Perception is a weird and wonderful thing. I've heard it said "We create our own realities" - don't know who originally threw the idea out there, but it's true. Two people laying on their backs in a park, watching the clouds drift over can both look at the same cloud and each see something completely different. Or they could see the same thing. Likewise, two people walk into a furniture store and look at the same couch. They could both think that the couch is aesthetically pleasing, stylish, luxurious and comfortable. On the other hand, one could think that, while the other thinks the couch is big, cumbersome, poorly made and pretty damned ugly.
Generally, no 2 people perceive things the same way. We all have numerous sources that we draw upon when making a perception - experience, situation, knowledge, peers. Some of these influences will be stronger than others and will draw our perception more to their slant. This is common knowledge - anyone who has done basic psychology or attended some bullshit feel-good workplace group bonding session knows this. Unfortunately, so does the media and the corporations.
The media knows they cannot make everyone perceive things the same way, but damn it can plant the seeds and hope like hell they take root. Fashion is probably the easiest example to dissect (I could choose another, but it's 23:15 here and a workday tomorrow). The best way to make a "new" style become fashionable is to bombard the all-consuming public with images of their idols flaunting the new look. But it can't be blatant any more, it has to be subtle - the idol can't be saying "Hey, how cool do I look in these new jeans?", the idol just has walk around in them without paying them too much attention. So celebrities get paid to wear clothes when they're doing nothing in particular. Television and movie producers get a free wardrobe for their current piece of drivel. Retain chains buy up massive quantities to the point where 80% of their stock is the "new" style, removing any last chance of choice the consumer may have. And the gullible fall for it every time.
Exhibit A - these fuckin ugly guys tee shirts with random crap written/stitched all over them. Not one of my mates thinks these tops look good yet the shops are full of them. It is nigh near impossible to buy a tee shirt or polo shirt that is not covered in random shit. And it has no meaning to the consumer. I live in Australia, yet I can buy tee shirts that have "Ohio 61" written on it for the basement bargain price of $59.95. I have never been to Ohio, I know no-one who lives in Ohio and I have no affinity with the number 61, so why would I a buy a tee shirt with "Ohio 61" written on it??? And why the fuck would I fork over $60 for the ugly, meaningless thing that was probably made in Taiwan for less than $1.50???? Oh, that's right, because some fuckwit actor was wearing a top like it at some random social function that was shown on the so-called nightly news. For fuck's sake, how much meaningless bullshit do we need shoved in our faces and down our throats???
That's how I perceive those tee shirts anyway. Some out there may think they are great, stylish and worth their weight in gold. Good for you.
Give me a cloud any day - clouds are simple, free and no-one has to point out how nice they are for me to enjoy them.
Songs played while writing this entry:
"Beds Are Burning" Midnight Oil
"Caught Stealing" Jane's Addiction
"On My Mind" Powderfinger
"Madagascar (Ferry Corsten remix)" Art of Trance
"Don't Go Now" Ratcat
"Coded Language" DJ Krust feat Saul Williams
"Zebra" John Butler Trio