Sunday, October 15, 2017
In the great neoliberal fantasyland of the 21st century that some of us live in, we are all supposed to be individual autonomous units operating independently and intelligently, and, for the most part, rationally (except that is when it comes to the purchasing of consumer items and services).
And if you’re not such an autonomous individual, positively revelling in your agency, then you are surely striving to become one, straining each molecule of your free self and squeezing everything out of your every waking minute in order to position yourself to take maximum advantage of the ever diminishing opportunities to secure your future happiness and well-being.
Or you can just pretend.
Fake it til you make it.
Maybe I should invest in Bitcoin!?
But the tunnels and roads and byways that surely all lead to this Happyland are littered with the bodies and the detritus of the humans and non-human beings that didn’t make it, that will never make it, that never had a chance.
We are relational beings, and our relations are not just with other humans and non-human beings, with the cats we cuddle and the dogs we discipline and the animals we kill for meat and the trees and the rocks and the rivers and the cultural artefacts that we encounter, the light and the smell and the wind and the air and the things we can see but cannot touch, the stars and the rings of Saturn. And we can neither see nor feel the winds of Venus on our skin.
We are more connected than ever, we app, we tweet, we are linked in and we post pictures of our meals or our pets on instagram and we regularly check our facebook feeds. And yet we remain more than ever, in need of connections, connections with each other and with the very inside of the Other, the parts the optic fibres and the 4G network cannot reach - we yearn for a meaningful connection with someone and/or with something greater than ourselves. And as we get ever more comfortable at the expense of others, some of us are still wondering what it all means, what is all this actually about?