Hello, I'm Special
Hello, I'm Special
How Individuality Became the New Conformity

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A saturation of special

In a society where everyone seeks to stand out, author Hal Niedzviecki argues the ironic effect is that genuine individuality has disappeared, causing the collapse of community and a host of emotional disappointments. Guest: Hal Niedzviecki.

-Minnesota Public Radio Sep 20, 2006

An Interview with Hal Niedzviecki
If the 1980s and early 90s was the epoch of counterculture commodification -- remember the “Kerouac Wore Khakis” Gap ads and the Picasso and Einstein “Think Different” ads for Apple? -- then the last 10 years has turned out to be the epoch of self-commodification. The notion of non-rebellion rebellion now seems quaint with all these MySpace voyeurs and peer-to-peer media. We’re now all part of the same broadband gang. This weekend, for example, my cousin Colin Challender will film himself burping the alphabet and put it on the video-sharing website YouTube. A minimum of 800 people will view this in its first weekend. A star may well be born. My cousin is under the delusion that he will be, in the words of cultural critic Hal Niedzviecki, “Special.”
-Bookslut Jun 1, 2006