When I was a kid, I loved the Harry Potter books. This isn’t exactly a mind-blowing revelation, as that was an opinion shared by most of my peers. However, my middle school self was so anti-mainstream that I felt the need to express my adoration of the J.K. Rowling series in a way that was different from that of my classmates. Hence, I had my dad order the original British versions from Amazon U.K. for me to read.
At the time, words like mainstream, indie and hipster didn’t mean anything to me — I simply wanted to be different. The need to feel different is just as natural as the need to fit in, but just like any other impulse, it can be dangerous if left unchecked. You can fall down the rabbit hole of irony and cynicism, and eventually, your opinions won’t really be yours at all.
This phenomenon has helped form the cloud of insincerity that hovers over today’s arts scene. Bands, films and television shows are deemed uncool, and thus unworthy, before you can say “Arcade Fire.” I often find myself having to say things like “You know, I sincerely like Fountains of Wayne. Seriously, listen to ‘Welcome Interstate Managers.’”
Sincerity is what this issue is all about. In these pages, the WSN Arts desk scrounged the music, film, television and theater scenes to celebrate the sincere and call out the insincere. We want to show how even a two-hour video game can be one of the most transcendental life experiences you will ever come across. Above all, we want to show that we have feelings for a reason, and it would be a waste trying not to care.
|- Josh Johnson|
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