Co-opting the Alternative

January 1, 2015

Pynchon may be documenting the end of a specific era in American life in Inherent Vice, but there is a universal resonance in his description in which the mainstream co-opts that which was once new, unique, and “alternative”:

“Was it possible, that at every gathering—concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in and freak-in, here, up north, back East, wherever—those dark crews had been busy all along, reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday, all they could sweep up, for the ancient forces of greed and fear?” (Pg. 130, Penguin).

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