Fascinating experiment in professionalized ego-blogging Thought Catalog has finally figured out the secret of life. "Wonder What The Secret Of Life Is," Brandon Scott Gorrell muses in the title of a post that begins with a quote from Atlas Shrugged. (Then apologizes for beginning with a quote from Atlas Shrugged.)
The ensuing article is enthralling, from a cultural anthropological point of view. Here's the best/worst sentence:
Because I mean one of the truths about being a modern Western individual is that you likely have this idea about a person you want to be, and that person has a title even, a title like Young Professional or All-Around Good Person Of Above Average Intelligence, and to justify excessive ‘gaps' in productivity by holding firm the belief that you're "only human" and thus naturally lack sufficient motivation to do anything beyond obsessively watching YouTube videos and browsing reddit—where the premise of the idea of doing "anything beyond" obsessively watching YouTube videos and browsing reddit has, in a kind of relief, suddenly become sort of congratulatory, as if by doing "anything beyond" watching YouTube videos and browsing reddit you've become secretly heroic or are, just by not wasting oxygen, currently actualizing a person you want to be/ have always known you were/ are at your core—to justify your inaction with the belief that you're "only human" is a behavior that stands in opposition of who you tell yourself you want to be and believe you are, if you have any Western-style aspirations at all.
There are people who read that sentence, and found meaning in it! A whole tribe of English-speaking Americans who construct thoughts in a way that neither you nor I can fathom. (The internet tells me this Gorrell person is "the Bret Easton Ellis for the Gmail chat generation," which is actually another series of words that, when strung together in that order, are rendered completely meaningless to me.) It's sort of dazzling.
In other news, I continue to be greatly relieved that Thought Catalog didn't exist whenever in my life I had thoughts like this, and believed them worth cataloguing. Feel free to quote this post back to me in a couple years, when I grow to be deeply ashamed of everything I wrote this year. It's the way of our digitally-recorded future. [Thought Catalog, running man via Ostill/Shutterstock]
Also, upon further googling I discovered that Gorrell and I are the same age, so the last paragraph of my post is probably moot. Our difference is not one of age, but some invisible culture barrier. A Culture War of Bloggers.