Okay, so…

Here’s the thing.  All of our choices can only be made from the things that are available to us. The things that are available to us were chosen by others.  With the loss of so many independent bookstores, the books we get to choose from are chosen by the establishment and by those who just want to make money.  Sure, we might be ABLE to order some obscure book from Amazon, but we would have to know that the book existed, in order to do so.  When you’re in an independent bookstore you have a better chance of seeing something that you didn’t know you were looking for.

All of life is like that…we get to choose the school we send our kids to by picking one out of all the available schools that are offered to us (well class and money fit in there of course).  Same goes for our clothing, our music, for EVERYTHING.  That  might make sense, UNLESS you think about all the radical people who are kept from making their art known.  Artists who are fantastic but never get a show, designers who never get to design anything that will actually support them.  Look at the street art on all the fantastic art blogs out there.  THOSE artists are the real artists, at least in my book.  You can tells me all the amazing things about a plain black canvas that is hanging in a museum, but I don’t really care. I’d rather look at what the street artists are doing because THAT is what real art is to me.  But like everyone else, artists are held back, held down, never allowed IN.  The people in charge keep the doors closed to people who can compete with them.  Brilliant students are labeled behavior disordered, so they won’t rise to the top and be a problem for the status quo.  Political artists are often jailed, their work destroyed.

Where did all the bellbottoms go?  They just stopped making them, so we were FORCED to buy boot leg jeans.  Not our choice, they just told us they were passed and to get on with buying what they wanted us to buy. The media forces us to see the things we like, as no longer acceptable.  Even if we wanted to buy bellbottoms, they just aren’t there and our choices are stopped dead in their tracks.  We don’t get to CHOOSE beauty, we are TOLD what it is and we are expected to act accordingly. Our choices are made FOR us not by us.  Just something to think about.

So, while we think we are making decisions we should remember that we are choosing from the things that we are allowed to choose from.  It’s like that with our government, it’s like that with the establishment, it’s like that with everything and that’s why the loss of so many independent bookstores is a terrible thing.  With their loss, we have far fewer choices and are left to choose from books that are more mainstream and better fitting with the status quo.

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6 Responses to Okay, so…

  1. Resa says:

    I so agree with what you say.
    I found a neat bookstore today. I’m proud to say there are many in Toronto, as they are prized. I bought a book; Charles Bukowski on Cats. (thought of you!)
    Everyone up here wants a Canada Goose parka for the winter, except me and a few others.
    I don’t want to wear a coat made of slaughtered Geese and fur. Recently, I found a poster in an alley when I was street art hunting. I’m putting the link to a photo of it. (not sure if it works)
    I looked up their record on treatment of animals, and it is bad.
    However, now these coats are wanted world-wide.

  2. Resa says:

    Well, it appears the link worked!

  3. I agree that the loss of independent bookstores is tragic – I love nothing more than to explore a bookstore, even one I may have been in 100 times. We have a used bookstore here that I love as well (perhaps more). I don’t mind online shopping, but I just prefer handling the books, looking at them, feeling their weight, before buying. I just love being around books. It makes me happy. It’s probably why I hoard them. I’ve never understood the desire to “ban” books. Although I can understand why certain people would want to limit the thoughts of others. I’ve just personally always thought of people are reading and learning and opening their minds, the world would HAVE to be a better place.

    Another aspect of your entry that hit me from the very first paragraph: “All of our choices can only be made from the things that are available to us. The things that are available to us were chosen by others.” And again near the end: “So, while we think we are making decisions we should remember that we are choosing from the things that we are allowed to choose from.”

    It’s not just bookstores or government or clothes or art or schools – this idea of limited choices also relates to people, relationships, careers, and in general, one’s life path. I hear so often, “why didn’t you leave sooner,” or “why did you stay if that was happening to you” and sometimes people don’t understand that the choices available are often limited and sometimes, with life in general, you make the best choice out of what is available to you. It may not be the wisest choice, it may not be the most helpful, and it most certainly may not be what you WANT, but sometimes choices are limited (and therefore, limiting), for any number of reasons…reasons we don’t often (or ever) have control over. Sometimes you have to make the best choice for all kinds of things in life out of a set of really crappy choices because there is no alternative.

    • Definitely agree on the the independents. You are so fortunate to have a bookstore you love close by. I can only imagine how much time you spend there. I also agree completely about having limited choices. But he choices are limited by the choices our culture allows to exist. Sexism, violence against females, people kept uneducated and poor on purpose, etc. So yes, people definitely limited choices and often can not escape their situation but the situation exists because of the limited choices available to them because of the people who control how we live. The limiting circumstances that are definitely controlled by those in power force people into staying when they need to get out. People are controlled by the choices made by rich and powerful men. The poor are forced to have certain choices, often the choice of food, over health care. Their choices are limited because the people in charge keep them poor by not allowing them to be educated or make more than a certain amount when they can get jobs. So, sure their choices are limited but they are only limited by the men who control EVERYTHING. It’s so very sad and unfair. A few control the many.

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