I Proudly Wear Many Hats…
I don’t know if this is my midlife crisis, but I do feel as though my existential angst has reached a sort of cliff edge or tipping point, as if life for it’s own sake is no longer enough justification to continue, much like the cherished myths we’ve built up around ourselves in this land we call ‘America.’ I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, living in this society has been an ever-increasing exercise in absurdity, anguish and the inducement of anxiety.
First of all, Canada and Mexico are both technically ‘American’ nations because they too exist here on the North American continent. And since ‘The Americas’ also extend to the southern tip of Argentina, that means everyone from Fairbanks to Vancouver to Austin to Jalisco to Panama City to Bogata to Buenos Aries and most Western Hemisphere points in between is technically an American Citizen as well. So I feel it a bit absurd, and don’t really consider it a badge of honor anymore, to call myself an American simply because I live in ‘the States’.
The anxiety we instill in each other, almost from birth (if not prenatal gestation) is equally absurd. The Information Age has fostered and allowed our collective ego to metastasize via the promotion of near-rabid Individualism, rather than giving us a chance to let go of ego by way of genuine and honest human connection. Social media has basically become a museum/gallery to our own carefully curated individual mythologies. Only the best, most glamorous bits count for anything in a world where the appearance of integrity matters more than integrity itself, where substance manufactured from style is more relevant than substance fostered from intellect and honest reputation.
Social media has basically aggravated the notion that only the pretty people get to do pretty-people things and everyone else has to sit back and watch/spend if they want to be considered productive citizens. I wish I could feel better about this, more generous, but there are just so many commentators (like Leah O'Daniel) coming to the same same conclusion, that we’ve basically been ruined as a society because of the Information Age. You can read a bit more about what that means by way of this essay posted on Medium in September of last year.