Sunday, December 28, 2014

Existentialism for beginners: Identity

In high school, identity was easy. I liked Joy Division, black coffee, Nietzsche and pretty much hated everything else, so I identified as a goth. I say "identified as" and not "became" because I couldn't afford to buy my own clothes and instead had to settle for machine-dyeing black whatever clothes my mom bought me. Still, I didn't give the issue much thought, because I knew that as soon as I'd grow up I'd be free to become whatever I wanted, and then my life would finally begin.

Little of what I knew would prepare me for the radical freedom that adulthood would bring, and the discovery that, dude, the options really were limitless, only now the stakes would be much higher, and I'd still have absolutely no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.

There are some contenders though.


image on Pixabay
World traveler/backpacker nomad

Pros:
Would satisfy need fueled by cultural trope that full life = seen world.
Needs change.

Qualifications:
Experience with backpacking around Europe, liked it.

Cons:
Hates flying. Also afraid of change. Experience acquired while following Placebo on their 2007 Meds tour where entire time in Athens was spent lying in hot sun on mountaintop for 12 hours hoping to get to front row. Did not make it to front row due to severe dehydration. Probably not representative.

Would require:
Leaving boyfriend behind. Likes boyfriend.

Conflicts with:
Pinterest mom, Homesteader, Driven career woman, Gamer nerd, Philosophy professor, unless some kind of traveling philosophy teacher which would be pretty cool, like Jesus.


image on Morguefile
Pinterest mom

Pros:
Would satisfy need fueled by cultural trope that meaningful life = good mom.
Also children = immortality.

Qualifications:
Neurotic perfectionist. Pretty good at cooking things from scratch. Semi-adept at macaroni pictures.

Cons:
Perpetually freaked out by small children. Possibly not suited for procreation.

Would require:
At least one small child, understanding of whatever the hell mod podge is.

Conflicts with:
Backpacker nomad, Hipster culturalite, Dave Eggers, Gamer nerd


image on Morguefile
Homesteader / self-sufficient ecoperson

Pros:
Would satisfy need to feel smug (about saving the planet).

Qualifications:
Already feels pretty smug about current attempts to save planet. Does not own car. Recycles. Sometimes able to keep houseplants alive.

Cons:
Freaked out by all animals except cats. Dislikes being uncomfortable. Weak arms.

Would require:
Land. Skill. Getting over internet addiction.

Conflicts with:
Backpacker nomad, Volunteer worker (because too busy trying to stay alive), Gamer nerd, Driven career woman


Biloba Bella (Paulina Kim Joo)
Urban hipster culturalite

Pros:
Would satisfy need to feel cool. Also art = immortality.

Qualifications:
Snarky. Flunked out of multiple art schools. Likes coffee, David Cronenberg and made it all the way through 'À bout de souffle' that one time without falling asleep.

Cons:
Despises Apple products. Also still annoys little sister while walking around town by repeatedly pointing at people and asking if they are "emo". Not very much in touch with throbbing pulse of contemporary culture.

Would require:
Sense of style.

Conflicts with:
Pinterest mom, Philosophy professor, Volunteer worker (because not hip enough), Gamer nerd


Man, finding good free stock photos is hard. I kind of gave up on this one after my search for 'female professor' turned up a picture of Marilyn Manson, and my search for 'female scholar' turned up a picture of Madonna. And bees. So here you go, people. These are BOOKS. Get it.
Philosophy professor

Pros:
Would satisfy need to feel important. Also knowledge = power.

Qualifications:
Majored in philosophy. Knows what "ontology" means. Likes to flaunt this knowledge.

Cons:
Collapses into blubbering mass under any kind of pressure. Not actually that smart.

Would require:
Doctoral degree. Time machine to fix life back in 2002 when obtaining doctoral degree would have still been feasible. (j/k! LOL!!!)

Conflicts with:
Backpacker nomad (unless Jesus), Hipster culturalite, Volunteer worker (because no free time), Gamer nerd, Dave Eggers


Dave Eggers redux (David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons)
Dave Eggers

Pros:
Dave Eggers.

Qualifications:
Likes to write, save world. Also co-founded literary magazine at tender young age.

Cons:
Someone already is Dave Eggers. Magazine consisted of stack of photocopies mainly distributed among fellow stoners. Highlights included custom captions for Miffy illustrations that seemed to suggest that drug abuse is anything to laugh about and a recurring story about a knight who repeatedly sodomized a horse. Website taken offline after cease and desist from creator of Miffy. Probably not the same.

Would require:
Sex change. Whatever technology they used in Face/Off.

Conflicts with:
Pinterest mom, Philosophy professor, Gamer nerd (unless Dave Eggers is secretly a gamer nerd)


image on Morguefile
Volunteer worker / savior of mankind

Pros:
Would definitely feel good about self. Likes to feel good about self.

Qualifications:
Fairly robust messiah complex. Cares about stuff.

Cons:
Apparently does not care enough about stuff or would already be doing it. Desire to thwart suspicions of evilness probably not purest of motivations. What does Kant say about this?

Would require:
Being a better person.

Conflicts with:
Homesteader, Hipster culturalite, Philosophy professor, Gamer nerd, Driven career woman


image on Pixabay
Driven career woman

Pros:
Would satisfy need to feel like an adult.

Qualifications:
Already experienced taste of managerial tasks at work while picking up slack for actual managers.

Cons:
Often cries for no reason. Taste of managerial tasks destroyed will to live.

Would require:
Large amounts of Xanax. Do people still take Xanax?

Conflicts with:
Backpacker nomad, Homesteader, Volunteer worker (because no free time), Gamer nerd


image on Morguefile
Pop culture / Gamer nerd

Pros:
Could finally do away with hopeless attempts at looking like an adult and instead exclusively wear clothing with Game of Thrones house sigils on it.

Qualifications:
Already owns several items of clothing with Game of Thrones house sigils on them. Built own custom gaming rig even if this required holding up motherboard with boobs while attaching CPU back plate. Strangely proud of this part especially.

Cons:
Too easy.

Would require:
Giving up on dreams of being special/cool/important/Dave Eggers

Conflicts with:
Everything.

10 comments:

  1. So... basically you want to become Felicia Day.
    Fair enough. We all do :p

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mayhaps... Is she Dave Eggers though?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You just made me realize how much life resembles choosing an avatar in some kind of mmorpg... o.O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! You should see me at that, takes me bloody hours! I think the reason I love Skyrim so much is that there at least you can just go ahead and be everything :p

      Delete
    2. Yeah, thought about that too. Probably that's exactly what makes being a gamer too easy! Imagine being limited to only one avatar. I would never be able to choose between the backpacker nomad and the pinterest mom... :/ ;P

      Delete
    3. Pinterest Mom has over 300 stamina and +50% mana regeneration when dual casting, yet Backpacker Nomad has a +30% buff to all bartering transactions and heightened chance of rolling a critical hit. Choose wisely.

      Delete
  4. This is hilarious and absolutely wonderful!!! I really enjoyed it.

    Melissa
    wildflwrchild.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's funny because it's true (Homer J Simpson)

    ReplyDelete