On route home and the train/metro provides a strange place to think, I realised this morning that one of my favourite records of all time is six years old.
(At this moment, it’s also fair to say that I imagine myself as Cusack saying that last part to a camera. Top five records of all time?)
It’s hard to remember where you are for a lot of moments however, albums are my marker points in time. I remember hearing the first single shuffle on a blog/audio blog called Hypem. I played it for about three days straight, I get quite obsessive about music.
Anyway, the changing weather today has provided a strange back drop to my thoughts. I finished Jung’s (1958) undiscovered self today, the last chapter talks a lot about understanding church and state through the eyes of an individual. However, he talks about this idea of self-criticism, it’s not a new thing but it’s quite in vogue again. Foucault (1983?)described it as the idea of what we are in a moment, that what we are in actuality is defined by our surroundings. Often compared to Gramsci (1971, I think) who suggested that the culture which is dominant provides room for criticism to the minority, so by comparing individual cultures makes for a minefield of self-criticism. Also, it’s fair to point out ‘dominant’ culture is completely relative to the individual, so it might not be the main mass media culture portrayed around you.
They are all basically pointing to that people have a ‘master’….something that we all thrive to be like or compare ourselves with. Whether it be a stereotype of the 1950’s family with 2.5 kids and a dog or a Mirco celebrity or a cultural icon (like a punk/mod or a hipster). That each individual has an ideology which could overlap with another, nowadays it’s even easier to self-criticise through this lens of comparison.
I’ve noticed that on the train now that it’s a melting pot of people as you’d expect but the variations of behaviour are quite interesting. The group of teenagers taking selfies and comparing them to find the best one listening to someone’s phone out loud (I don’t know the song) vs the silent tattooed girl opposite me who’s listening to Stevie wonder. So even on this train, it’s quite easy to see that people could simply look up and compare themselves to another and start to self-criticise.
The impressions of culture become very defining on the individual, whether it be auditory or visual which ever way you consume media. It’s strange how we even now there is a dominance or master on the individual, its change perhaps since Jung, Foucault and Gramsci but really the diversity of it is amazing.
I’m listening to a different kind of fix by Bombay bicycle club today, I’ve had the whole record on repeat. It’s still brilliant now, as it was six years ago.
Thanks for reading, just another insight into my brain it’s been meditative.