“In the end, it’s about a kind of comfort for the tragedy of the human condition.”

What you identify, umair--the need for Americans to overcome their unfounded hope that someone will save us and, instead, face head-on the terror of being human without distracting consumerist or religious habits--is particularly salient to boomers, especially the conservative ones who don't share power.

The ethnographic data from closed white U.S. rural cultures I studied supports other studies that show how most in the boomer generation have done little to no work on critical self-reflection, which is a crucial method for examining taken-for-granted ways of being (e.g., wishful belief in saviors) and for staying focused on and **in** painful emotions (e.g., terror, existential or otherwise) without self-medicating (e.g., consuming to numb out).

Boomers know they haven't done the work. They know they couldn't handle looking at themselves in the mirror too closely because to do so would be to upend their worldview when they have to actually look at the destruction they continue to wreak on every living thing on the planet.

When the floor of your life's beliefs and who you are drops out, you have to recreate your self and your worlds from the ruins. I know: I'm doing it now after having spent the last 3.5 years at the bottom of closed white rural cultures in the U.S.

And, I can tell you this: there's a very good reason people don't just upend their lives with too much self-scrutiny: they're terrified they'll never be able to put the pieces back together again when the pressure of the truth makes them fly apart. That terror of a blown-apart self will always outweigh the existential terror of an imploding world, especially if you have enough resources to keep consuming and preaching like there's no tomorrow.

Thanks, again, for your work.

Written by

A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (relationaldemocracy@gmail.com)

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