Youth culture is a misnomer, since it’s not culture. It’s products. These products take two forms:
- Explicitly corporate products that embrace conformity.
- Anti-corporate products that embrace non-conformity, sold for profit.
The only difference is where the money goes. If you buy aboveground, all of your money goes to large corporations. If you buy belowground, your money goes to small labels, who then spend most of it back to large corporations in CD pressing, licensing, etc.
The message of non-conformity is a hilarious one. First, the idea that conformity to a norm has no purpose; like waiting in line in the grocery store is a personality statement, instead of a means to an end. Second, the idea that if we all “non-conform” there will be any way to non-conform, since non-conformity is defined by conformity.
Finally, the idea that non-conformity is anything but a behavior on the surface of a person. Is one’s goal in life to “be different”? To what end? And what about where it matters, which is character itself? Must that be different, or can it simply be good, realistic, honorable and kind?
Non-conformists are the biggest “conformists” that exist.
Youth culture is product-driven because it is not actual culture. It is a set of attitudes designed for you by people in their 40s-70s. They then pass this on to people your age, who see a possibility of profit (and thus no hateful day job) and so they ape it up.
In youth culture, everything is personal. There is no goal except how you look to other people. You are not trying to gain abilities, or become clearer in what you know, but to act in a way that makes other people think you are “different” and “interesting.” It is total whore.
You are a perfect consumer because you are in the process of self-definition as a youth. Youth culture short-circuits that by instead telling you what to think and how to act. It is inherently defensive, in that it requires you to have a tantrum against your parents and “conformity” in order to buy into it.
A better plan is to grow up without growing old, which is to make your own decisions based on the reality you experience, and to stop pretending to be something you are not. Non-conformity, posing, adopting a style, etc. is all pretending.
But if you do that, you won’t make a bunch of old people money as they profit off your confusion.