I won’t lie: part of me moved to Los Angeles because I have an illness: it’s called “I-need-to-be-on-the-edge-ness-ingytis.”
Apparently, there are innovators, early adapters, early majority, late majority, and boring/lazy people — I mean “laggards” — out there. Well, I try to hit that spot right between innovator and early adapter, and tell myself that I’d be a full-fledged innovator had I been born with a trust fund. If I have an addiction, it is for the new, the fresh, the original, the avant-garde, the revolutionary… the “cutting edge,” as they say.
So I figure you can’t go any closer to the edge than California. We’re just one big earthquake away from falling OFF forgoodnessake.
But I’m starting to think the “edge” is disappearing. Well, maybe not disappearing altogether, but more… dissipating, scattering, dispersing. Of course I’m not speaking of a physical edge, but that progressive, mental, ideological edge that keeps humanity in motion. It’s been widely accepted for a long time that the United States’ coasts, and the cities of New York and Los Angeles in particular, set the stage for the future. But I’m just not buying it anymore.
Technology has blurred lines between the instigator and consumer to such a degree that it’s nearly impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends. The internet, magazines, blogs, mega-coporations, MySpace, bookstore chains, email, and the ease of global travel have allowed for the instantaneous dissemination of not only information, but of passions, taste, and style. We export and import culture with the ease of a mouse click. We are rapidly becoming each other, and as our boundaries fade, progression glows from everywhere — no longer relegated to the simplicity of geographical location.
You can plainly see it in music: where bands used to only be “from” major cities and markets, now we find that it doesn’t really matter where one originates — it only matters if you’re good enough (and, probably, lucky enough). To an extent, the playing field has been leveled, in a profound, postmodern sense, and everyone is participating. You can also see it in universities, in churches, in coffeehouses…
Welcome to The New Edge: now playing everywhere.