My Dear Friends

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Duran Duran album cover by artist Patrick Nagel

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I, like many of my peers who grew up in the MTV generation, was a fan of the artist Patrick Nagel. With new wave music, Duran Duran and art deco-esque depictions of the female form with classic 1980s hairstyles, what’s not to like?

As a senior in high school, that was all I knew. And it hadn’t occurred to me, then, to look further. But I’ve lived a lot of life since then—I’ve traveled, met people and I’ve learned to appreciate myriad forms of art, cultures and beliefs very different from that of my SoCal roots.

Subjectivity, individuality, self-expression … that’s what makes life interesting and unpredictable. Your 18-year-old self may be very different from your 40-year-old self, and your two best friends might be complete opposites. It’s hard to say why one prefers certain music genres, fashion styles, movies or personalities over others, but that’s simply our human nature: individualistic.

We even tend to rate everything and try to explain how much we like certain things over others. From the “best of” this to the “top 10” that, we are all drawn to lists and seem to possess an innate desire to classify, categorize and organize things in a way that makes it easier for us to process.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences ranks the best movies every year and the NCAA ranks college basketball teams when they set the brackets for March Madness. Who’s to say that “Birdman” is better than “Boyhood” or that Murray State should be a 12 seed while Indiana is a 10 seed?

We also rank things without knowing it. I recently teased one of my buddies for saying she was having some of her “dear friends” over for a visit. Obviously these “dear friends” must be a notch above her regular, run-of-the-mill friends. I asked what exactly was the tipping point that turned regular friends in to dear ones—she did not appreciate my questioning and thought I was joking. I’m not sure where I rank in her social order, and I probably shouldn’t ask because I was only half-joking.

Whether it’s a committee of collective opinions or a sole decider, people are subjective. Everyone has singular tastes and we all see the world differently. And that’s OK.

This issue of Laguna Beach Magazine is illustrative of this. Inside, we look at subjects ranging from homegrown artisans and Laguna’s varied architectural styles, to charcuterie trends and the digital art movement—each of which is presented for your enjoyment and your unique perspective.

Steve Zepezauer
Founding Publisher & Editorial Director

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