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.