Have you ever had one of those moments when you know that you are being visited by your own future? They come so rarely and with so little fanfare, those moments. They're not particularly photogenic, there's no breach in the clouds to reveal the shining city on a hill. No folk-dancing children outside your bus, no production values to speak of -- just a glimpse of such quotidian, incontrovertible truth that after the initial shock at the supreme weirdness of it all, a kind of calm sets in. So this is to be my life.
Not amateurish culture, amateur culture.
But one of the mixed blessings of being twenty and twenty-one and even twenty-three is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before.
Joan Didion, "Goodbye to All That"
Your feudal-world is based on mutual relief at your common corruption. Maybe some cultures are based on even worse. But that wouldn't change the bad faith of it and as years go by, you wake at night in terror of your whole life being an act of bad faith, where everything is self-interest and nothing more, where every human interaction is driven by a silent, even subconscious calculation of some ulterior motive, to the point that a sea of bad faith has taken over your whole life, there's no small island left from which you can even try to build a bridge of good faith, because even that effort becomes suspect, even good faith is nothing but self-interested, even altruism is nothing but solipsistic, even your professed agonizing right here right now is nothing but a gesture, made to the conscience in order to assure it that it exists.
Global Islands Project