Have you ever wondered if this world is a story of somebody else, and you exist only as a background decoration? Someone, who would not even appear in a focus, while main characters are chatting about their forbidden love in a diner across the street. This idea is so scary that we would rather be afraid of any mass hysteria, manufactured by the news, whether it’s the latest trendy virus, or even a terrorist attack. This idea is scary enough for us, in addition to the mass hysteria manufactured by the news, such as the latest trendy virus, or even a terrorist attack. Even if we are not the lead singer, we’re at least in the band, right? Or better yet, what if this whole thing is nothing but a dream of yours? Seems like a responsibility that just might be too much to handle, since everything about that dream is just your fault. From a painful insignificance to unbearable duty, there is something that is pretty hard to figure out. Likely for me, I can ease this pain by looking at those who I cannot imagine to be a part of any of those two scenarios.   

Unfortunately for an arrogant snob like me, mainstream “surface” of our culture is running on a self-acceptance engine. The one that has little to know efficiency, but feels stable in its lack of movement. No one is to be ashamed, no one is to be offended, no one is to be improved. Taylor Swift is riding on her sick bit, claiming to have zero pain towards ridiculous opinions of others. One hit wonder is asking me not to put the blame on him for viewing himself as a messiah, cause he is “only a human after all,” but apparently, taking the blame is not viewed as a demonstration of lacking “inhuman” delusions. “I am not perfect” is as far as Vevo Top 50 is willing to go in its self-analysis. However, self is by far the main point of this collective show. This focus on self, combined with lack of inner exploration, destroyed inner and outer worlds till the eye of the storm, which happened to be the set of least important things in life, being the trades of a meat bag called “human.” Skin color, dresses, jesters, name-calling, gender and sexual orientation remained, while everything else turned into ashes. Who’s to blame, you may ask? Well, the short answer is you. The long one, however, is you, me, everybody and nobody, so let’s try to find something in between.

Message of self-acceptance became strong with the arrival of the socially aware hip-hop, punk and industrial. Those, who had bad thoughts, dark past and anger towards lies, were screaming on the top of their lungs for us to expect no apologies. Answers to conservative laws, views and lifestyle were developed in hungry stomachs filled with illegal substances, written on dirty hands with stolen markers. Rage against the machine was strong enough to affix eyes with nine-inch nails to any antichrist superstar in wait for the burning Bush. People wanted to stand for individuality that was threatened by something bigger, but somehow less significant than them. This product, due to its significance, left a trend that pop culture was digesting ever since. Not only modern pop charts are still fed by rappers, but even pop songs decided to fuse themselves with hip-hop in every turn. With a trend came all the image skills that famous rappers had. However, what works nicely on Eminem will look ridiculous and forced on Katy Perry, no matter how many flowers are attached to it. Slowly the message of Unity and Equality transformed in desire of Sameness and Control. Horrible character trades morphed from something that one should accept and control, to something that the whole world just needs to deal with, while still providing one with support. The reason for that support was replaced from Suffer to Identity. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words would never hurt me,” and “if life gives you lemons – make lemonade,” disappeared from the minds and tongues. Unfortunately, screams of pain became so attractive, that they were taken by those who just don’t want to fight.  

Some people might start to view themselves as a small part of a bigger organism. Some might even think that the whole world is nothing but their dream. Some go outside, some prefer to stay inside. One thing is clear: you’re pointless if you’re standing in a doorway.

Illustrations by Stanislav Press

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