Thursday, November 10, 2011

safety in numbers

Yesterday I walked through Occupy Wall Street and crossed paths with a man who was audibly evaluating everyone who passed by him on the basis of whether or not they were impressively counter cultural. Somehow he's was not aware that conformity, even upended, is still the problem. I know this man doesn't speak for OWS, that no single person does, but I have to say I've been waiting for the movement to become so cool to itself that it gains a cache of exclusivity. As hard as they try to avoid institutionalization, can they? Institutions, as purveyors of conformity, always lose their souls.

I found an antedote in Emerson, again. A dangerous revolutionary so dangerously revolutionary he becomes immediately forgettable. "A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of all the bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his." (Self-Reliance)

Yes, to do otherwise would be a lonely, lonely pursuit. Emerson doesn't talk about that part. Occupy loneliness?

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