Inside out

Political ideologies and their respective parties are a charade and irrelevant at this point. When we stopped being nations of citizens and became consumers within economies, and our only meaningful actions became transactions in commodities, power irrevocably shifted. The 20th century order has been turned inside out. Instead of existing within politically controlled societies that supported economies we now have to watch political pantomimes playing out inside economies controlled by corporate and financial institutions.

Elections only tend to be rigged, or unfair or not representative or too close when you lose them but none of those things when you win.

There is an inevitability to all populist movements. The more outrageous it is the more the establishment recoils and the more it blossoms and grows. Trump’s unassailable rise is inevitable. That’s how populism works. More is more. There is little he can do to fail short of behaving himself and becoming respectable.

I have been living with someone from the Millennial generation for the last four years (he’s now 27) and sometimes I’m charmed and sometimes I’m exasperated by how him and his friends—as well as the Millennials I’ve met and interacted with both in person and in social media—deal with the world, and I’ve tweeted about my amusement and frustration under the banner “Generation Wuss” for a few years now. My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move. These are late-end Baby Boomers and Generation X parents who were now rebelling against their own rebelliousness because of the love they felt that they never got from their selfish narcissistic Boomer parents and who end up smothering their kids, inducing a kind of inadequate preparation in how to deal with the hardships of life and the real way the world works: people won’t like you, that person may not love you back, kids are really cruel, work sucks, it’s hard to be good at something, life is made up of failure and disappointment, you’re not talented, people suffer, people grow old, people die. And Generation Wuss responds by collapsing into sentimentality and creating victim narratives rather than acknowledging the realities of the world and grappling with them and processing them and then moving on, better prepared to navigate an often hostile or indifferent world that doesn’t care if you exist.

Generation Wuss – Bret Easton Ellis

Snapchat can’t die because it won’t grow old. Or more to the point, apps and services based on ephemerality will have greater longevity because there is no content to age, grow tired, lose fashion or become embarrassing.

Snapchat has more in common with how we actually live every day. Despite technologists best efforts to persuade us otherwise we still don’t record every conversation, every moment of our lives. We still rely on our wonderfully unreliable memories to recall (or not) the things we may or may not have said or seen. This is the human experience and Snapchat feels like it is more attuned to how we are than Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Periscope.