Monday, May 17, 2010

With all due respect to Tyler Durden...

You are a beautiful and unique snowflake. While you may be made of 'the same decaying organic matter as everything else', the essence of who you are is markedly different than anyone else who has walked this planet. There is no other person, now or ever, who has embodied a person in the same way that you have. Such uniqueness provides a basis for the freedoms we all share and enjoy. Without uniqueness, there would be no basis for individualism.

I mention the name Tyler Durden with a point in mind; while I learned a great deal from the anti-materialistic views portrayed by his character, the struggle against popular culture and society, I take issue with his understanding of how best to live life. Clearly, the idea of a Project Mayhem is meant to be read as satire, but in many ways society tries to force this same one-ness and similarity. I do not want to wear cologne. I do not want to drive a Mercedes-Benz. I am perfectly content with the shampoo I currently use. I do not feel the need to look, smell, act, eat, think, talk and believe just as everyone else does. For college students, it is a North Face jacket and Nike shoes. For Tyler it was a shaved head and black t-shirts. This is not an option for me.

I was told recently that the marketing department of a large and important corporation in my hometown is overstaffed and in danger of trimming its headcount. Does a marketing department really need to be staffed by more than a handful of people? Certainly it is necessary to bring value to a firm, but I would expect less embracing of marketing campaigns by those with no financial interest in the company. Why does society condone the idea of marketing - the art of telling you what to think, to say and most importantly of all, to buy - and allow it to permeate every niche of our existence? If I am watching XYZ television network, not only am I barraged by fifteen minutes of commercials for every hour the television is on, but I am subliminally marketed to through the use of product placement and other means in the hopes of making me identify with the characters and wanting me to buy what they buy in a means to replicate the life I am seeing on television. Do I really want to dress like George Clooney, or smell like David Beckham? This is not an option for me.

The people I have been drawn to most in life are those people who have the least in common with those around them. The ones who stick out of the crowd, who can be seen from across a room tend to be those whose words have a lasting impact. The individuals who have most impacted the world generally do not look like what you see on television. Take note of this and consider what implications it may have. They are more numerous and more important than you may initially believe.

I prefer to pave my own way. My lack of designer jeans and overpriced shoes does not change who I am one iota. I am a beautiful and unique snowflake. No others are as I am. I aim to preserve this.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great reminder that we are not defined by what we look like or what we wear.