An amateur panorama of popular culture

Columns

by Kevin O’Neil
Arts & Entertainment Editor

What do you think makes an evaluation of a person’s “goodness”?

Do you calculate interpersonal compatibility through the way people dress?

Whether they use an Android or iPhone?

The music they love? Do you put people into boxes according to what and how they love, express themselves and live?

Of course you do. I know I do. This is OK, to an extent. It’s pretty natural for humans to gravitate toward the familiar, so we often seek out others like ourselves. But especially in these polarized times should we remember that all of the differing interests, expressions, traits and passions are all valid. They are what make each and every one of us unique and beautiful.

At Schoolcraft, the Arts & Entertainment section is where this beauty is housed. We love to be different, to be our own, and that is wonderful. But it’s not so wonderful when it comes to the material world.

A person’s value is often measured by the amount and perceived quality of their possessions. Whether someone owns a used Toyota or three Teslas uncovers no truth concerning the depths of their inner dispositions. Whether someone owns a Samsung phone or an iPhone doesn’t foretell someone’s socioeconomic status.

Yet these leaps in logic still persist; despite our ardour for individualism, we have a contradictory drive to make connections and associate with others, so we take the most universal things we have in common with others – mainly products, like phones – and broadcast them to the world for all to see; we define ourselves by, and wreath ourselves in our possessions and obsessions so we may not be so alone.

Once you acquaint yourself with one of a different or “opposing” group to your own, bearing an open mind, this social veil begins to dissolve – even if it is for this one person – revealing the true universal splendor residing in all human beings in spite of all the differences we claim to be grounds for discontent; a splendor that propels us toward ourselves, in so creating a species wide ubiquitous individual, exclusive and solitary in its mission to scar its brand into a page of history, whatsoever methods be damned or no.