There is still uncertainty on my part as to this particular medium’s appropriate pitch… Surely one fundamental reason for this uncertainty is how multidimensional our lives have become.
A given individual used to be a case of dividing between h/er personal sphere and a corresponding public/professional character in a fairly straigforward manner. Depending on the specifics of the social context, these two dimensions could be more or less coincident or comfortable with each other (eg. drinks with workmates and all that), but the two dimensions stood peaceful, harmonious and recognisable.
Not so much nowadays.
The public sphere thrives with eccentricity. Family units have become complex webs of past, present and future relationships, their patterns following simultaneous logics of entrepreneurship and catastrophe, while the individual h/erself can only blossom as multidisciplinary and able of continuous multitasking.
This would not be so much of an issue should those multiple dimensions and characters fit nicely into a larger scheme of things. But as we know, it just ain’t gonna go like that.
The struggle of the 21st Century Schizoid Man is not to fit his social narrative onto the collective – as this collective itself very openly courts the schizoid. The struggle of the 21st Century Schizoid Man is to manage his wildly dissonant dimensions into a personal narrative – and to project that narrative as owning its own logic, in the face of constant and imminent collapse. The epic is no longer an option, we know that (and at this point an unhappy ending would at least be an ending), so we all settle for the 3-minute youtube videos that immortalise the trivial in hopes that, somehow, one day it will all fall into place, that the monkeys will indeed type Shakespeare.
Our madness is simply the increasingly desperate attempt to stabilise our multiple – and multiplying – selves. And, most importantly, everyone else’s expectations of those selves.