Jtwaggy
Age

It was not until my 30’s that I understood my age. I don’t mean that philosophical construct of experience and temporal maturity- I mean that feeling of how old one actually is and what that means. For me, it was realizing those minor indicators of getting older: scars that don’t miraculously disappear; skin colors other than my natural tones; veins appearing where I really didn’t think they mattered before; nights out on the town that ruined the following day(s); and, most of all, the inevitable questioning of my life’s position and proper meaning.

People say the hands show signs of age first. My hands are odd. They have the appropriate number of scars from assorted activities, certainly. They are calloused from years practicing music- electric bass, to be exact. They are fairly soft, from a lifetime spent avoiding manual labor and the proper exertion of physical toil. They are small, insignificant members to me- not that I have any belittling opinion of them, simply that I ignore and neglect them on an almost ritualistic basis.

I don’t think I ever looked at myself until my 30’s either. Mirrors were a reference for my appearance or a medium for self-referential communication. One day, I looked in the mirror and saw the image of a person with whom I was not particularly familiar. A “lifetime” spent observing details about myself was not the same as trying to identify the individual looking back at me. Staring back at me was a stranger- not because I did not understand him, but because I understood him completely without engendering any proper intimacy. Having grown up in this skin, I never appreciated what that meant.

"Know thyself."

Who am I? What is it, exactly, I am looking at? And, more to the point, is that person looking back at me someone I really like?

I consider it well within my power to change certain aspects of myself- my demeanor, my dress, my social habits, and so forth- but can I really effect change of my own personage?

I grew up “mature for [my] age”. I associate well with my elders and older contemporaries. I hope that I contribute to their lives in some small way- they certainly contribute to mine. And, yet, suddenly, I feel my age. I do not associate myself with being “old”, but I feel the trials of the road so far. I have not emerged unscathed from my travels, but had not given them their proper dues until now.

For the first time in my life, I see some small glimpse of where I’m headed and it disturbs me. I am not unhappy with my path- more so, I am confused at what happens next.

Current mood. #hair

Current mood. #hair

Talk to Alice when she’s 10 ft tall… (at Alice In Wonderland (Central Park))

Talk to Alice when she’s 10 ft tall… (at Alice In Wonderland (Central Park))

Millenial

We were born into a world that everyone finally realized is broken. Our parents were part of a swell in domesticity that they found themselves unable to pass on to us. After centuries of slow-changing roles, Infinite Choice, cleverly painted as Opportunity, was gifted to an apathetic audience. The voices of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness were drowned out by screeching guitars, bustling factories, and distant wars felt so closely.

"You can change the world," we were told by a world that was too addled to change itself. Every tool, trick, method, and philosophical musing was placed at our disposal, and all we knew to do was stare at them, blankly. Our cynicism was deep-rooted in a fast-moving culture that changed its mantras almost as quickly as it changed its mind:
"Religion is a crutch and a cross to bear."
"Everyone is special and no one is."
"Do what you want but don’t do that."

Now, we are pinned in by torrents of texts, volumes of visuals, and a flurry of friends whose faces we can barely remember. We are so consumed by consuming that we don’t know what Creation is or what to do with it. In an instant, we can reach around the world to say nothing to the people we think need to hear it. Our words are not empty, they were robbed of meaning. Our thoughts are strong metal in the age of silicon.

And now, we spend our days searching for purpose and our nights seeking partners. We mindless swipe through the lives of strangers and friends, whose lives we give the same weight and meaning: little.

We forgot ourselves while trying to learn about each other. All of our marvels and wonders are worthless because we can’t possibly understand what they meant in the first place. Tragedy is temporary. Love is an illusionary fairy tale that plays out best on silver screens. Change, that mysterious Shiva, ruins and builds simultaneously as we cheer each terrifying incarnation of our own flesh as it rends our souls into small fragments.

And to this distemperate generation of stymied genius, we give the name: “Millenial”. We are the shrieking Harpies of our own Phineus; robbing ourselves of that which we cherish the most. Thoughtful drivel rains, from every tower and parapet, upon ears that are occupied with thoughtless profundity. We are, at once, Daedalus and Icarus, calling on Descartes to guide us to More’s golden light.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Robert A. Heinlein Time Enough For Love

Writing on the wall w/ @perrierusa last night for #streetartbyperrier great artists and wonderful presentation.

Perrier chandelier. #streetartbyperrier @perrierusa

Perrier chandelier. #streetartbyperrier @perrierusa

#StreetArtByPerrier

#StreetArtByPerrier

The Truth Is No Words

Of all the oddities modern communication could produce, one of the most profound is the ability to combine verbal and visual communication styles. Expression through sequences of both words and pictures, in most cases memes that combine multiple associations in one image, enables us to transmit inherent context to a broad-based audience. Now, listeners/viewers have a clearer understanding of meaning without necessarily knowing the intrinsic motivations or deep-seating causes behind any thought.

While this style typically feels “broken,” or at least grammatically improper, it carries far greater weight than either element on its own power. Additionally, flexible meaning now exists. Many images, especially those arising from pop culture, can be adapted to a number of situations and implications. This results in an expressive challenge to each recipient of each message: Do better. Modern culture is now not only challenged with creating new content, it is also tasked with finding new ways to make said content relevant across potentially innumerable contexts.

(L/R)oyalties

In the age of Social Media, wherein every brand has a voice and every person is their own brand, relationships are the golden thought. Brands develop specific presence in the social landscape in order to better connect with their target audiences. Individuals are strongly encouraged to ascribe to certain brand loyalties through guided brand interactions, both in real and digital life. The supreme irony of this landscape is that it actually decreases brand loyalty.

I am a dedicated brand enthusiast. I will stand by your label, if I believe in it, until you distance yourself from my core belief in your brand value. I learned long ago that brand loyalty has substantial rewards. I’m not looking for incentives to change loyalties- I am happy to pay my dues to stay a part of that associative image complex. By consistently supporting a brand, whether a particular bar, product, band, or website, I assimilate that image into my own brand identity.

I, personally, am a wretched snob, and do quite well maintaining that concept. Luxury brands and products are my stock-in-trade. Brand positioning is a language in which I am exceptionally fluent. This is an oddly reciprocal process: Brands with which I associate myself become associated with me on some level. This provides leverage for both parties on an inequitable but entirely functional level.

Those relationships are certainly not the most meaningful on a personal level; however, they do contribute something real to an otherwise artificial arrangement. I fervently believe in the positive benefits of these brand associations toward my lifestyle and my social standing. And brands know that I, as a loyal consumer, am happy to contribute financially toward the continual operations of those brands. In an odd way, I have earned a decent amount of the benefits I receive from these companies, and, for me, that only makes them more real.