There are things we do, as a human race, that seem organized. Trend-like. But you have to believe they aren't, because we can't be that dumb. But does that just make us all followers? Did someone design these cultural practices? Why are we listening to them? Here is my painful list. I'm afraid it's just skimming the surface.
1. Making everyone I know and, to my disadvantage, am friends with on Facebook believe they can and should start their own photography business. Who is the John Galt of photography and how does he keep getting to these people? And perhaps more pressing, why do they keep tilting the camera? I'm getting too old for that. A crooked black and white photograph of a lawn chair doesn't make you Annie Liebovitz.
2. Commercials about investing in gold. There will be a cowboy hat, terrible, unlikely graphics (like the Captain from Law and Order walking on top of the backdrop from The Perfect Storm) and some weird vocal inflection involved. I don't think any of those things are making me want to buy gold, but someone seems to think they are. Maybe they are. I could go for some new earrings. (Isn't that what they're selling?)
3. Popular Christian music. It appears that if you can pen lyrics involving: some extended metaphor of a "storm," a benevolent rescue from said storm (that you naturally resisted at first), and the phrases "bow down" and "in this place," you've got a hit. The confusing thing is the unbelievable amount of better music out there; better Christian music. (Nichole Nordeman. Bethany Dillon. Leeland! BROOKE FRASER!) But aw shucks, ya'll. Color me shaking my head and giggling at myself as I turn the dial back to KLove. Today was a little stormy, now that I think about it. And sometimes getting in a praisin' mood is better than espresso.
4. Sign-spinners. Is there a statistic that indicates - or, HINTS - that anything other than absolute, soul-crushing pity is felt by witnesses of this spectacle? Do you people suddenly find yourselves in a particularly consumeristic mood when you drive by one of these heroes of modern capitalism? All I can seem to muster is both gratefulness that there's such a thing as Careebuilder and a glance at my clock to try to determine how much longer they've got to stand out there. If you buy cigars because you saw the word TOBACCO spinning on its axis a few exits ago, you need to do some soul-searching.
Is there a committee running the world that is laughing at us right now? I can't figure out if I'd rather the answer be yes or no.