I’m apathetic these days. The entire world, it seems, is gaslighting each other into believing in the very worst in humanity. We seem to be on the precipice of something but what that is, I do not know. Sensationalism and a clear binary partitioning of the masses have trumped discourse and have negated a desire to find common ground between any two individuals that surely have some worth outside of the fire and brimstone sociopolitical climate. It’s sickening to the point that I no longer feel sick thinking about it. I sit back as an observer, wondering whether the madness will end before I am no longer able to observe.
If you haven’t read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, you really should. It tells the tale of a kingdom facing ruin from a devastating plague, holding its valued citizens in relative safety within the walls of its castle. There, they eventually hold a great costume party where all are hidden behind masks. The masquerade ends with the unveiling of one of its participants: the red death itself. A modern reimagining of this classic could be framed in terms of identity politics, where each member of some “sacred” group is forced to wear a mask to appear pure to the larger mass. The coming end will be revealed once the mask falls and everyone realizes that no one actually cares about each member of the political alliance; that it was effectively a charade of deception. Forced purity and the coming ruin is the focus of this post.
Identity politics are rubbish. Nothing more than an echo chamber of voices belonging to souls unwilling to embrace their uniqueness, they hinder progress for humanity as a whole. We should celebrate uniqueness, not sameness, and movements in the name of sameness inherently restrict an individual’s uniqueness.