Everytime we want to express our feelings we grasp for the correct symbol to do so. If you love someone, you send flowers. If you hate someone, you send an article of their clothing in a tampon box to their job (it happened to my big cousin Juan). If you're a patriot, you put a flag up and gaze at it adoringly. If you are an asshole, you wear monogrammed shirts bearing the initials ZXZ. All of these things are symbols, things we do almost without thinking. The biggest part of the problem is not thinking. It's reflexive symbolism.
The greatest symbols in the world are words. Words stand in for feelings. We all agree that a word "means" something, and that's that. But do we ever stand back and think about that shared feeling. If someone says to you "I'm angry", you get an ideal of what that means and what it feels like, but does it really convey the rawness and the immediacy of that emotion?
When someone sees a cross on a building, do they instantly think of the suffering of Jesus at his crucifixion or do they think "That must be a church"? When you see a church these days, you don't think much of sacrifice, at least not at the mega ones. Overused symbols lose all meaning.
The basis of me writing this is to describe a struggle I've been having for awhile. I've wanted to expunge all bullshit symbolism from my life. I'm searching for the ultimate "me".
I eschew all clothing that identifies me as a "part" of some organization or legacy. I minimize what I say. And I try to be efficient in what I write. It's part of my backlash against movies and a gang of books. "That dark alley way symbolizes the journey that he takes on the way to salvation." You know what? Fuck that dark alley way. Just show me the journey, well lit and shit.
In America, we tend to put too much weight into what certain words or actions symbolize in a person. The over-reliance on symbols to tell us what we seek to understand lead us to ignore the real, the palpable, the ACTUAL. I want us to participate in the world around us, it's telling us so much, instead of relying on symbols to do the grunt work for us.