I’ve been mulling over the word “safe” for the past year or so. I started actively thinking about it when I went to my brother’s graduation and he gave a presentation on Safety and Risk. He introduced the idea of “safety is an illusion” to me in a way that sparked a whole set of connections in my brain to current U.S. social, law, and medical systems. My brother is an outdoor climbing instructor, and as a rule he refuses to include the word “safe” in the contracts his students sign.
I’ve been casually thinking about Safety probably since the early 90’s when I noticed the towering wooden/metal playgrounds being replaced by plastic, low rise bubbles. This physical and pragmatic swapping out of risk-initiation now seems to have seeped its way into the consciousness of so many near college graduates, about to make the leap into a jobless world, where the unrealistic expectation is to nail a career right out of the gate, instead of I guess, washing dishes. That’s one collective manifestation of a series of growing expectations loaded on the upcoming generation of early 20’s kids. Some of this stuff seems self imposed – like they’re enforcing their own prison sentence.
These observations are anecdotal of course. I’ve had conversations with people in their early 20’s who could give a fuck about safety. But the overriding consensus seems to be one of risk aversion instead of risk celebration. The number one question I get from college kids is: “How do I land a career in animation?” My answer to them is to give up on the concept of a career and focus on complete submission to the pursuit of art vision. I think maybe 10 percent of the kids I talk to react well to this answer. This really is just the tip of the iceberg to what I’m starting to evaluate as a mass consensus, reverse mirror assault on the human spirit. What do I mean by “reverse mirror”? I don’t know! It just came into my head so I wrote it down.
I won’t to go too deep into this thought stream, because I feel it manifesting in my creative work, and I’d rather address it there. It does feel like a cop-out to cut this blurb short, as I have a shit ton of thoughts on it but I really do intend to address these ideas in my creative output so I would be spoiling my future content by just blurting out everything in thought piece format. Unfortunately I couldn’t help very briefly noting this initial seed of thought on Safety, as I watch it ripple through our new emerging etiquette.