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We’re All Individuals Together

Hello, I'm Special: How Individuality Became the New Conformity by Hal Niedzviecki

Reviewed by Gerry Donaghy

"In the opening chapters of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Years of Apprenticeship, the eponymous character is a young man enraptured by both the theater and his actress girlfriend Marianne, much to the consternation of his father, a respectable businessman. When Wilhelm finds what he believes to be evidence of Marianne's infidelity, he abandons his dreams of the theater, burns all of the plays he's written, and takes a position in his father's company. Later, while traveling to collect debts owed his father, he encounters a troupe of traveling actors, each one a colorful bohemian stereotype...." Read the entire Powells.com Review.

2 Responses to "We’re All Individuals Together"

    Geoff Sanders May 7th, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    Circa 1962, my High School senior year, someone approached me and said, "Do your own thing, man!" I replied, "Yhy?" He looked nonplussed, then sputtered, "Because - because EVERYBODY'S doing it!" Forty-five years later, this guy's just now noticing? Gimmie a break! La plus ??a change...

    Jose Leandro May 10th, 2006 at 10:24 am

    While it has been said before, many times over, there's nothing new under the sun, the truth is, technology has made such incredible advances in the last few years that the inevitable lack of originality has taken over areas of the human condition that up until now were left to the individual to control. This book, judging from the review, gives a very good account of how far we have relinquished control of ourselves to the false gods of individuality and originality. The same matter was also reviewed with excellent insight by 2 other Canadians, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter in The Rebel Sell. It seems Canadian thinkers are keen observers of the technological impact on the human condition.

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