Posted by: CJ | February 9, 2010


I’ve been hanging up a few posters in my room. And I’ve decided I’d like another one or two, since I have plenty of unused wall space. But I can’t seem to find a poster I like of my college or any of the big cities I’ve spent a significant amount of time in. Or of academic related subject material I really appreciate.

Instead, there are tons of posters of art works that are relatively meaningless to me, luminaries of various fields, and famous cities I’ve never been to. I don’t want a poster of Paris or London or LA or any other big city I don’t really associate with because that’s not who I am! And if I have a poster in my room, it’s because I bloody well want to ground my room in my me-ness.

Same deal with those silly posters of famous physicists, chemists, mathematicians, and other scientists. I study the scientific field, not the famous people who contributed to it. It’s the field that’s the impressive work and which drives me on, not that Einstein had funny hair, that Feynman had witty sayings, that Jane Goodall is too friendly with gorillas, or that Leibniz thought everything was wonderful.

And having a poster of something music-related is lost on me. The music I like is created for mass appeal and mass marketability. And even though it’s fun, it certainly hasn’t influenced me or lead me to greater heights of understanding or what not. So no music posters.

Posters of philosophers or writers I can understand. The works of those people are hard to extricate from their creators and their particular time and context. What they produce has far more to do with them as people than what scientists produce. On the flip side, I’m not particularly in love with any specific book or philosophy, hence writers and philosophers don’t really move me.

(I have a poster of Don Quixote, though. But it’s just a stand-in for the Arthurian legends I grew up on.  It reminds me about the tension between those ideals and what happens when they’re faced with cold reality. You start jousting with windmills. It would be tragic, if not for the large number of windmills that deserve to be unhorsed.)

In sum, I’m in a bad mood because I cannot find mass-produced items that I believe suitably represent my unique individuality.


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