by Aaron Karmin
(Swans - April 9, 2007) How many Target, Kohl's, Olive Garden, Banana Republic, Office Max, Costco, Wal*Mart, KFC, Pizza Hut, Bed Bath & Beyond, Gap, Borders, Applebee's, Chili's, Starbucks chains are out there? Just an endless array of franchises that homogenize America and help us to lose our bearings, as all becomes one. I always can gain my bearing by the number of liquors stores, check cashing, bail bonds, textbook shops, or outdoor strip malls that exist along the road. I definitely am appreciative of distinction and diversity, independent shops, and cost-effective options. It's odd to think of places where the popular common thing to do is cruising up and down the same strip and drinking at a bar or a coffee shop. It's the sense of being anywhere and nowhere, like an airport where we all come and go, yet no one remains. This pact with materialism stifles creativity, independence, and growth.
It's funny in a sense, that despite all of our technology, fancy electronics, and things dubbed progress, that it's the basic human interactions that really offer the most substance and contributions to life. The unique and ordinary experiences through simplicity of redwood trees, birds soaring in the sky, a moonlight glow, climatic jazz, chalky sunsets, tiny wildflowers, soft sandy beaches, steep mountain hikes, fragile seashells, and endless conversation provide depth and enrichment.
So I guess what I'm getting at, is whether it's work or people or places or activities, I see many of the same patterns: People clinging to achieve an image of appearance based on fleeting capitalist propaganda, while fewer folks get to the heart of their identity and seek quality. Substance achieved in the every day ordinary opportunities that come our way. Yet many in these two schools of thought are back to back and not eye to eye.
If you appreciate and enjoy our work, pleasefinancially.