The Cultural Percentage Theory

By Andrew Lyman

It doesn’t matter what circles you travel in, to which scene you consider yourself a part, 98 percent of the people involved will assuredly be idiots. This applies to punk scenes, industrial scenes, indie scenes, metal scenes, art scenes, light-jazz scenes, funk scenes, literary circles, civil war re-enactments, Scrabble clubs, kayaking organizations; it doesn’t matter. Ninety-eight percent of the people involved will be of absolutely no value whatsoever. Also, 98 percent of these people will feel that 98 percent of the other people involved are absolute nincompoops. But the truth remains that one hundred percent of us are idiots 98 percent of the time, so why all the big fuss? Just go out by yourself sometime and listen in on other people’s conversations.

I did while waiting in line to not see the Buzzcocks. I was eventually informed that they had sold out. Why didn’t I buy my tickets in advance? Well, because I’m an idiot. I belong to that special 98 percent. But I stood there, and had to listen to my peers; fans of a band that I grew up listening to, have loved for years, and would still defend as one the best bands of all time. I mean, we already have that much in common; surely no idiots would be into the Buzzcocks. As it turns out… It’s not that I wish any specific harm to befall them. I’m sure I’m a bad person, too, when someone has to overhear me talking to my friends while they stand alone in line to see (or not see) one of their favorite bands. But that’s the point, we feel graced with the authority to be cultural judge and jury when out in public.

I overheard the girl behind me remark to her mohawked companion, “God, we look like the only people who should even be here!” I turned around and gave her a big grin. A band belongs to everyone. A scene belongs to everyone. A book, a movie, a painting, a street, a landscape; they all belong to everyone. No one has ownership over other people’s tastes or experiences. Leave everyone the freedom to play his or her own part; enjoy his or her own thing. I reckon it’s even a possibility that the 30-somethings in polo shirts waiting in line in front of me had just as good a time (if not better, because, while their conversations were maddeningly vacuous and dull, they were not exclusively contemptuous) as the “punks” behind me. So permit me the honor to act as judge and jury and declare us all guilty, and sentence us to get over ourselves. We’ll be okay, I promise.

All opinions expressed by Andrew Lyman are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

Andrew Lyman is the son of both a father and a mother. He is a member of the Human Beings, the founder of the Church of the Perpetual Saturday, and a co-founder of Young Team He currently lives in Chicago where he eats food and sleeps in a bed on a semi-regular basis. He bides his time watching books, reading music, and hearing movies. More information can be collected on his activities at either: or

Human Beings:

Top 5 Band Names:
1. Throbbing Gristle
2. Urethra Franklin
3. Rapeman
4. Romantic Gorilla
5. Jesus Lizard

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