Friday, September 24, 2010

Nuestro vino

"Crear es la palabra de pase de esta generación. El vino, de plátano; y si sale agrio, ¡es nuestro vino!" -José Martí

'Create' is the password of this generation. The wine, made of plantains; even if it turns bitter, it is our wine!

I know these words were written about Cuban nationalism at the end of the 19th century, but I read them and they resonate with me, even though I am not a cubano, much less a revolutionary.

I think every generation has their own struggles and thus, their own solutions. People who look back on the past as an ideal are fooling themselves. All those hippies and student protesters at Berkeley in the 60s and 70s, making speeches about throwing themselves upon the gears of the machine, they great up and became middle managers and investment bankers and live in the suburbs. What do their struggles mean to us anyway? They aren't ours; we have our own. We have our own problems, our own music, our own fashion, nuestro propio vino.

I realized this my freshman year of college, when I thought about Fight Club, and suddenly realized I was over that message, or more accurately, I had never gotten the message to begin with. You can't live your life ruled by someone else's ideas; they are not you. Tyler Durden doesn't speak for me, and he probably doesn't speak for you. I don't want to blow up the banks and start at zero. I like having banks and money. My priorities lie elsewhere.

What's important is not that I disregard everyone else's opinion, but that I recognize that it can be valid without organizing my whole cosmos around it.Create your own ideas, your own message, tu propio vino*.

What will your wine taste like?

*Okay, I'll stop with the vino thing.