Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a written photograph of one morning.

I was walking home when I was unexpectedly struck by the inordinate beauty of the world surrounding me. A tree (I have no idea what kind) was shedding tiny bright autumn leaves that were spinning lightly to the asphalt below so as I walked underneath it I was surrounded by drifting glimmers of yellow. I looked up and caught sight of the shadow that the branches of a gum tree were casting over a corrugated iron roof. Naked shapes of blue on grey. Curving and rippled like limbs underwater. And all was still in the lambent morning sun, there was not a whisper of wind and no car sounds and no childrens' cries in the distance. Peacefulness reigned all around me, and I felt filled with gratitude to God to have been a witness to such an everyday perfection. 

I reached my destination- a bench in a quiet park near my home- where I had an amazing conversation with Dick Hebdige. Well, he did a lot of the talking, and I did a lot of "WOW, Dick Hebdige! You nailed it! Tell me more!" That's what reading his book Subculture feels like, anyway. In it, he offers a definition of subcultures- why they arise, how they've been looked at by theorists in the past, in what ways they defy hegemony (the social authority imposed by the dominant class over other subordinate classes. It's subtle though, and framed to seem natural and legitimate) and how they are manifested through style. 

He uses case studies of punk, teddy boy and mod subcultures to illustrate his arguments, so it's a really great read for anyone interested in those subcultural styles. As for me, it's more interesting because he is defining aspects of subculture which I've noticed in style blogging but haven't fully articulated yet. He's way ahead of me, and his framework is like a gift I can build on. And what's SO! EXCITING! is that I don't think style blogging necessarily fits within his framework in every way- and I cannot wait to explore those differences more fully.

And so again- I am awash with gratitude that I have this opportunity to think deeply about such an interesting subject, and am blessed with the time and a beautiful nearby park in which to do it. It just feels glorious.

Finally, something to chew on as you continue throughout your own day. Almost deceptive in its simplicity, a quote from Umberto Eco that Hebdige includes at the beginning of Chapter Seven:

I speak through my clothes.

What do you think about that?!

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