Thursday, 13 August 2009

Authenticity / Snobbery

Somebody called me a ‘socialist snob’ the other day. They meant it in jest but there was more than a grain in truth in what they said.

I’m certainly not a snob in the conventional social sense but I will confess to being something of an intellectual snob about ignorance, or more precisely Ignorance. Not just the absence of knowledge but rather the wearing of it as a badge of pride and all the small mindedness and bigotry that goes with it – it’s to be found in all classes.

It could be said that I’m a snob in all my ‘ex-curricula’ interests too. I'd prefer to think of it as a desire for the authentic but it offends me if something that I’m passionate about becomes sold-out - devalued or degraded and ‘popularised’ for commercial reasons. I should know that under capitalism nothing is sacred if a quick buck can be made out of people’s shallowness and their need for cool validated.

So, I get pissed off at McDojos in the martial arts. I get pissed off at the strictly weekends-only RUBsin the bike scene. And I get pissed off that tattoos have become a must-have fashion accessory for certain media-types. Here in Soho now the coffee bars are full of them – guys and girls on fixed wheel push-bikes with ‘ironic geek’ haircuts, messenger bags and Macbooks – they all claim to be some sort of up-and-coming creative but nobody is sure what the fuck they actually do for a living. And they are sporting full sleeve tattoos and the latest craze - neck tattoos. Tossers.

This particular rant was prompted by me finding the blog of Shanghai-Kate one of the original pioneers of the tattooing revival that sets the record straight on ‘Tattoo culture’ as a fashion statement – and the Ed Hardy t-shirts and the Sailor Jerry Rum.

My distaste for disposable pop has also got me called a 'musical fascist' but I'll leave that one for now ...

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