The Survivalist Appearance

A deeper look into Where do I put It (2019).

In human civilization’s early history survival mainly depended on being physically and mentally able to hunt or gather. To earn food and shelter you had to be part of a community and physically able to contribute to the actual acquiring of the food and the actual creation of the shelter.

Today in our metropolitan society individual survival is dependent on very different abilities. The main one I have noticed is the ability to sell. On the most basic fundamental level, survival is dependent on being able to keep a steady job so you have money to buy quality food and shelter. But how do you acquire and keep the good steady job? You have to be able to write a convincing resume that sells the prospective employer on hiring you. You have to be able to convince said employer who you just met during a 30 minute interview how amazing you are for the mysterious prospective job. Then if you actually get said job, you go into work every day and try no to piss anyone off too badly so they fire you. Or work with anyone that pisses you off too badly to the point of wanting to murder them on a daily basis. Which will also (probably) end with leaving the job one way or another (hopefully not because of jail time).

That is a LOT of salesmanship. That is a whole lot of being able to present your best self while hiding all your flaws and issues just so at the end of the day you have enough “society points” raked up so you can eat and sleep in comfort.

It really feels like it comes down to personal advertising. That idea is proven with our society’s obsession with networking events, facebook, instagram., linked in, tinder, and the 100 other apps made to connect people based on a carefully cultivated digital profile. These are just all different ways to create personalized advertisement. No matter what job you have, your ability to sell people on “liking you” is only going to work to your professional advantage. This is pretty much the basis behind “fake it till you make it”. 

There are a few very negative side effects to this.  The main one is that honesty and genuine authenticity do not have much worth or weight in this world. I don’t think that means everyone lies and cheats and are horrible people. It means the people who learn how to bend the truth in their favor benefit from it. There isn’t a lot of incentive to be honest. This subtle “harmless” deception makes it harder to be honest with yourself. That is the dangerous part. A person cannot have a healthy relationship with themselves unless they are honest with themselves. How would said person know what they truly need? A person definitely can’t have a healthy relationship with anyone else if they can’t have a relationship with themselves. How would said person know how?

Even if you are honest with yourself it doesn’t help with your society survival skills. Being honest with yourself about how you are severely depressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted and need to take a break doesn’t help with the honest truth that if you don’t put on a happy face and go to work you are not going to get paid.  The obvious domino effect follows.

That is what this is all about. My hatred for the required “happy face”. The negative feelings underneath the happy face don’t go away. We all just need to put them in some mysterious place until we have a second to let the feelings happen. Even then they build up very quickly until there is a point where there are too many negative and inconvenient feelings and there is no room, no place, to put them. They just take over.

This is probably why therapy has become so popular. If you are lucky enough to have access to a helpful therapist, it is the only safe place to feel all of your feelings and process them in a healthy productive way. Everywhere else it is in your best interest, from a survival perspective, to act like everything is fine. Since obedience is much more important than authenticity in out society and school systems, therapy is also the only place a lot people learn emotional intelligence which is strongly connected to honesty.

There is no train track for evolution, it’s going to go in the direction it goes in. That is looking like a very Photoshopped and auto-tuned direction from where I am sitting. But I think it is very important to recognize the negative effects. The damage done with these unrealistic required expectations that lead people to hurt themselves and others in many different ways. The overwhelming noise of all the negativities we don’t want anyone to find out about and that we have no where to put is only going to hurt everyone in the long run.

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