On the perks of being a modern man

You are aware. You are self-reflective about being self-reflective. You can at the same time lightly deprecate the usage of the word ‘woke’ and secretly consider yourself somebody who fulfils whatever it means, somebody who passes the vibe check, somebody who lives and lets live, as long as that doesn’t entail signalling in any way a willingness to defend somebody else’s right to live as they are. This is what the powers that be are for, after all, your acceptance must be enough. If everybody was accepting like you, there wouldn’t be any problems; you are morally relieved of any further responsibility.

You have not much energy to help, anyway. You struggle enough with keeping the mess that you are together. You are, however, fair. You don’t expect any help for yourself just like you don’t have any help to hand out. You do your part by keeping yourself contained. You are strong like that. If everyone did their part like you are, there wouldn’t be any problems.

You wallow. You are vulnerable enough to admit that. You wallow in the fact that you wallow. The fact that you are aware of the pattern makes you sensitive, and you know that sensitive is strong, and strong remains attractive through all ages, even if the meaning of strong changes.
Attractiveness is important to you, but not like that. You know you have to be at peace with yourself to be attractive to others. That is why you put being attractive to yourself before being attractive to others. You can disregard the fact that this is merely a novel spin on needing to be liked by others. You can disregard the fact that the spin isn’t very novel. You are strong like that.

Trying to be novel tears you apart, anyway. There is no originality left. Everything has been said. Everything has been done. The thing has been created. It has inspired a layer of commentary, a layer of mimicry, a layer of satire, a layer of parody. The parody has been ridiculed, and parodied. The layer of commentary has inspired a layer of meta, and the layer of meta has inspired another layer of meta, so far removed from the thing that it became the thing again. All those layers occur concurrently, and exist consistently, and appear everywhere all at once. They float through culture like a web of permeable bubbles, and your trajectory takes you through them again and again, until your own sense of culture has traversed all layers between fundamental and meta and has arrived at the beginning again, at which point you realise that trying to be novel tears you apart, anyway.

You struggle against becoming bitter. You are reminded of older people who you happened across when you were much younger, figures with bitter faces and bitter lives who had you wonder how one could become like that. You are now older, and begin to realise that those older people weren’t that old, and how easily the bitterness might creep in, might set you on the same trajectory of which you have seen the end, and were disgusted by.

You disgust yourself sometimes, but you are not toxic. You adore yourself sometimes, but you are not a narcissist. You are of nothing too much, and of everything a little. You are a jack of all trades, and a master of none. You like to think of that as adaptability, which is humanity’s greatest virtue, and therefore makes you a flagship human.
You know somewhere in there is a flagship human, and deeper down you fear that there isn’t. You are strong like that.

You are your own worst critic and that makes you special, despite overwhelming evidence that it literally doesn’t. You are steadfast like that.
You are strong. You are evocative. You are critical, yet benign. You need, and you are needed. You are modern man. You should go to bed. You are tired.

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