Quick and Fun Comparisons
A fun way to get facile with CSPT ideas is to look at how differences get reflected symbolically in choices we make. A few favorites: pet choices (anacondas and praying mantises vs. golden retrievers and Dobermans vs. Siamese cats, small dogs, and poodles), transportation (Volkswagen buses and bicycles vs. trucks, cars that are affordable and reliable, and the occasional Oldsmobile or Cadillac vs. Lexuses, BMWs, Infinities, and the occasional young starving artist’s borrowed whatever), favorite hats (“Hmm, was I wearing a hat?” vs. baseball caps vs. pill boxes), and bumper stickers. More serious concerns—such as religious preferences or political persuasions—are also worth a look. (You must, of course, be careful in the fun of caricature not to develop hardening of the categories. As Einstein said, “It is important to make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.)
A brief survey follows. Feel free to send us your own:
While more common on Middle-Axis vehicles, when an Early gets into them, bumper stickers flourish with a characteristic boundary-less flair. The archetype: a 1960’s vintage Volkswagon with more bumper stickers than legitimate paint. Favorite to date—
“Visualize Whirled Peas”
Middles are the kings, queens, vassals and serfs of bumper stickers. Here one finds the most and the best. Some of my favorites—
“I brake for beer.”
“Children: Tired of being harassed by your stupid parents?
Act now! Move out. Get a job. Pay your own bills
while you still know everything “
“I know Jack Shit”
Late-Axis people prefer vanity plates.
Earlies tend to prefer the word spirituality to the word religion. Being in nature, meditation and Eastern philosophy, and the exploration of things like mythology, shamanism, and Goddess symbolism might be identified by various Earlies as their favored ways to connect with the sacred. People who identify with witchcraft generally have Early/Lower personalities.
Middles are the most apt to identify with religion in a traditional institutional sense. The more conservative sectors of religious tradition often have particular appeal—fundamentalist Christian, Catholic, more orthodox Jewish—but you will find the greater portion of attendance in all but the most liberal of congregations to be preponderantly Middle. Christian religious cults usually emanate from the early parts of Middle-Axis.
Late-Axis people tend to be more secular in their sensibilities, but are also often church or Synagogue attenders. In most cases they opt for a congregation of liberal persuasion—Unitarian, for example—one more philosophical than ritualistic or moralistic.
Earlies tend to be liberal or liberal/radical if they identify with political process. Politics easily feels like just too much of a Middle/Upper-Late/Upper world. The issues they are most apt to get involved around are peace and the environment. Civil rights and gender issues can also get them engaged.
Middle/Upper/Outers tend to be best at traditional politics—the constant jockeying for turf and influence is right up their alley. Middle/Uppers tend toward the conservative—that identification with impulse control. Middle/Lowers may be either quite conservative out of their identification with traditional values or liberal out of identification with the underprivileged.
Late/Uppers, particularly if they have a fair dose of Middle/Upper, can also be quite effective in the political sphere. Late/Upper/Outers tend to be conservative out of identification with social and economic advantage, and Late/Inners and Late/Lowers liberal out of their identifications with individual freedom and the feeling side of experience.
Earlies: jazz, world music, traditional, new age, some classical if the personality is ascendant, some rock and roll( Grateful Dead, yes; Hammer time, no).
Middles: Country western, rock and roll, folk (all for lowers). Souza marches. Opera and classical (for uppers particularly if quite ascendant).
Late: jazz, classical, pop, easy listening.
Earlies: Utne Reader, New Age, Buzzworm, Whole Earth Review, underground and avant garde arts magazines. For Early/Upper/Outers computer magazines, Technology Review, and Wired.
Middles: The Nation, Family Circle, Field and Stream, Popular Mechanics, Reader’s Digest, The National Enquirer,
National Geographic, Car and Driver, Penthouse, Consumer’s Reports.
Lates: New Yorker, Vogue, Scientific American, Vanity Fair, Barrons, The Atlantic, Harpers, Money Magazine, Fortune, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Playboy.