Jack Kerouac, as Sal Paradise once said: "I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion." And I think that's a rather apt description of my blog over the years, and perhaps the most perfect description of me in general that I've ever read. So that's what this blog is, a collection of the falling stars that are beckoning me at any time.

01 April 2008

if you don't have a solution just complain about everyone else

Back when I was a senior in high school and freshman in college I was really into ska. I remember moving to Boston for my first year at Emerson and just being really excited about the scene and discovering new music from other people who were into what I liked, instead of the usual situation where I was the one who took all the chances on buying random cassettes and recommending the good ones to friends. It was one of the very first music sub-cultures that I was in, mainly because where I lived before there wasn't a big variety of sub-cultures to get into and where there were people were overly obsessed with whether you fit the image of what they thought their rebellious group should look like (still a problem in that particular small city, where I'm once again living.) About a year later disaster struck; ska got trendy in the mainstream. All of a sudden there were tons of bands on the radio with that ska sound, some good, some pretty shite. Usenet got cluttered with newbies, and worst of all, people in the scene turned into raging, elitist assholes. Every post, every discussion turned into an obnoxious debate about whether or not a bands members had been appropriately introduced to ska through earphones being placed against their mother's womb, everyone who had a song on th radio was a sellout, everyone who was newly introduced to ska was a poser. The scene imploded. After that experience I refused to ever get involved with a scene, which in retrospect probably made it a lot harder for me to make friends because I stayed out of discussions and kept to myself at concerts.

The reason I bring this up is earlier today I was killing time reading a blog. It was a home and design blog dedicated to green concerns (which have certainly become trendy in the mainstream, almost to the point of overkill at least for me) and I was actually inspired to, well rant, about the same BS holier than thou negative attitude that ruined the ska culture in the mid 90s that I found in some of the comments. People bitching because the blog posted about consumer products that the commenters belittled as "plastic crap"; completely unhelpful condescending suggestions; and I'm clearly greener than you why don't you make the same effort I do sorts of crap. It really pissed me off for some reason. Well,actually, I know the reason. It irritated me because I think this particular blog is a place that people who are first starting to get interested in living more sustainably and trying to find products that have less environmental impact that the ones they're currently using and I think that nasty and negative attitude is only going to be off-putting to not only those people, but a lot of people who read blogs for a positive community and good ideas. It pisses me off because, well what's the point in it? If you feel like a new washroom air freshner from a company with green points is an un-necessary energy wasting piece of plastic consumer crap, then what good have you really done anyone by calling it that and admonishing people for not opening their bathroom windows? Did anyone learn what they can do instead that would be effective, but not involve energy waste or plastic or buying new stuff? (especially if they happen to be like me or most of the people I know who rent apartments and do not, in fact, have a bathroom window.) I think it's so lazy to post nothing but complaining and negativity without offering solutions for how the thing you have such a problem with can be made better. I bring up the ska scene, because I've noticed that most of this negativity I've only seen since green became the new big consumer trend and there are suddenly a lot more communities focusing on it and a lot more quasi-green consumer products popping up, leading me to think that it's a related syndrome. The help-the-thing-I-care-about-is-over-run-with-posers-who-think-it's-just-about-the-fashion syndrome.

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