Gimmick or Gandhi…how do you decide?
I really enjoyed Joslyn Hamilton’s latest article on her experience with famous yoga teacher Bryan Kest. In her piece, Hamilton called out Kest’s “schtick.” For lack of a better reference, Wiktionary defines schtick as “a gimmick.” As I read Hamilton’s article, I nodded with a smile, took her words clearly as her opinion and experience, laughed, appreciated her honesty, and moved on to the comments, where it seemed some took her words with a bit of annoyance.
One commenter said, “Everyone has a schtick, and it has nothing to do with ‘authenticity.’”
This got me thinking, is there some specified discernment prototype or rule of judgment on schticking vs. authenticity?
What makes (for example purposes…) Gandhi authentic, but Bryan Kest a gimmick?
Why can’t Bryan Kest’s schtick be authentic? Just because it is perceived or used as a gimmick or because it makes him famous, doesn’t mean it’s not him. And who is anyone to judge that? What are the criteria for critiquing another’s authenticity? Is it use of money? Fame? Media?
If a famous yoga teacher gives to a charity, touts vegetarianism as the Yoga principle of ahimsa (non-violence), or teaches free classes as part of their schtick, does it cancel out a gimmick and become more authentic? What do the ancient Yoga texts say about schticks? For that matter, what do the ancient Yoga texts say about using sex to sell Yoga products? Or naked images to get readers to click on Yoga articles? Is that a schtick too?
Is Hamilton’s schtick that she doesn’t care and doesn’t buy it and is over it? Is my schtick that I’m wide eyed, seemingly confused, afraid to offend…writing in all questions rather than opinionated statements?
The question remains, who decides and based on what?
We each judge schtickiness based on our own experience of course. But in my experience, “my experience” is limited and I guess I just feel unqualified to judge another’s. I’m not saying you are as well, just asking. This is my post and my schtick, for today.