There is a common theme to all my talk of being an outsider and in minorities. Viewing the world from the outside kind of predisposes one to analyse, for one can perhaps see the wood for the trees. Where I have made commitments, in a sense it is to circumvent the machinations of industry.
I’ve never really liked the concept of ‘alternative’ yet that is how my choices are labelled. Two examples:
As a child I loved dancing around my bedroom listening to the latest pop music from the charts. As a teenager I discovered that there was a whole world of much more interesting music than the generally bland indentikit music of the charts, music with more soul, music with the ability to touch me inside and that I could relate closely with. this wasn’t just the ‘alternative’ scene of ‘indie’ music, but reggae, folk, country, metal, world music etc. In those pre-internet days, this ‘alternative’ music was rare on the radio, not in the local shops and harder to access. Harder, because the music industry manipulated the market to make more money for itself, to lead people into commercial music rather than provide access to all music.
I became vegetarian when I realised how much intensive production of meat was going on. Where there seemed a lack of respect for the sentient nature of animals, that the welfare of animals is of less importance that commercial success. In the food industry I am always shocked to discover how little many consumers understand of how their food is produced. Seeking alternatives to intensively produced meat, again requires finding ways around industry and closer links with the producers of food.
It’s not just these two examples (see my ramblings on fashion in earlier posts), but really getting to the best products at the best price is how free markets should work, requires people to spend time knowing how the industry works and how to access the ‘alternatives’. I view this as the root of many of the troubles and sheer bonkers arrangements for human life in the 21st century.
I’m a Social Democrat. I have the fundamental belief that commerce should serve society, rather than the other way around. I suppose this is partly why I have an aversion to the mainstream. The mainstream isn’t this well thought through popular consensus, but rather this system imposed by small groups of ‘captains of industry’. There is no sense in supporting the mainstream from an economic perspective, it’s seemed geared towards inefficiency