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Tuesday, January 24

Striking Your Own Fancy

The dawning of the newest season of "Oscar buzz" has caused me to ponder the question of whether our quickly growing information technology arsenal is speeding up the extinction of individualism. 

One of the easiest ways to denote the importance of any object you describe is to add the tag of "...it was nominated for..." or "...he/she was endorsed by..." or "...it was highly rated by Consumer Reports..."  Have you ever wondered what the world's people did before this information was easily attained?  More importantly, could it be that these easily accessible resources make us think a little less about what we actually like? 

I am a true lover of the "Flixster" app on my iPhone, which handily provides the daily movie times for virtually all movie theaters within my reach.  The app also includes all commentary offered via the Rotten Tomatoes web, which provides movie reviews far and wide.  All movies have a percentage approval from both everyday viewers as well as the elite critics circle.  If you see a red ripe tomato, you have a winner, if you see the green splatter of what once was a tomato, then you're going to have to suffer through the potential film of choice.  I find myself often trusting these ratings without hesitation, and I've not had a problem in doing so, for the most part, but I wonder how people made movie decisions before this all existed. 

This movement reminds me of the overarching theme of globalization of all things.  In the sharing of ideas, it seems we run the risk of perhaps having fewer promoted for consideration.  And then we run the risk of becoming a world of followers.  So, in this ever-condensing world of ideas, I think I will actively work to seek out opportunities to differentiate.  Not to the extreme or so as to become counterculture, but perhaps just a enough so that I can look at some of these measures of success (the Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammys, the Nobel prize in literature, the Booker Awards, film critics, newspaper editorials, etc.) and occasionally recognize that something has been missed.  Something that I perhaps stumbled across all on my own and can appreciate, minus all of the buzz.      

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