People don’t seem equipped to hide things for very long. In my experience, it’s doable if you have a very specific, very crucial motive. And if it’s not something too big - a daily habit, a facet of your personality. Facades crack in so many little ways. We need others’ affirmation because we can’t hide for long - because we need others’ affirmation.
Only American audiences ask me, “What should I do?” I’m never asked this in third world. When you go to Turkey or Colombia or Brazil, they don’t ask you, “What should I do?” They tell you what they’re doing… These are poor, oppressed people, living under horrendous condition, and they would never dream of asking you what they should do. It’s only in high privileged cultures like ours that people ask this question… We can do anything. But people here are trained to believe that there are easy answers, and it doesn’t work that way. If you want to do something, you have to be dedicated and committed to it day after day. Educational programs, organizing, activism. That’s the way things change.
From where a drone operator’s sitting, one blurry blob of pixels looks almost exactly like the next blurry blob of pixels, which is how the term “bug splat” worked its way into modern military slang as a way of referring to a kill. Now, though, a giant art installation in Pakistan wants to show drone operators that its people are anything but anonymous white blobs—and that that “bug splat” belongs to an actual human being.
The worst thing about not smoking is wanting a cigarette when I hear good music. I don’t know how my brain crossed the two highs, but it’s cruel and unusual.
“Do what you love” disguises the fact that being able to choose a career primarily for personal reward is a privilege, a sign of socioeconomic class. Even if a self-employed graphic designer had parents who could pay for art school and co-sign a lease for a slick Brooklyn apartment, she can bestow DWYL as career advice upon those covetous of her success.
If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves, what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.