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  • Writer's pictureCynical Candor

A Theory and a Criticism of a Generation of Non-Conformists

This may seem a little redundant, but at the present time, I feel it necessary to address what may be to some, a culture that lacks refinement, yet propagates the past in an attempt to mimic or yield former art or style as sophistication. Did that thesis statement-esque lead not entice you? Read some fucking scholarly articles. 

...Because we all love Bowie and listen to vinyl records. I know, we're not addicted to anything, but yeah, we've tried a few things... except pot. We smoke a lot of pot, and maybe cigarettes, but maybe not, or maybe too much. And we all play guitar covers of our favorite bands from middle school, or at least know someone who does. And we read Salinger and James, but Henry, not E. L. 

We walk in the park and go to preservations, yet binge-watch television series on Netflix because there's nothing on regular cable t.v. We post photos of our puppies and kitties and American flags and sushi. We want to be real American guys and gals, so we pound $2, 16-ounce cans of PBR, and we don't love IPAs, but if you're cute and 25 and wearing black-rimmed glasses, sure, we'll take one. We’ll just have to add a couple of extra reps at the gym tomorrow—for gains.

We idolize Lana Del Rey, dreadlocks and not identifying with a political party. Gen-X thinks we’re lazy and non-committal; passive; uneducated; unaware. Blasé blah, Gen-X. We learned from them that when the going gets tough, give up. The whole lot of them? Divorced.

We’re active online about issues like Ferguson, but if a meme of a dress pops-up on Twitter, it's all we'll talk about for the weekend. Then it’s, "that Michael Brown case is still a thing?” 

"Oh, there's a picture of Chris Pratt. I love him, he seems so down to earth. Didn't his show just end?”

“Emma Watson can’t act like she knows anything about inner beauty, she’s fucking gorgeous on the outside! What a crock of shit."

It’s an endless ADD feed that we've conceived. It’s all our own creation, but it controls us. 

And bouncing from one timely topic to the next, we still find ourselves hung up on that thing we said when we were drunk, or the look that girl just gave us, or our empty bank accounts, or the things we cannot change. We’re awake all night, whether it be dwelling or drinking, and asleep until 2, and we wanna drink again tonight but we're broke, but we'll see you at the bar anyway, after Taco Bell and a nap.

This is our lifestyle. We’re not original, but we believe ourselves to be. We romanticize the idiosyncratic, that at one time people found shocking, or taboo. We reinvent things that shouldn’t be imitated; they were better left untouched. We venerate the different, the eldritch, in the name of aestheticism. And I cannot ascertain if this is good or not.

Have we twisted history’s Greats to fit our own societal mores' desires, or can we simply not come up with anything unique on our own, because we’re too distracted consuming all of this media, all of the time? To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been, they say… But if we’re redoing what’s already been done, we can’t go anywhere.

We’re all trying to figure out who we are and what we want. And I know who I am. I am a refinement snob. I am better than the pop culture standard set by Justin Bieber and "Twilight." I listen to real artists, like Sinatra and Led Zeppelin. I love the "Three Stooges" and the original "Twilight Zone." But I am not too good for HBO or Lady Gaga. See the contradiction I deny? Enough Taylor Swift, I want more Lorde! These examples have less to do with taste, and more to do with criterion I’ve established.

I know who I am, because I hate that person, and I wish for the life of me I wasn’t that person. She is the least original who claims to be a non-conformist. I am the pauper pretending to be a prince. I too wish for the life of me I had an effective conclusion to my thesis. Yet, in the interest of representing my generations’ value of the avant-garde, I choose to quote the infamous Cary Grant; “Ah, beware of snobbery; it is the unwelcome recognition of one’s own past failings.”

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