Student to student
November 17, 2009
The term ‘Indie’ originally refered to a musical movement of radicals who sought musical nonconformity. They were a group of artistic rebels, rooted deep in a cause that was founded upon the essence of liberation, aesthetic inclusiveness and musical/stylistic nonconformity. Technically, Indie kids (or followers of the Independent movement) are defined as those who follow and listen to music independent of major labels or mainstream attention. However, my personal favorite definition, courtesy of Urban Dictionary, defines Indie kids as: those who are unable to talk to anyone about their music, but knowing that in the process, they’re way cooler than the kids they try to talk to about it.
Assuming that I have now explained the Indie movement and its followers, I’d like to go into how this problem is growing insanely out of hand, and is proceeding to consume a number of Park City teenagers. Although rooted in the spirit of liberation, the Indie movement in Park City has definitely missed its intended mark. In the past year, I have lost more friends to this Indie nonsense than I have to any other high school predator — drugs, alcohol, tobacco included.
The Indie kids in Park City have created a clan so strict, so entirely immersed in self-image, that friends have literally been lost, and lives changed OK, I am completely aware of how stupid that sounds. Yes, that’s right, lives changed over clothes and music. A movement that started off completely liberated and designed to free people from musical and stylistic oppression, which was oriented around acceptance and inclusiveness of all musical styles, has now grown so narrow and strict that followers are even beginning to reject one another. It has become a society so rigid about its millions of unnecessarily picky and obsessive bylaws that all fun and warmth has been lost, completely consumed by the hunger to be cool, innovative, and ahead of everyone else in the music and fashion scene. To put it more simply, everyone has grown too cool for everyone else.
This giant paradox has become painful and wildly embarrassing to watch. I feel sorry for those who have fallen victim to the illogical obsession. To me, this neuroticism over something so petty as clothes and choice of music just doesn’t translate. Can someone please help me understand why a society, based on their rejection of labels, would be so obsessed with making and following labels of their own? Why would you put so much stress, effort and unbelievable anxiety into the clothes you wear and the music you listen to? And why must you be so picky and narrow in the process of accepting those who share the same fashion and musical taste as you? I, for one, am a firm believer in waking up 30 minutes before school starts, throwing on the old Western Washington University sweatshirt and memory-foam clogs and heading right out the door, comfortable and warm in my clothes while listening to whatever music I feel best corresponds with the mood I’m in.
This is not a criticism of the style or musical taste of Indie kids. all means give yourself a mullet, slap on some lense-less glasses and a pair of high-water corduroys, and hell maybe even add a pair of Tom’s shoes with no socks just for good measure. This isn’t a criticism of their style. This is a criticism of an overly-judgmental, narcissistic, and quite paradoxical society that has kids so obsessed with materialistic and synthetic aspects of life. So Indie kids beware, I’m sure that before Narcissus fell to his death into the pond of his reflection, he was in the midst of admiring his tacky Indie comb-over.
Life is hard enough as it is, and in my opinion, I believe there is no logical need to be so fanatical and cruel about the mere choices of our peers in clothes and in music. If you’re going to be part of a ‘free’ society, then I would respectfully suggest you stay true to that philosophy, and actually practice being accepting, appreciative, and truly ‘free’ individuals. And yes, that includes getting over the fact that everyone is allowed to listen to Indie music, everyone is allowed to ride a fixed gear bike, and everyone is allowed to wear pants so tight that internal organs are at risk of being completely flattened, although that, too, still does not make sense to me.