex).
My future child.
Hairstyle: - If female, forgettable ponytail. - If male, forgettable conglomerate of follicles.
Being a Billboard 101.
With this to provide a blurred background, features indicative of a flamboyant individual gleam quite easily. Indie cognizance, however, is not dependent upon any particular scene. It is merely dependent upon two people of the same (or nearly the same) scene to be within visual range of one another.
You are metal douchebag #346. Your hair can be a variety of unkempt styles, but today you've decided to swing it just barely over your eye. After all, you must avoid looking too emo.
You are wearing eyeliner, and happened to feel "As I Lay Dying" would look particularly fitting on your chest. Hot Topic has also adorned you with those ridiculous pants that Sora almost certainly wore from Kingdom Hearts 2. And your shoes are indiscernible as your dual-bodybags hang over said apparel.
You might've killed Xenmas, but Sephiroth's gonna take a few levels.
You are on your way to your local community college by bus, and you have begun boarding. As you take those melancholic steps towards "your place of hatred", you look left and find yourself paused.
There is a girl. She has eyeliner. And brides with black veils are yelling from her bosoms. She is distinctly androgynous, and her blue hair dye is abruptly birthed from her brunette roots. You feel a stir in your chest; one that compels you to relate with her.
However, you are a shy idiot, and instead sit several seats behind her so as to devour her with your eyes, because you cannot bring yourself to talk to her.
Or because she's black. Passive racism wins again.
The actualization of indie cognizance does not imply that the two subjects will interact. In fact, it almost definitively means they will not. Ultimately, there are two reasons.
1. Because it's crushingly nerve-wracking to talk to a stranger.
2. Because "Who the fuck is this bitch and what is she doing in YOUR indie territory????"
Despite this, indie cognizance undoubtedly forces one to stare like a potential school shooter, and disable your environmental awareness. This psychotic staring is caused by a mental tennis game involving your personal convictions, and the contradiction of them. This staring is generally marked by a distinct disappearance of the Passion Pit song that was playing in one's ears.
And everything is going to th............
Indie cognizance, as mentioned earlier, does not require two members to be of the "indie" scene. It is simply the most fitting term for anyone who does not blend in with their environment. This is because "indie" is short for "independent". You do not have to purchase pins from Etsy.com or amuse your fixie-fancy on Bike Snob NYC in order to be indie.
One could say I'm nonplussed about this misconception.
Furthermore, because the environment must contrast against the two IC subjects, indie cognizance is not possible in Starbucks, Hot Topic, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Last Night's Party, or the entire neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.
Summation and Personal Inquiry:
Indie cognizance is a powerful emotion that numbs the senses of even the most expressive scenester. It is mostly likely the offspring of a primal human urge; to connect with those of your kind.
Unfortunately, its thrilling rush is met with apt anticlimax as it creates an earthquake of awkward throughout one's body, its epicenter the tectonic shifting of being a try-hard and one's crippling self-doubt.
It is with this observation that I feel IC is less a mere emotion and more akin to a legendary sword; its power, so great, is both intimidating and irresistible. And with the proper wielding, is a great asset for revolution. Overcoming IC's inundating paralysis is an action I have yet seen, but my belief is that doing so could lead to great things.