Posts Tagged ‘common experience’
…is it possible that it IS more than a Mary J. Blige song?
Al Giordano at the Huffington Post discusses the “individual as country” effect that has been going on in America:
“Not only were Americans still being divided and economically segregated as white against black against brown against red against yellow, but by far more trivial lines of division: Apple vs. PC users, vegans vs. meat eaters, or dog owners vs. cat owners, or, concretely and absurdly back in my home town: dog owners versus young parents are at Civil War already in some neighborhoods when it comes to policies of determining the use of public parks and playgrounds in New York City.”
In an “OMG” moment, I realize that he just phrased something that has been binging around in my sleep-deprived brain as an “almost blog post” for months. (More eloquently than I ever could, of course.) Is this true? Have we really been digging ourselves into holes of solitude, building walls out of almost anything that we can scrape together – iPods stuffed in ears, refusing to hear…cell phones and Blackberries as blinkers…laptops preventing our hands from reaching out to one another? Instead of using technological resources to bridge gaps, are we creating new ones?
My original idea on the subject was how bringing an iPod to a party can be construed as a social faux pas, a millenial kitschy-koo piece on how demanding a playlist be heard by a host who wants to set a particular tenor at a gathering is rude. A fluff piece. Somewhere in there I had thought about lamenting that the loss of mainstream radio stations has precluded us from a common experience.
Common experience – bingo, a precipitate! Giordano’s piece caused this idea to crystallize and fall out of the cutesy technology solute. Giordano, the politico, states that one of the reason for the Obama campaign’s success is that the candidate himself stands by the “no drama” meme, demanding that those involved remember that the campaign is not about them.
Naturally, I will not dispute such wisdom, though I wasn’t thinking politically.
It’s NOT about you. It’s about US.
We need a common experience, even if it’s not immediately recognizable, or on an altruistic level. It’s not being able to recite the rest of an advertising jingle (thanks to TiVo,) it’s not knowing the words to the #1 song according to Billboard (thanks to iTunes.) I can’t even argue for the internet or many of its watering holes (Facebook/MySpace.) It’s something much more intangible than a definition of patriotism, or of Christianity.
This is the part where one might expect the Hallmark moment, where you read the words, “What it IS…” followed by a platitude of some sort. Problem is, I wouldn’t dare finish such a sentence. As much as I think that we need one, I haven’t a clue as to “what it is.”