We children were supposed to be the future. That future was shaped by the conditions of our environment as navigated and in relation to our biology, or so we are told by the sciences. Today, Yahoo tells us we can have an internet with our personality. We are told that we are masters of our lives and consumers of whatever we want. It is our choice. Our ego that drives this last Century of the Self. However much this narrative may be dominant, it is the environment that play upon us more and more – built, social, and natural. On nature, She is looking to shrug us off – whether by our actions or not it does not matter. On society, we are being stressed by a world made more complex not because of any teleological progression but because a multitude of college and university educated dunderhead/s are looking for niches and thereby creating a make-work world where “models” and “frameworks” that dominate our mental landscape and serve as the straw foundation of a majority of the world’s economies as we have run out of industrious folk to make actual things and things to make. Our laws, our social norms (yeah, social norms have changed but they’re still here), and where we live and spend formative years, are shaping us more than we like to believe. Codes, expectations, and our learned desires have been internalized while at the same time we believe more and more that our own spirit, our Geist, is directing our existence, we all some step-child of The Fountainhead. Our future is set a great deal by the socialization of our fellow human(oids) and conditioned by external stimuli. We have become a world of clever TeeVee references, film quotes, and ironic comments we long forgot were ironic.
Summa summarum, we are actors and the props on the stage inform us as to our roles and to a certain extent, the script we follow. Society has in many ways shifted to set of dual but concurrent expectations.
In a short opinion, it has fallen apart. In a longer set, an argument can be made that we have become a society driven by contradictions – this seen in all aspects of life from social to the economic (no jobs yet high profits and DOW). It is our desires that have been manipulated and tarnished by educators, advertisers and the media, and governmental activists from every stripe and insane Neo idea. We are conditioned to desire, to want all the time and to want two things at once – which like matter, cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
We want freedom, but demand security. We want sex (this is not a Puritan society but a hypersexualized one) but don’t allow it (you can look at advertisements of bodies but never touch).
We sell sexualized youth and sell protection from an army of winged pedophiles descending on the country (a great percentage of half-naked models selling clothes are under 15). We are sold the idea of leisure but demanded that we work longer.
We are told we must choose everything except when it is “zero tolerance” and there “is no choice” (the teacher who instills the idea of choice as paramount – “Johnny, you choose to do the wrong thing” – a morality washed clean of g/G/_/od/s/ess/es but nevertheless beliefs set on magical concepts and theories by a group of ancient sodomites).
We demand peace but constantly make war. we want truth but consume only the opinions we already believe. We want a united people yet sell hyphenated identities and meta-cultures.
We want to buy everything ever made and yet conserve. We want open land yet developments everywhere.
We want our children to be responsible yet orchestrate every element of their lives and wrap them in a bubble of protection and paranoia. We want commitment and long-term relationships yet sell flings and “playing the field.”
The list of conflicting and concurrent realities could go on. It is no wonder political comedy such as The Onion or The Daily Show just write themselves.
This society has entered large group therapy. Yet, it is the conditioning of Est training and the cult. We are told “come closer, stop where you are!” “Share your feelings, why are you talking?” “Give me a hug, don’t touch me!”
If you find yourself conflicted about who to be, how to live, what to do with that life you have. It is the nature of our times. It will be interesting to see what comes of this and how these conflicts are sorted out in what may be our last decade.