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juxtapozation

December 20, 2007

Subcultures, countercultures, and whatever you want to call a group that is just outside the norm exist. And they’re completely for sale. $4.95 allows you to buy it monthly. While I am reading Juxtapoz the thing that struck me is that they’re actually doing this. Street art, tattoo art, guerilla art, and the cultures surrounding them now have corporate sponsorship. I suppose it’s something I always realized but tried to ignore. You can’t possibly be telling other people things that interest me that you can’t (or couldn’t) find easily are cool.

Maybe the problem is me. Maybe I just don’t fit into one category so much more than others that I can just go with the flow, never questioning, never analyzing, never thinking about it. The word sellout comes to mind, but what is that exactly? Is that when a band gets a record deal and actually makes money? Is it when Cross Colours hit Kmart (talk about dating myself)? Is it when Hot Topic started selling Hello Kitty, Rob Zombie lunchboxes, and reprints of old band tshirts? I hear sellout tossed around all the time, almost on par with emo, and rarely does the person spewing it forth seem to truly know what they’re saying.

I think deep inside it’s within me to be an artist, for the sake of art. To be a musician, for the sake of being a musician. To create. To be a part of a movement bigger than myself. But after reading one issue of Juxtapoz (don’t get me wrong I like the magazine, it just got me asking questions) and seeing how much ‘art and culture’ is being sold to me in an ad (for Christ’s sake, Nike has a skate video from THEIR OWN SKATEBOARDING TEAM) I’m kind of sickened. Itbegs the question of coincidence, as well. Is the culture being sold to the masses, or have the masses latched on enough to warrant the magazine ads?

I’m not cool. I’m not hip. I don’t really follow trends if I can help it. I just do what feels like it fits me. While all the skull and snake tattoos are pretty, the vector art breathtaking at times, and the music makes me feel something I don’t want to think I like it because somebody told me it was cool then tagged a price on it all. This is all a little more anticorporation than you’re used to seeing here, and it’s really not that. I suppose I’m angry about it.

Or maybe I’m just jealous because I didn’t think of it first.

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