Monday, July 18, 2011

Why stupid yuppies kill everything

I have a great vantage point for observation, living in Seattle, home of neighborhoods filled to the brim with them. It's almost trite to say that marketing things to yuppies or having them find out about a trend leads to the demise of its original form, but it's true. The reasoning is simple: these are people who have followed the rules their whole lives, who have not done much outside of the norm, and who now find themselves with lots of money and a somewhat tepid interest in a few kinds of counter-cultural things. Or at least things that until the 2000s were more firmly associated with the counter-culture, like healthy living, buying local, and sustainability. Fashionable interest in Eastern religion figures in as well.

Now that they've discovered what other people found long ago, far before it was trendy, they have lots of cash to throw around. But they really don't have a deep understanding of or commitment to what they're interested in. Often, the real thing provokes a negative reaction in them because it's too weird or too alternative. Folks providing the services no doubt look at this and figure the cost/benefit equation out, making the calculation that if they can just tone down the alternative content some, make it blander and more palatable, then they may have access to this wonderful source .

The process of co-optation happens over and over, both in trends and in other areas. Folks like living in artistic neighborhoods until the residents who made it artistic start to disgust them, then they seek to remake it in their own image. And they have lots of cash to do it with.

They buy their way to heaven without making the core changes in their belief systems and actions that would be necessary for them to really understand what they're doing.

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