Growing up in the 80s it was tough to find like-minded cultural partners and products, in a media that was completely dominated by an obsession with authenticity a la 1969. Living in the most postmodern decade of them all was often frustrating because you had to dig hard to find the best of the cultural products of the time, instead of what older hippies told you to like. Old-fashioned social networks were so important to curate the amazing things that were being produced: records, tapes, fanzines, obscure radio, movie festivals were traded hand to hand and from word of mouth among family and friends. Only now do I realize that we got to sample and experience an urban America that most Americans didn't, and the construction of a European cosmopolitanism that many Europeans now reject. All this to say how much I love the Portuguese Blog a Máquina de Escrever. Every post resonates with a Portuguese, post-nationalist cosmopolitanism that defines me, and apparently many others. It's as if they are written from my own mind, only made much more intense as only resonance with a like-minded community can achieve. More human than human. These people must have grown up with me. Obrigado pela grande Máquina! We can be us.
I miss being in a place where people rather spend $1000 on a surfboard than on an automatic weapon. More than anything, a place where I am just a person, instead of facing a permanent mental calculation of identity that only serves to divide us. I kid you not, even in the arena of academic freedom, speech is tallied not by what you say or contribute but the identity someone else decided you represent. No other way to put it: the US is just currently messed up. Trump did not invent divisiveness, he is simply the natural product of a society where both left and right decided that it was better to focus on self-expression and individualism as political stance, rather than community and citizenship. Maybe it is the final gasps of the baby boomer generation and one can only hope they did not irreparably format younger generations with their pathetic need for self-expression and identity. We are not all individuals; we is society.
The more we play the identity game, the more it divides and pits us against one another. National, linguistic, religious, racial, gender, and sexual identities only divide us more and more. The only solution is to be radically humanist. The only identity that I self-identify with, and accept to be labeled as, is human. My nationality, language, chromosomal makeup, and all the other categorical inventions are my own business; they do not dictate my politics nor my actions.