This I Believe

Jacob - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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“Mainstream Liberation”

In practically every subject, there are two different worlds. One world is the mainstream. The other world is radicalism. Ever since the start of society there have been these two worlds. This is evident in endless situations, whether it is politics, economy, music, or lifestyle. I believe that if you sway from the mainstream, you accept radicalism, or freethinking.

I have experienced this first hand. My interest in music started at a young age. At the time I was only influenced by my family’s opinions, and the opinions enforced by MTV. As many know MTV is considered the only source of music for much of the population. MTV not only influences people, but also pop radio. Considering this, one can conspire that MTV decides on what music is popular, and what music is not. In a sense they have a monopoly on entertainment. They can censor at their own discretion and encourage at will. My parents grew up before the establishment of music television and therefore have a more liberated opinion. My sister on the other hand grew up during a peak of music television. She has the opinion that the most popular music is the only and the best music. I see that as a blindfold.

Around the age of 11, I was listening to a mixture of Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones, and popular rap. Although Bob Marley & the Wailers were popular at one time, they are not mainstream music in today’s sense. Bob Marley’s lyrics were radical, meaning they were not something the mainstream society would openly accept. This led to my interest in radical politics and at the same time it led to my interest in radical music. From Bob Marley, I turned to other reggae artists such as Jimmy Cliff and Buju Banton. After learning of more reggae artists, I became interested in other subculture music scenes, such as punk rock and folk. Additional to music, the politics took a stride. At first, I became more interested in political music. I became interested in musicians such as Crass, Damian Marley, and Woody Guthrie.

After my interest in music became more developed, my interest in politics began to take my attention. I started with reading. The first political oriented book I read was 1984 by George Orwell. I then proceeded to read Animal Farm by George Orwell, and even Walden by Henry David Thoreau. This really spiked my interest in radical politics. I started questioning things, not just in society, but traditional beliefs.

It seemed as though every time I was introduced to underground ideas I would take interest in them, especially over mainstream ideas. After experiencing these changes, I was convinced that my belief was true. Once introduced to new, exotic, radical ideas or objects, people take interest of them over previous and well-known ideas or objects. This is the foundation of my belief; the world is separated between radicalism and mainstream.