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Are you part of a "counter culture"?
Old 07-23-2007, 11:41 PM   #1
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Are you part of a "counter culture"?

If you're on this forum you're probably saving money and thinking about the future, so you're different from most Americans, but would you additionally describe yourself as part of a "counter culture"?
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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Maybe at one point.

At the moment, I am fully sold out to the man.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:10 AM   #3
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Nah. I'm still a consumer lusting after goods, following trends, waiting for football season, etc.. Maybe not as much as others, and I like to think I'm different, but actually I'm pretty mainstream when I think about it.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:40 AM   #4
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Well, the term "culture" is probably too strong to apply to me, but I definitely hold some perspectives and values that are in a distinct minority within my profession.

For example, all of these are counter to the prevailing opinion and lifestyle in my profession: I think FIRE is a good thing (not quite there myself, but only for planning reasons) and that working til age 70 is undesirable to me, other than perhaps lightly for personal satisfaction. I tend to like working in a team model rather than by myself. I strongly believe in universal health care. I made career choices pretty much ignoring financial gain (I am more than comfortable but some colleagues earn 2-3 times my income for the same work and less drama). I have done things for unexplainable pleasure that have unnecessary risk (motorcycle and planes, for example). I get attached to internet forums .

So, if not countercultural, I'm at least culturally atypical in some ways.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:56 AM   #5
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I strongly believe in universal health care. I made career choices pretty much ignoring financial gain (I am more than comfortable but some colleagues earn 2-3 times my income for the same work and less drama).
Dude, you are definitely counter culture, and we need more like you

I can't say I'm "counter-culture" but there are times I've been caught like a fish out of water in a different counter culture. One time was in grad school when the students were more interested in rioting against 'Nam and shutting down the school. When they called for a strike against classes I found myself the only person in my class, hoping really hard the prof wouldn't ask a question.

For the last few years I've been part time and periodically refuse additional hours, prefering a simpler less stressful lifestyle. Most (all) of my colleagues seem to be the opposite, going full blast, having little time for anything except work and earning much more money than me, but not enjoying their lifestyle nearly as much.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:04 AM   #6
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Although I might have described myself in that way 40 years ago, by now I do not feel part of anything, whether culture or counter-culture.

I am an individualist, and I have finally come to terms with that fact. It is the only way that I can live and be entirely true to myself. Otherwise, I am crowbarring myself into someone else's set of assumptions instead of making my own. We are each inventing ourselves as we live our lives, and in the end, in a sense we are each alone. That is not necessarily so bad.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:30 AM   #7
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Always been a bit of a maverick. I have no problem buying when others are selling. Not a consumer. Don't like index funds or average returns. Rent my home. Think most politicians are not worthy of my vote.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:38 AM   #8
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If by counter culture you mean not buying a bunch of crap that you won't use much and that will end up in the landfill. If you mean the rejection of the "more is better" mantra that is driven into our collective heads by the media. If you mean the rejection of consumerism and working till you drop to fund a lifestyle that will never really make you happy...

Then yes count me in.

Oh if only I had a Buick... Then I'd be happy and everyone would like me.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Well, the term "culture" is probably too strong to apply to me, but I definitely hold some perspectives and values that are in a distinct minority within my profession.

For example, all of these are counter to the prevailing opinion and lifestyle in my profession: I think FIRE is a good thing (not quite there myself, but only for planning reasons) and that working til age 70 is undesirable to me, other than perhaps lightly for personal satisfaction. I tend to like working in a team model rather than by myself. I strongly believe in universal health care. I made career choices pretty much ignoring financial gain (I am more than comfortable but some colleagues earn 2-3 times my income for the same work and less drama). I have done things for unexplainable pleasure that have unnecessary risk (motorcycle and planes, for example). I get attached to internet forums .

So, if not countercultural, I'm at least culturally atypical in some ways.
Hey, I was going to write this!

Except for the airplane part.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:09 AM   #10
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I had a hippie childhood, against which I rebelled by later becoming mainstream.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:11 AM   #11
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Although I might have described myself in that way 40 years ago, by now I do not feel part of anything, whether culture or counter-culture.

I am an individualist, and I have finally come to terms with that fact. It is the only way that I can live and be entirely true to myself. Otherwise, I am crowbarring myself into someone else's set of assumptions instead of making my own. We are each inventing ourselves as we live our lives, and in the end, in a sense we are each alone. That is not necessarily so bad.
Yeah, what Want2 said!

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Always been a bit of a maverick. I have no problem buying when others are selling. Not a consumer. ......Think most politicians are not worthy of my vote.
And what he said, too. (well, 'cept for the index funds thing, and I don't rent...but other than that...)
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:38 AM   #12
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Although I often take the contrarian path against the accepted practice, I don't consider myself countercultural. Socially left of center, financially right of center, and generally moderate, being from a "red state" makes me feel a little different sometimes. But that's just because of where I am probably.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:57 AM   #13
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I definitely am....too americanized for my indian culture....too indian for the american culture!
In my early 30's saving for retirement while my friends buy the latest gizmos and clothes.
Selling all of my furniture to create a studio, spending money on brushes and paint.
Not playing in the corporate game....just on the edge of the chaos!
Love jumping in the puddles during a rainstorm (as neighbors watch aghast from their windows). I love being a little impulsive, spontaneous, not part of the straight and narrow path....it keeps life interesting.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:14 AM   #14
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No. My counters are cheap laminate.. no cultured stone there.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:24 AM   #15
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I definitely am....too americanized for my indian culture....too indian for the american culture!
Just read a novel on this very issue, since many of my much younger colleagues are 2nd generation East Indian (their parents are my contemporaries). It's a fascinating glimpse into cross-cultural issues, India-to-America. The main character is a young architect in New England, strays then returns to his family values in a highly hybrid way. It's an interesting variation of the American immigrant experience. Of course, I've forgotten the author and title but I'll edit it in when I get home.

I like to envision that experience as being not counter-cultural, but perhaps cross-cultural. Is that accurate in your experience?
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:35 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
If by counter culture you mean not buying a bunch of crap that you won't use much and that will end up in the landfill. If you mean the rejection of the "more is better" mantra that is driven into our collective heads by the media. If you mean the rejection of consumerism and working till you drop to fund a lifestyle that will never really make you happy...

Then yes count me in.

Oh if only I had a Buick... Then I'd be happy and everyone would like me.
I am much the same.

I'm not interested in most 'pop culture' or sports or fashions and I watch little TV; which meant I often didn't know what the cow-orkers were talking about.

A car is something to get from here to there and back again.

Clothes are to cover me and keep me comfortable.

I compost and garden.

I enjoy being a hermit.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Just read a novel on this very issue, since many of my much younger colleagues are 2nd generation East Indian (their parents are my contemporaries). It's a fascinating glimpse into cross-cultural issues, India-to-America. The main character is a young architect in New England, strays then returns to his family values in a highly hybrid way. It's an interesting variation of the American immigrant experience. Of course, I've forgotten the author and title but I'll edit it in when I get home.

I like to envision that experience as being not counter-cultural, but perhaps cross-cultural. Is that accurate in your experience?

I have found it to be counter-cultural.....especially from my indian family who can't/won't understand why I have embraced the american way of life. I have grown up here and most of my life, I rebelled against my indian culture. Now that I am comfortable in my skin, I can embrace the indian and american ways of life. My parents cannot understand why I won't get married to a "good indian boy" and make lots of babies and cook indian food from scratch every night. They are scared that once they are gone, I won't be able to stand on my two feet.

BTW....I have been living on my own since I was 21....except for 1.5 years that I moved back home after the breakup of an engagement. I have bought a condo, sold a condo, handle my own finances, have no debt, haven't asked them for one dime, and have an incredibly full life.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:18 AM   #18
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Curious - how old were you when you came to America? Sounds like you were very young and I'd assume it was your parents who brought you here in the first place.

Big issues for all of you to tackle. I admire what you've done, and maybe someday your parents will, too.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:37 AM   #19
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Rich:

I was 10...we came here in 1985.
Thank you for your kind words.....I hope that they can see what I have accomplished as well.

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Old 07-24-2007, 11:42 AM   #20
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Dunno that I'm any kind of counter-cultural person. I'm more a Sears poncho kinda guy. Did the Navy thing during the SE Asia adventure under the 4 on the water beats 2 in the jungle theory, but didn't even consider Canada. Did various drugs but didn't join any communes. Had long hair through all our bank loan processes on the properties but finally cut it off a couple years ago. I do think Mick kind of nailed it: "Just as all the cops are criminals, and all that sin are saints, as heads are tails ...."
I think businesses tend to advertise what they wish they had (customer service, lowest prices) and that people tend to gravitate toward the things they feel weakest in: I funded our real estate with work as a mechanic, though i don't feel i've any natural mechanical bent. Now as a landlord I do a fair amount of social stuff with tenants though i am by nature withdrawn. Could it be that we are all internally counter to our selves? Thus being most likely in a culture foreign to our inner essence; thus countercultural?
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