Fashion guru Michael Kors said something during Thursday night’s finale of Project Runway that has been on my mind ever since (hey, don’t judge me — I like the show). In debating who should win, he noted that Gretchen, the ultimate winner, was “tuned into the vibe” of where fashion is going. The other finalist in the debate was popular and had great clothes, but Kors continued to refer to the idea that “we’re always looking for where fashion is going to take us” and that Gretchen was “on the vibe.”
This may seem completely goofy, psychedelic or even snobbish to you, but it reminds me of Richard Adams’ “Unbroken Web,” that plane of existence hovering above the planet that sensitive people touch in order to retrieve creative ideas. I’m convinced there is a “vibe” and that it is speaking loudly, because we’re in the midst of one of the most creative times in the history of humankind, a kind of right brain renaissance, if you will.
I am influenced daily by people that I believe are on the cultural and media vibe, people like Dave Winer, John Hagel, Kevin Kelly, Jay Rosen, Clay Shirky, Jeff Jarvis, Doc Searls, Robert Scoble, Michael Rosenblum, David Weinberger, Michael Arrington, Seth Godin and many others. Reading their thoughts is an instant connection to that vibe, and it fills me up in ways I can’t describe. Out of that flows the things that I write, for each of us has different gifts to add to the greater understanding of what Life is telling us in the abstract, the purpose of which is to bring it into the light of practice for all to understand.
The problem with media, for me, is that most people in positions to do anything about it aren’t on the vibe, so it’s counterintuitive, confusing and most definitely frightening. Worse than the blank stares are the “we don’t agree with you’s,” because the path to opening such eyes is longer and tougher. At least blank stares can be taught. This is my greatest frustration as one who thinks, writes and attempts to teach others. I’m more than happy to discuss your disagreement, but you’re going to have to leave your contempt at the door and come into the discussion with an open mind. Most are unwilling to do that.
I work for Jerry Gumbert, a very, very smart man. He’s a bit of a quiet giant in the world of television news, and while you may have never heard the name, I promise you’ve been influenced by his work somehow, somewhere. We make a great team, because he’s much more wired into the selling of ideas, whereas I’m more of the “why can’t you see this” kind of guy. He knows my frustration and is constantly advising me to just take it slow and lead people to the light. And so I try, but here’s my real concern.
Being on the vibe stirs passion and ideas, but it also reveals the insanity of clinging to the status quo, not so much because it’s foolish, but because it’s so dangerous. Sometimes I honestly don’t think there’s time to lead people to the light, and that makes me nervous and fearful.
I realize that in writing this I’ve announced my belief that I am “on the vibe,” although I really think that judgment belongs with others. Like I’ve said before, though, I don’t really give a crap what everybody else thinks anyway, and the question that matters has nothing to do with me anyway.
Are you on the vibe?