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mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

"Avant-garde"

This morning I'm brain-dead... not sure why... maybe I've skipped too many days of meditation. I was also fuzzy last night trying to stay up and watch the new episode of "Project Runway." One of their past episodes posed the challenge of designing a look that was "avant-garde." So I ask myself: what does it mean to be "avant-garde"? Does it just mean futuristically bizarre? Could I, for example, ever be avant-garde?

Wikipedia: Avant-garde in French means... "advance guard", or "vanguard"... used...to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics. Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm.

In business (they say), there are rule-makers, rule-breakers, and rule followers -- and the odd rule-breaker who changes the whole industry to become a rule-maker.

Can anyone aspire to be avant-garde? All avant-gardes are rule-breakers, but all rule-breakers are not avant-garde. Some rule-breakers are just lazy and can't be bothered to "read the manual." I see avant-gardes as boldly innovative and perceptively ahead of their times. And probably misunderstood and mocked by people in the mainstream.

I started asking myself these questions, but wound up fiddling with a photo that Pat took while we were in Florida (see above left). Not too avant-garde -- just good old Susan.

2.7.2008

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