Saturday, March 25, 2017


There's a cafe around the corner that I don't like. Never been in it. Still don't like it. It has that whitewashed wall, lots of glass, black metal shelving, slightly ... not quite hipster but sorta aesthetic. It's become, over the past few years, incredibly common. In Auckland at least.

It's not, I think (hope) that fact that it's common that bugs me. Though the level of pretentiousness that often comes associated with it is alarming. Which in turn, engenders the rather depressing statement that that generalization is, in itself, quite pretentious <sighs>. The thing that I think bothers me about it is an association with newness. More and more I find myself not liking new things. By which I mean physical things. New physical objects. I quite like doing new things, learning about how to do new things. Actual physical objects though, generally speaking, no.

I'm beginning to wonder how much of this aversion is due to the lack of a story. There's always a story for things like the new cafe, but it's so often a pat little marketing story about a person deciding to do something cool. If you sit in a cafe that been knocked around the edges a bit, you can see that the place stories, live has happened there. The little marketing story may be a story about how a place came to be, but the place itself doesn't have stories. Those styley whitewashed walls, to me the feel like they're actively trying to prevent stories from happening, they're clean, sterile.

This in turn makes me wonder about the effect of popular culture on my view of the world. I tend to read a lot of sci-fi. Movies that aren't to deep and don't make you think about the shitty things going on in the world, which paradoxically, when you think about them a bit, let you question all the shitty things going in the world. In a noticeable proportion of these things, especially the movies, the story doesn't usually take place in the clean, tidy, fashionably sterile parts of the world. Those places may be where the story climaxes, often as those places are destroyed, but the stories themselves take place out in the world, in the slums, in the wild, in the in between places.

More and more, I stop and look at the world as a story, or a bunch of intertwined stories. Polished whitewashed walls with no stories interrupt that view.