The Power Of CounterCulture, Breaking Free From The Mainstream Chains

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo
6 min readApr 2, 2022
Photo by Manyu Varma on Unsplash

“The real question is whether the ‘brighter future’ is always so distant. What if it has been here for a long time already — and only our own blindness and weakness have prevented us from seeing it around us and within us, and kept us from developing it.”

Vaclav Havel, The Power of the Powerless

I recently saw this amazing documentary about The Velvet Underground band. It was an outdoor exhibition in Mexico’s City Lake House. Man, it was beautiful, and freaking cold as well. Half the people there left by the middle of the movie. I stayed though. I was fascinated by the band. I instantly clicked with them. They were rebels, rebels of their time.

In one part, they are talking about visiting San Francisco, or LA, I don’t remember, and they describe the people (hippies mainly) that they saw there. They couldn’t understand them with their flower dresses and dreamy smiles. “What the fuck is wrong with these people?” they say. I cracked laughing. I felt identified. They did their own thing.

And that’s where I want to go. Doing your own thing.

The Velvet Underground were many things, but what stands out the most is that they were cool. They came, they sang, even if there were just a few people willing to listen to them at the time, and yet we’re still here, after all these years, admiring the rebelliousness of their artistry.

The internet gave way to people connecting in ways that seemed impossible. You can find everything on the internet. Do you want to find a group of people, just go to Reddit, you’ll find them.

But at the same time, it has created a massive amount of bandwagoning.

Think about the shoes you wear or the food you eat even. The products you place in your hair and the sports brands you use. Don’t you think it unbelievable how we all, around the world, desire almost always the same brand of shoes? Nike’s or Adidas?

There is a hard mainstream culture. We all have the same things on our heads, day to day. Will Smith, Ukraine, Coronavirus, 9–5 office job, going out drinking on weekends. This, that, you know the drill.

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo

Mountaineer, writer, Stoic, Gryffindor.