“Where has all the genuine self-expression gone? Now what used to be authentic subculture is turned into a performance of Aesthetic!” so many posts exclaim, usually concluding that the problem is Capitalism.

I don’t disagree entirely, but. The problem is that y’all are so deathly fucking afraid of things Cringe, Weird, and Uncool that anything unmarketable, subversive, or oddball enough to be “genuine subculture” is gross and unacceptable to you.

People wish to see “genuine self expression” that is not a performance or a commodity.

Very well then. I assume you’re appreciating and celebrating the dress, style and behavior of somewhat shabby, weird outcasts who firmly refuse to make themselves palatable to you?

I think some of you are forgetting what “subculture” means. If it makes everybody around you think you are cool and look nice, that’s missing the point a little bit. That’s just…culture!

When people express themselves in a way that is not a performance to appeal to others…

…it is actually very likely that they will…not appeal to you.

“Why can’t people be unapologetically themselves, in a way that is of course never “cringy” or too weird or too ugly or uncool? Why can’t we have self-expression without performance, in a way that is not boring to me and that doesn’t weird me out?“

Do you see the problem?

There are still robust, thriving subcultures full of unique fashion and artistic expression…

“Ah, but you see, that one is personally unappealing to me!”

That’s the Point, you fools!

I see how people talk about non-binary youths with hair dyed in funny colors. But there is such a young person of indeterminate gender I see sometimes on my college campus with “Trans Liberation Now!” and a bunch of other symbols and slogans hand-painted on their jacket, and they are a million times more “Punk” than anyone with simply piercings and spiky chokers

I was thinking about the incredibly cruel phenomenon of taking photos of strangers without consent and uploading them to websites so others can mock them, in the vein of “People of Walmart” and other such things, and when looking it up, I was disturbed to see how many of them are just 1) a fat person is in public (wow!) or 2) a (perceived) man is being obviously gender non-conforming 

they are just existing. probably at a more advanced level than you.

Louder, for the folks in back…

“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!”

–Hermann Hesse

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