The Literate Kitten dusts off her critics cap (a darling black beret with a cherry-red bow set rakishly to one side), adjusts her rhinestone-encrusted glasses, and fixes a glare on the self-pitying author of the past several entries. No, no, no! That is the ego whining! (Freud or Jung or one of those white European men wearing monocles would be strutting about like ancient roosters about now.) Amazing as it may seem, we are not the center of the universe, stars in a perpetual movie, and gods and goddesses incarnate. Especially not if we wear GAP jeans.
This culture has long been confusing its ridiculous insistence on self with individual effort set upon a foundation of basic civil rights. That is where consumerism and mass marketing have gotten us. LK, for one, is sick of every shopper believing Wal-Mart was created just for her, that big cars were designed for those superior enough to rule the road, that a teenage kid’s personal freedom extends to the right to disturb an entire busload of people with an inane cell phone conversation, or that some privileged old white men don’t have to fight a war they start because they have somehow gotten the idea that they are God’s select. Like Grade AAA eggs.
This includes a virtual mewl, rather than cri de coeur, reflecting on how one person is just not good enough or adequate enough for reading, much less reading Proust. As if that was the point at all.
The ego should come with detailed instructions, we swear. And a warning label: Not for liberal use. And definitely not for children.
One point of this entire exercise, we remind ourselves, is to prove how effort, depth and the rigors of the long haul prove more satisfying and lasting than the instant gratification and self indulgence our society so wants us to buy into (at great profit to the few).
Our underwhelming confidence in our own capabilities notwithstanding, we will grit our pearly whites and continue our project, looking forward to such a time when reflexive belief in our own ideologies (read: navel gazing) no longer governs our world.