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what’s in a name?

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a lot of people call me a hipster and i’m not sure how to feel about this. there was a time when a hipster was nothing to be admired. they were people with little direction and focus, vying to be moronically associated with whatever trend was popular in an often quizzical and hilarious combination. they essentially were living caricatures. slowly that has changed. slowly the definition has become murky, lost somewhere between defining the stylish-artistic who expresses themselves in absolutely every facet, the young teens who are emulating an air of non-chalant cool, and the yuppies who’s souls have died inside.

for me, i know why i ride a colourful bike, listen to vinyl, where large plastic frames, roll my pants, have arm tattoos, and do a variety of other things associated with the word “hipster.” i did these things before the word became popularized and i’ll probably do them after. so why should i care what people call me now?

i think the issue is that people have singularized a lot of things that i deeply care about into a word and a concept that is easy for them to relate to. it’s the problem with labels. when i was young it was “nerd” and then “fag”. but for me i’ve always been me and nothing more or less. but labels are a scapegoat for laziness of having to get to know someone and the fear that you can’t put everything (or pretty much anything) in this world into small boxes.

this additionally poses a problem in the social-media-rich world, where we all try to both individualize while making ourselves identifiable by allowing an ease of association with common concepts. look at the 160-character bios of Twitter. as we strive for ultimate SEO what do we loose?

let me know how you associate with labels.

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blogging is the new essay.

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while reading up on Transcendentalism founder Ralph Waldo Emerson i began to notice the amount of intellectual essays he wrote and for which he received much of his acclaim. i then thought of the many other thinkers, philosophers, and great minds of the past few centuries and how it was through their prolific essay writing that the world was exposed to ideas that would shock, awe, expand societies’ views and progress our collective intelligence.

i quickly began to ask, “what has happened to the intellectual essay and where are new ideas coming from?” and while yes, in academic circles the tradition of writing and publishing is still upheld, the essay in its lustre and glory of yesteryear is gone. for new ideas to be propelled into society like Emerson, Sartre, Nietzsche and others, those thoughts must be exposed to the mainstream or at least the masses. and so, as i read and thought, i realized that it is the blog that holds this potential. it is in this simple format, where people think freely and instantly share their ideas with the world, that new ideas will be propelled forward, discussed, critiqued, and accepted or dismissed by the individuals who read…

…or at least that is one potential. sure, there are a variety of blogs – from the vacation to food to fitness – but each one of these has the potential for more, the potential to cut through the mundane and let people share parts of themselves. parts that, sometimes (not always) can cause us to ask questions about ourselves. hopefully, as you search through the internet, you happen upon a writing like this or you get the chance to write some of it yourself. if you do, please share it with me.

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