Local Talent

Our world is turning into a strip mall. You don't want that, do you? A world of completely commercialized boredom? Then why do you still get coffee at Starbuck's, still order books from Amazon instead of a struggling independent store? Ask yourself, what local things do you support?

This could mean many types of things. Do you ever go see local bands, or just buy records by major label artists or widely known indies. Do you only go to arena rock shows? Have you ever been to a screening of a local video maker's work, or do you only go to Hollywood blockbusters?

Do you have a favorite local restaurant, or is McDonald's your constant haunt? Do you hang out at a funky coffeehouse, or at Starbucks? Do you go to a local independent bookstore, and if you do, do you buy books from them or just browse, people-watch, and then go home and get your tiny discount from Amazon that's eaten up by postage. Or have all the independent bookstores in your town already closed from neglect?

Do you go see local writers read, or is Jackie Collins your favorite author? Do you go to open mike comedy, or only ever see comedy on TV, not with at audience? Do you go to art openings by local artists, or only to a big museum show by a guy who's been dead for a hundered years, a show endlessly hyped by the media?

It's not only good for the local culture, helping your community to stay distinct, it's good for you. You'll meet people who are doing interesting things (isn't that the reason for living?) and you'll widen your circle of friends. You may find your alienation and depression lifting. You'll feel less like an interchangeable cog of post-industrial society, engineered to salivate and buy whatever is most heavily advertised. Instead, you will be an individual, regional, site-specific.

Though this rant's in the second person, I'm sure many of the visitors to this site agree with me. However, I plan on flyering with the essay, taking the message to the unconverted.


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