Writing and Creative Thinking
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Alienation in the 21st Century

Currently, I am two thirds of the way through, reading American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis on my Amazon Paperwhite Kindle. Admittedly, I cannot read the book for too long at a sitting, because it is as satire as it is graphic as it is…somewhat extremely relatable. Hence, after each scene or two where there has been yet another murder, I have to take a break just to take everything in. Yet it is so engaging because even though no one in the book understands Patrick Bateman, listens to Patrick Bateman, I feel like I can sympathize and say, “Hey, it’s okay to not feel okay”.

If only it were that simple, eh? I say that because I feel that in the real world, no one really comforts you and say those words or similar, therefore there is somehow a Patrick Bateman in all of us. It is very much like a defense mechanism that people automatically guard themselves in the city and do not offer the type of emotional help that some of us really need. By emotional help, I do not refer to there being necessarily a problem in the first place…but if there was that offer, the problem would be omitted almost immediately. At least in Bateman’s life, he does what he does even if he dislikes it or has a choice simply because he…wants…to…fit…in. The result of alienation?

And so I wonder…we must be really selfish human beings. So self-absorbed. Everyone is talking. No one is listening. Everyone is doing their own thing. Yet where is everyone? The answer? Here. The internet. 21st Century’s hero and anti-hero.

Who’s there?
… (Exactly).

“There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman. Some kind of abstraction,but there is no real me. Only an entity. Something illusory”.

Perhaps just as well, that no one exists. Because nothing means anything and nobody is anybody…it’s there but that’s it. You do not exist in my world and I do not exist in yours. So sad!! Even more so when you consider how everyone wants to be someone BUT themselves, and instead feed off each other, recognizing no one, not even themselves and so even self-identity is unattainable. Of course, I am talking in terms of the book but such situations do happen…the internet for one can be a void. Just look at the trolls on YouTube, dammit.

In Bateman’s life he is often mistaken for someone else, a colleague or some other businessman which is one of the first signs to show that he himself, has no identity despite his class. Patrick also says some pretty ridiculous things such as to the bartender (with loud music blasting aside), and to his colleagues, “I like to dissect girls”, for which no one hears him or takes him seriously. The extent of his identity is…dead. He speaks the truth but the truth has already died the minute he speaks because it is not taken as such.

Sometimes, I sense this type of closure in the city, even with strangers. People are afraid to come close, and would much rather be alien – nameless, faceless and emotionless. Cold, hard gazes that emphasize on emptiness. How should a cup be filled? Something needs to be poured. The heart needs to pump blood and feel. The mind needs to recognize emotions that the heart feels and release signals (happiness, success, fulfillment, loss…everything but emptiness). Emptiness is not a feeling…it is a Patrick Bateman, an entity. a void that needs to be filled. It is an inner demon that threatens as a result of alienation but there is no gain or loss. We all need to open up more, talk but listen, pour but re-fill. Then maybe…just maybe we can all exist in each other’s worlds and be recognized.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: “I will do it tomorrow” | To be with myself and center, clarity, peace and serenity

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