Oplg andrew potter_20.03.12

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Oplg andrew potter_20.03.12

  1. 1. The Rise of Conspicuous Authenticity•Andrew Potter•Managing Editor, Ottawa Citizen•apotter@ottawacitizen.com
  2. 2. My Argument
  3. 3. My Argument (II)The search for authenticity has become a form of status-seeking, and is the successor to "cool" as the dominant status good in contemporary urban culture.
  4. 4. Stages of status-seeking1. Conspicuous Leisure2. Conspicuous Consumption3. Conspicuous Rebellion ("cool")4. Conspicuous Authenticity
  5. 5. Veblen on the Leisure ClassTwo human instinctsInstinct of workmanship: An appreciation for useful and efficient work and skillPredatory Instinct: Pride, status, dominance, exploitation
  6. 6. Leisure Class
  7. 7. Vestigial Leisure
  8. 8. Conspicuous ConsumptionWhat mattered was showing that you had material success.- big house, big car, big lawn, big barbecue
  9. 9. Keeping up with the Joneses
  10. 10. The rise of coolBy the late 1960s, the values of the counterculture had taken hold.Everyone wanted to be hip, edgy, alternative, cool
  11. 11. Cool as PoliticalWhat made cool political was the critique of mass societySociety as a cultural system of social control and conformity. To resist, you formed a counterculture
  12. 12. Beats
  13. 13. Hippies
  14. 14. Anti-globalization protesters
  15. 15. Gangsters
  16. 16. The end of coolWhat killed cool?Answer: The internetThe idea of a culture and economy that was opposed to the mainstream ceased to make any sense
  17. 17. Flash Mobs
  18. 18. The End of Cool
  19. 19. The Search for AuthenticityWe live in a world of artificiality, fakery,truthinessReality TV, Facebook “friends”, rampantplagiarists, suburban sprawl, lyingpoliticians...Life seems increasingly packaged, shallow,alienating
  20. 20. The Age of “Authenticity”•Between 2005 and 2008, John Zogbyfound: “a deep-felt need to reconnect to the truth of our lives, and disconnect from the illusions that everyone from advertisers to politicians makes us believe are real” People are looking for “authenticity”
  21. 21. Authentic as opposed to what?As opposed to modernitySecularism -- the disenchantment of theworldLiberalism -- political individualismCapitalism -- the market economy
  22. 22. What is authentic?Nostalgia for childhood and "old ways"Fetish for poverty, or the exoticLove of “nature”, “the environment”Visceral dislike of markets, marketing, consumerism, the cash nexus
  23. 23. Authentic Royalty
  24. 24. Autentico Cuba
  25. 25. Authentic yoga in authentic cuba
  26. 26. Conspicuous AuthenticityThe key now is to show that you are socially,environmentally, and spiritually consciousBut the same Veblenian dynamic is at work:Organic everythingLocal everythingArtisanal everything
  27. 27. Authentic Rugs
  28. 28. Authentic Living

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