For years I railed against "the mainstream", blaming it for all the world's ills, and firmly believing that fragmenting it into a network of overlapping subcultures would allow us to solve those ills. Thanks to mass adoption of the net and the effects of digital convergence, that fragmentation pretty much happened. But the world's major challenges seem as intractable as ever. What now?
Now it's even a struggle to hold subcultures together and I'm starting to miss having a "mainstream" to define myself in opposition to. I guess thoughts like these are typical of aging rebels facing middle age. Most of my contemporaries long ago laid down their rhetorical weapons and started learning to 'fit in'. The remainder are either aging cranks or surviving in one subcultural niche or another while they last. But I can't help thinking, are these really my only options?
@strypey this got me thinking as someone in a similar position. I wonder if the problem is that the world seems so complicated now? It’s hard to focus on anything with so many problems from all directions. The mainstream, or elite, or ‘authority’ have done a great job of muddying the waters with whataboutism and playing subcultures off against each other.
As someone who is likely a fair bit older than you and has also lived on the fringes of the mainstream for decades, I long ago realised that "resistance is futile".
However, unlike some of my contemporaries, I found that I couldn't just "suck it up" and get with the program.
> I long ago realised that "resistance is futile" ... I found that I couldn't just "suck it up" and get with the program.
This is exactly the bind I find myself in. It seems like I was mostly on point about the problems with business-as-usual, but none of the alternatives seem to have legs. This could be a self-limiting belief borne of cynicism, which is why I posted the OP; to see how others in the 'verse have navigated similar crises of meaning.
I'll be gathering my thoughts about this and I hope to write a post (blog) how I managed to transcend all the nonsense - at least for the most part.
@strypey I think the internet made certain cultures survive for too long. I don't think certain thoughts would stand the test of time pre-internet. While this may allowed for more free discourse, low-quality ideas can also proliferate, poisoning the environment. Too much compromise and too much niche are both races to the bottom, so take a piece of each to the heart's content is what I'd do.
@strypey My hunch is it was never the mainstream that was the problem.
It was the relatively small number of people who have most of the political & economic power.
They figured out how to market to smaller subgroups so don't need to put effort into maintaining a mass culture.
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