One thing that did come of it, however, is the necessity to define what 'mainstream' culture is. Since being labelled 'mainstream' has brought about offense here at St. Cynic, I thought it would be fitting to attempt to clarify what I mean by 'mainstream'. Not because I want to remove any offense given, but because I find it especially important to offend with good reason.
The adjective form (and the form that is most commonly used at St. Cynic) of 'mainstream', according to Random House Dictionary, 2009 is “belonging to or characteristic of a prinicple, dominant, or widely accepted group, movement, style, etc.” Accordingly, someone being labelled 'mainstream' is being observed to be part of the most prevalent and commonly accepted idea, group, or trend within a given culture.
For example, if the majority of people in Toronto, Canada wore bell-bottom pants with bedazzler-laden pleather cowboy boots, that would be the 'mainstream' fashion choice. Rejecting such a hideous fashion choice, however, would put one outside of the 'mainstream'.
Examples abound of non-mainstream choices: anti-vaccination, family-led learning, barefooting, eco-building, co-sleeping/family beds, child-led weaning from the breast (breast milk isn't best, it's the default), ancestral traditional diets, embraced symbiosis with microbes, intact genitalia for both sexes, libertarianism, bartering, wholistic healthcare, small poly-culture family-based farming, off-grid living, large familes, squating toilets, television free, and the list goes on almost as extensively as what is deemed 'mainstream'.
To be sure, being mainstream affords many comforts: predictability, wide social acceptance, political favour, being able to make full use of government services, potential for being mostly conflict free in daily social rigours, being able to count yourself as 'normal' (that is, fitting in), having an impact within societal systems, being able to empathize with more of the general population, the virtue of blissful ignorance (not my interpretation, I've been told this one more than a few times), etc.
So while I don't participate in much of what is mainstream, and do have a disdain for much of what is touted as acceptable within mainstream, I don't necessarily consider it bad, or evil or anything quite so jejune. It simply is what it is: ever-shifting according to the zeitgeist (spirit of the times). So, if the zeitgeist is sick, so is the mainstream. If it is well, likewise.
Our current zeitgeist is clearly in need of some major reparation, and TLC.