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October 5, 2019 / Congau

Fake Taste

Taste cannot be discussed. We are frequently reminded of that. Whenever we dare to question someone’s strictly private preferences, it gets hurled back at us. Don’t discuss taste! Well, it’s true of course. Pure taste simply is. It’s there as inexplicably as any other of our innate features. There can’t be a debate, so shut up!

Yes, if the taste is genuine. If it comes from oneself and oneself only. The preference for different kinds of food is usually quite authentic; no one can convince us that we like what we don’t like. Even that is not entirely inborn, though. We have been trained to accept some flavors and who knows what we could have found acceptable with a different upbringing. Still, food serves as the best example of genuine taste.

But if even such neutral values as our gastronomic inclinations can be somewhat challenged, very few of our preferences can in principle go unquestioned. Please don’t get angry now. I’m not going to scrutinize all your cherished likes and dislikes. I’m just politely suggesting that you don’t consider all of them as indelibly engraved in your soul.

Nothing in life needs to remain unexamined. Your choice of music and art is not just there, having arrived out of nothing to form your genuine and unique self. Sorry, sir, we are all products of our environment, and that includes you. Even me, I admit.

Everyone wants to be an individual, why are we then so alike? One is infatuated with a piece of clothing and thinks it exactly expresses his personality, and it just happens to be what everyone else is wearing. Music, the most self-assuring sounds of identity, is delivered to the masses and incessantly copied. Is that really the unique you?

Well, maybe it is. Maybe you are a person who possesses a genuinely rare taste. But even then, it is worth looking into yourself to check if what you see is really you. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” someone said.

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