You know what really bugs me? People who criticize teens for being clones of each other and completely immersed in commercialization. Typically these people are 30+. But I can’t stand their complaints. They’re the reason we’re the way we are today.
You see, I don’t see how we can be anything else but commercialized. Mainstream media has covered all our options. They have a label for everything you could possibly conceive. Even if I try to fight the mainstream stuff, I’m suddenly labeled as “punk” and get introduced to new “punk” clothing lines, music, and a whole new brand of commercialization. Even if I could come up with something not commercialized or find some band that is small enough to have escaped the grip of mainstream media, if I suggest the idea to any of my friends and word spreads around long enough, soon that band too will be sucked up into the corporate collective. Thus the band that I was listening to to get away from commercialization is suddenly commercialized.
Honestly, what are we supposed to do? Make our own clothes? Pay a private seamstress to make all our custom-made clothes to avoid labels and logos? That’d be more expensive in the long run than buying the expensive name-brand clothes we get criticized for. Or you could always go punk and get your grandparents’ old smelly clothes and wear them; then again, corporations latch onto that and make name-brand “old” gaudy clothes.
I’ll admit that teenagers today are, for the most part, attracted to labels and name brands. But we’re more than that. For instance, I’m aware that the whole blog thing is pretty much overdone. There are tons of teens out there with their own blog, saying how they hate life and posting lyrics to emo songs. So why did I decide to be like every other one of them and get a blog for myself? Maybe it’s because I’m trying to express my uniqueness in a world where everyone is pressured to conform into one of a few images and labels. Perhaps I’m failing miserably at being unique. But I can’t stand those who look at what someone is wearing or what logo they have and can’t see past that. I know I wear logos. But I’m much more than just a logo. You can’t pin me down as a Nike kid or as a emo kid, because I’m an individual. Perhaps an individual with a skewed sense of uniqueness, but an individual nonetheless who is searching for the true meaning of who he really is.
Sure you can criticize me for being like “everyone else” and writing down my thoughts on this blog here, but at least they’re my thoughts. I claim ownership to all I write here as mine, and mine alone. Influences? Of course I have influences, everyone does. If all possessions were discredited if they were influenced by someone else, than all ownership would be null and void. No one could claim ownership to anything because as the proverb goes, “No man is an island.” No one is a complete individual. But at least teenagers are trying their best to be one in a world where the media constantly says, “Be like everyone else. Be cool.”
And dare I question who is behind the media corporations? Dare I say that it is the very people that criticize us for being clones? Criticize us all you want; just be aware that with every judgment you make on us, you heap a thousand judgments upon yourself. Just like your baby boomer world was influenced by the generation before you, and just as you rebelled against that, so it’s our turn to do the same. Our world is what you made it, and if it’s not who we really are, then it certainly isn’t our fault.
Isn’t it ironic that “No Name” products have become a brand name? And who created that – the baby boomers. And when was the last time movies were created by teenagers? Movie producers are all baby boomers; they create movies that will influence teens to spend their money. And then they come out with advertising campaigns saying something like “Be yourself.” What they fail to find ironic is the fact that all those advertising campaigns are sponsored by major corporations, and thus they’re canceling themselves out. Teens have no other option except to live in this world that you (baby boomers) have created; all attempts to escape the system are simply made into advertising gimmicks – “It’s cool to fight the system.” How absurd that the “system” would be producing a slogan telling teens to fight them. Thus they create the two-faced system, complete with a built-in anti-system included within that system. There really is no escape for teens except to live as hermits, a prospect not likely to be entertained by many.
And so I say, quit complaining about the fact that teens lack originality. All originality has been sucked out of this perverted, sick society anyways. How are we supposed to find any uniqueness in a world that suppresses all logical thought?