A lot of people go through their lives reading, never searching for the meaning behind the written words, without realizing that the words are merely rocks set there for us to cross the river, and the reason the rock is set there, is so that we could cross to the other shore…the other shore is what matters.
Pop culture gives us the illusion of two separated worlds with different cultures. The first one is ‘’high quality culture’’, made of popular trends amongst self proclaimed intellectuals and artists. The other one is shallow mainstream pop culture. Both are opened to everyone, and they coexist, keep each other alive. Without the day, there would be no night; it is the same sky above us, after all. And the system works perfectly.
We would understand much more about life’s complexities if we applied ourselves to an assiduous study of its contradictions, instead of wasting time on identities and coherences, seeing as these have a duty to provide their own explanations.
― José Saramago,
The high quality pop culture form of the intellectual and artistic elitism and it is open 24/7 to everyone. To be part of it you don’t have to understand it. This culture offers an ideal world to the, let's call them, idea seekers. The ideas have been sold to young people since forever, and they are revolving around personal style and self marketing. And they have never been more transparent and available as today, because they can sell a complete lifestyle revolving around what is acceptable and what is not. And lifestyle means status.
All stories are like those about the creation of the universe, no one was there, no one witnessed anything, yet everyone knows what happened.― José Saramago,
These idea seekers are people who are desperately trying to fill their inner void and boredom with these acceptable rules of the ''high pop culture''. For example, every idea seeker would list Frida Kahlo, Tom Waits, Jim Jarmuch, Kubrick, David Bowie, Bukowski as part of their own identity inspiration. Bukowski would probably send them to hell, while Frida might be disgusted that her red lipstick, brows and cigarette have become more famous than her passionate work. The heroes of the idea seekers are everything these people are not. They sell their heroes for social approval and devalue them in that way. The idea seekers are great internet consumers; they feed on every newsfeed searching for the new ideas all the time, without ever digging deeper into the core of it. Their satisfaction is shallow, and it is their ticket to the entrance of the illusionary intellectual and artistic elite circle, without saying or doing anything interesting for real.
The minds of human beings are not always entirely at one with the world in which they live, some people have trouble adjusting to reality, basically they're just weak, confused spirits who use words, sometimes very skillfully, to justify their cowardice.
― José Saramago
How to differ these idea seekers from the real thing diggers? The real thing diggers are loyal to their tastes and people, and are not concerned with actual trends, while always upgrading their knowledge and curiosity with something new. The real thing diggers seek for the inner sentiment and are not concerned with the need to prove themselves to others. They will share their interests as long as they feel connected with others that way, not to patronize others. They are not concerned with putting stuff in boxes and tagging names on it. They don’t have to make propaganda of their inner world, because they really have one. They want to create. They also seek the ideas, but to dig deeper, to get to the others, not to feed their ego. And they are not afraid of the emotions they might find there. They are consistent because they know they've existed in the same way, long before virtually recreating themselves.
You know the name you were given, you do not know the name that you have.
― José Saramago
The modern universal man is virtual, satisfied, super confident, knows-it-all, has immense faith in himself and deserves the best of the best. The popular culture is inviting everyone to put on their crowns on. It is the idea of kingdom, not the real one of course. The art, music, literature, these things are real and will never disappear. The idea seekers are aware of that, but what they really don’t know is what to do with these ideas that can actually serve humanity and change everyday people's lives. The inner frustration and natural sadness are not being tolerated anymore. You have to act worthy enough to put on the crown.
Just as the habit does not make the monk, the sceptre does not make the king.
― José Saramago,
Literature above all, helps people to open their eyes, to think differently, so that these people could change the world around them. Saramago also thought that the only ones who could change the world were the pessimists (he considered himself to be one), because the optimist would always approved everything as lovely and nice and so nothing would have changed. The most important word in every language for him was the word ‘’no’’, and he believed one must repeat it numerous times during the day, in the context of ‘’I don’t want to do that’’, considering that was the way the man must keep his spirit awake and fulfill his citizen duty.
The outsiders, sentimental warriors, undocumented hearts and minds, quiet meaning seekers, fools for simple life, love and truth and all the other freaks, we salute you. To seek the life above ideas, photographs and words. This is not your culture anymore, this world of black and white, good and bad, worthy and unworthy. The grey works only for those who are playing by the rules of the game. The game itself is to be tolerated in everything except in tolerating others; to preach and to be heard, without offering anything positive to another human being. To sell music, art and literature and not to live them.
Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are.
― José Saramago,
Love, Invitation to Inspiration