Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, homebrewer, and new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and he firmly believes that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the single greatest atrocity committed against mankind. He is a graduate of Clarion Writer's Workshop at UCSD ('13) & Emerson College ('08).

Woke Up New

Does anyone else find it as strange as I do that people like Lady Gaga and Bob Dylan stand up as examples of individualism, and preach about being yourself, et cetera (Gaga more so), while exerting a fairly conscious and contrived effort to be anything but themselves? It's come to my attention that we live in a society where we admire individualism and self as a construct, a world that stresses not just being yourself, but the active creation of the You you want to be.

(I swear, I'm not trying to preach anything, or assert any well-formed ideas; I'm just trying to get your braingears moving. A lot of these ideas are much better articulated in Warren Ellis's Doktor Sleepless, which ranks high on my recommended reading list for anyone with half a brain)

That was pretty much the genesis of the new piece I just put up on, about a boy who longs to grow up and be himself, and the trials he faces along the way.

(Please realize that I don't mean any of this as a slight on individualism, or trans-anything for that matter; I'm well aware that some people feel that they may not have been born in the right skin, and I fully support their choices in becoming who they feel they were meant to be. I was just trying to have a little creative fun with the idea of "being yourself" as more of a literal black-and-white concept than it really is.

Or maybe I'm just fucking with syntax and context. I don't know. I need a beer.)

"How To Be Yourself Without Really Trying" on

Okay, so I really just liked the title of this song, even though the song has nothing to do with the poem I wrote. But it's still a good song!