Being Unique: The Fight Against Clichéd Humanity

Updated on December 10, 2017
cam8510 profile image

Chris practices free writing which often produces humorous or introspective results with practical applications to living life more fully.

Source

Etymology of Electrotyping, Stereotyping, and Cliché

Electrotype is a new word for me. Stereotype is not. Both words rose out of the printing industry of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The word cliché was another word for stereotype in the publishing world. A cliché in the eighteenth century was a single metal sheet of copied typeset.

Electrotyping and stereotyping were methods of creating a permanent typeset for a specific publication such as a book or newspaper. The copied typeset, the cliché, could be used for reprints so the original typeset could be disassembled and used for other projects. These inventions were revolutionary in the publishing world. The words gained a much broader use outside publishing as time went on.

John Mellencamp, Peaceful World

Electrotyping, Stereotyping, and Cliché Defined

While electrotype may be a new word to many of us, we all recognize stereotype and cliché. The Collins Dictionary defines stereotype as "a fixed general image or set of characteristics that a lot of people believe represent a particular type of person or thing." Cliché is "an idea, action, or habit that has become trite from overuse." All three of these words, electrotyping, stereotyping and cliché, especially the latter two, have taken on the meaning of identicality or sameness.

As a fiction writer, cliché is something I am learning to avoid. It is the challenge to use my own vocabulary and style. I suppose every word in our dictionaries is a cliché. Language banks on sameness. But stringing together such words in a unique manner is the art of the writer.

When we read our newspapers, books, and magazines, we expect sameness, not of the words themselves, but of the printing of those words. If not for identicality of form, language would not work.

Stereotype Mold

A stereotype mold ("flong") being made
A stereotype mold ("flong") being made | Source

Clichéd Humanity

A good friend, Manatita, recently referred to Oneness as being infinitely more sublime than the word ‘unity.' Oneness, speaks of the arrangement of divergent pieces for the accomplishment of a single goal. This oneness that Manatita speaks of is not the sameness of electrotyping, stereotyping or cliché.

Can people be clichés? Can people with vast differences be one? Notice those two questions harbor different meanings. The first implies replicas of a master model. The second allows for individual differences while uniting around a single purpose.

Cliché surrounds us in secular society. We can see it in literature and in people. I travel for my work. Now I'm in Missoula, Montana. Before that were Billings, St. Louis, Columbus, Louisville, Colorado Springs, Medford, Philadelphia, Albuquerque. Everywhere I go, people talk about the same television programs. Television produces the ultimate, human cliché.

Source

The Struggle Against Clichéd Humanity

Governments around the world struggle to unify cities made up of individuals from a variety of cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Added to that are the differences between one race and another, men and women, LGBT and straight, in addition to the fundamental idiosyncrasies of the individual.

We see unrest in the cities because people will always buck the system that attempts to pigeonhole them. Government only knows how to quantify, organize and file. But the people, the governed, want to thrive and live exciting lives. They want to be significant in their world. Sameness obliterates significance.

Communities of people, all different, must come together outside the reach of government and create a society that requires oneness, not sameness. Can you imagine the file cabinet in which no two pieces of paper were appropriate for the same file folder? That is the essence of oneness, the freedom to be unique yet belong to a single community.

Source

The Difference Between Sameness and Oneness

Electrotyping and stereotyping sought to eliminate any flaw on the typeset. The result was the reproducibility of exact form. That has been good for the printing industry. It is death when applied to the human race.

The challenge is to discern the difference between sameness and oneness. The former leads to slavery, totalitarianism, indoctrination, and censorship. The latter is much more difficult to maintain. It is related to freedom. Sameness and bondage are bedfellows in a dictatorial state. Oneness and freedom are partners in a free society.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        Chris

        I found this really interesting, and in many ways rewarding to read.

        The country where I live (New Zealand) was founded on a document that guaranteed at least two cultures would live side by side, it hasn't always been easy, but over the years the two have grown to respect each other, and in many ways it's opened the door for other cultures to come in an live alongside.

        I often work alongside Indians, Fijians, Samoans, Tongans, Maori and Pakeha (that's Maori for white people) but one thing we all have in common is we all regard ourselves as 'Kiwi' as well as our nationality!

        To me, 'oneness' speaks of a unity of purpose, and not forcing another into the same 'mold' I'm in.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        10 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

        Thanks MizB

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 

        10 months ago from Beautiful South

        Oneness comes from love, and with love comes the individual who is both a microcosm of the macrocosm and a freethinker. The groups protesting in the streets, regardless of which side they are own, think only one way, their way. Very good article, Chris.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        10 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

        Audrey, well said. Thank you for this response to my essay.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        10 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        To honor our uniqueness is to find freedom. It is the doorway to inner peace. This attitude that everyone should be the same is stifling inventiveness and individual thinking. As we celebrate our uniqueness we are better able to serve our fellowman. Magnificent article. Thank you.

        Audrey

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        10 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

        Michael, I believe I could spend a week with your comment and still not have reached the depth of your thinking. Thank you for connecting so well with my thinking on the subject of oneness in a free society. May we learn how to use this powerful tool for the benefit of all.

      • profile image

        Michael Milec 

        10 months ago

        O Chris, how to reach your distinction ?

        Within best of our efforts we ( meaning humans ) do incline reaching toward oneness in a free society while a program eliminates/ diminishes opposition and through the unity of a same spirit (creates) identifies a bond of a peaceful environment recognizing of trust, of love, of sentiment , of hope in different subjects evolving by the supreme power of spirit’s dominance in peace one towards another. Sigh.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        10 months ago from london

        An immaculate piece!!

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        10 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

        manatita, Thank you, I am humbled and pleased. Your comments about oneness in your hub struck me and hung with me. I needed to work my way through the subject carefully and this is the result.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        10 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

        Jay C Obrien, Thank you for sharing those words, your own and Casey's. In a sense, our eyes must be on others and not on ourselves. In another sense, our eyes must be on ourselves and not others. If we do those two things right, we might make the world a better place.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        10 months ago from london

        What a brilliant piece of writing and what a strong case presented here. Superb! I actually think that you are back to your best form here. Flowed so effortlessly; so well! Held together and kept with the essence of what you are trying to say. Engaging! So important in writing!

        Thanks for the shout. (sweet chuckle here) I see that you noticed. Guruji has a very long piece somewhere, where he is describing the difference between Oneness and Unity. So sublime! Yet I liked how you tackled it. Sweet and charming! Carry on, Bro.

      • Jay C OBrien profile image

        Jay C OBrien 

        10 months ago from Houston, TX USA

        Edgar Cayce was a spiritualist and teacher.

        Cayce's information presents a hopeful and inspiring approach to spirituality and religion that inextricably weaves all of humanity together. Rather than focusing upon the form of specific religions or dogmas, the readings instead focus upon the importance of every single soul attempting to manifest an awareness of the living Spirit in the earth.

        From Cayce's perspective, our goal is not to simply wait for heaven or to escape the earth; instead, we are challenged to bring an awareness of the Creator into our lives and into our surroundings wherever we may be, right now.

        What is the difference? ...Truth...is of the One source. Are there not trees of oak, of ash, of pine? There are the needs of these for meeting this or that experience...Then, all will fill their place. Find not fault with any, but rather show forth as to just how good a pine, or ash, or oak, or vine thou art!

        -- Edgar Cayce Reading 254-87

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        10 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

        Eric, commonality vs conformity sums up the topic very well. Excellent writing delivered with passion is the most effective. Excellent writing with no passion is useless. Poor writing delivered with passion has probably moved mountains in history. Thanks for the visit.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Just love this friend. In this arena of thought I go all; Commonality vs. conformity. I do not buy a sameness but I embrace oneness. One must be the hand and another the foot. In one body but distinct and equally important parts.

        My elder son says not to write so uniquely it makes people miss the flow of good writing.

        So be it, it is advice well taken but not followed.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        10 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

        NIkki, you said a mouthful and every word is true. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

      • nikkikhan10 profile image

        Nikki Khan 

        10 months ago from London

        Very good article Chris,,Oneness is very important to maintain unity and democracy in a healthy and live society where everyone should be able to respect other’s own theories and differences in order to live happy and free with freedom.

        Thanks for sharing.

        Many Blessings.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)