C+ :: A New Day’s Risin’
Posted on July 30, 2008
Today’s Thickwit is an entrepreneur, political organizer and style genius. He writes today about his burgeoning enterprise and social movement, C+. He likes more old school jams than he cares to admit and hob nobs with first graders and future first ladies alike. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you thank you, you’re far too kind. A legend in his own time– Christopher Mueller.
I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how its going to begin.
The Matrix ::
What is this “matrix” we so often speak of? Ah yes, the system. That perpetual treadmill that is so difficult to step off of. No need to waste time defining it, since we seem to have this intuitive sense of what that system is, though a comprehensive definition is seemingly elusive, since the network that binds the matrix together is so shrouded in darkness. How, then, does the matrix maintain?
Our capitalist system survives by (among many things) the existence of a capitalist, consumer culture. This consumer culture acts as a design to living and is patterned for interpreting the world around you. In other words, it is constructed specifically to serve as a lens through which you come to interpret and understand your reality.
Brands develop pseudo spiritual meaning systems by appropriating human qualities, emotions, characteristics, and ideals, attaching compelling visual and sound elements, and associating their symbols with them. Ultimately, in a consumer society, this mediates our ability to construct authentic identities and communities. We are a nation of Saturn Families, Safeway Club Members, Nike Athletes, Toys R Us Kids and Starbucks Communities. We consume to belong, and as an outer-directed people, we come to reflect and project the images that exist most immediately in our visual landscape.
Our ability to construct an attractive appearance is done with First World advancement, yet our inner world is impoverished like the Fourth, Fifth and Six. We are an outer-directed people, trapped so close to the surface that we have become exiled there. We cultivate a pedagogy of exteriority, but where does that leave us? Commodity rich and spiritually poor.
We Live to Work. We Work to Consume. We Consume until nothing is left. And it all goes back in the box. We are masters of the Monopoly Board, bored out of our minds, mind’s eye wide Lasik surgeried shut.
So what is the answer?
See Beyond Context.
Enhance our vision.
What we visualize is what we become.
“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak. But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.” – Jon Berger, Ways of Seeing
The thought process gives rise to actions. If it is behavior we hope to change, we’ve got to revisualize and reframe the images and ideas that govern that thought process.
Vision as an ancient metaphor for human spiritual insight, has a history so robust, that it doesn’t need much explanation. I was blind but now I see. Seeing the light. Where there is no vision the people perish. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. These are just a few examples of how vision comes to signify transformation and enlightenment.
Even your favorite rappers spit it to you. Jay-Z says, “I wish you insight so you can see for yourself.” Nas says, “As I grow yearly, I can see things more clearly, thats why they fear me.” The metaphor is everywhere. Think about it. Look for it.
C+ = See Plus. C+ is hidden in the form of a letter and a symbol because we have a tendency to look no further than the surface, proving a mediocre sense of symbol literacy. What did you think C+ meant? Maybe a letter grade? Maybe that computer language?
In retaining the philosophical depth beneath the letter and symbol, C+, we hope to begin a habitual process to question all images and seek the meaning beneath all surfaces. It is our belief that seeing beyond the boundaries of difference, to see the commonality of “us,” and the humanity we all share, will begin a process of social and cultural transformation, in a very positive direction.
Are you serious?? ::
We know its an ambitious idea. We also know its a bit contradictory to house such a progressive idea into such a regressive entity, a brand. But you have to experience the game in order to have any idea about how to improve it. If it were up to us, we’d have written a few books, but not enough young people read. We’d have developed a school curriculum but not everyone has the privilege to attend quality schools. And besides, we’re so much better at cultivating ignorance.
Everyday we are bombarded with visual messages. Those messages piece together to form our perceptions of the world around us, ultimately governing our behavior. Again, improving the quality of the image, improves the thought process, which improves the actions that arise from that thought process. We thought to slip our ideas into the conversation, since the language of consumption seems to be the most proliferated.
So we began a project, called C+, based on the universal sensory experience of vision. We seek clarity in our sight. We seek a more worldly, humanitarian perspective. We seek to break old paradigms, and uplift new ones. We seek to re-frame our visual dialog. We seek sight beyond context. We seek circumspection. We seek to beautify our visual landscape, and to diminish the overwhelming clutter. We seek to construct new, positive imagery. We choose light over darkness.
We serve you, in hopes that you will seek forward progress with us.
The product is a conduit for an idea, and the enterprise of selling the product sustains our dialog with you. What were once the building blocks of our creative identity and imagination, now in a new context, become a metaphor for visual enhancement. Have a look.
A New Beginning ::
Improvement begins when we question the assumptions that form the foundation of our worldview, to deconstruct the perceptions we have, to challenge the limitations of our vantage point, to see beyond the surface of an image, to seek alternative perspectives beyond our own, to look past the boundaries of ideological divisions…to seek clarity in our vision.
Re-visualize your notion of what is truth, and bear witness to it, in all its neckidness.
I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world…without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries…a world…where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.
It all depends on how you see it.
visit C+ Jewelry to participate in the effort to reframe our visual dialog, and for some fresh jewelry.
The night is dark before dawn. And day is coming.