“American Heathen” is a revolution of thought and creativity. It represents a reflection of our communal consciousness; it’s an ideology and a digital manifesto for those like myself. Over the last two decades, we’ve witnessed a rise in mass shootings, as well as the spread of terror and disinformation. We are dealing with rising class inequality and a barely affordable cost of living. We live at a time, unlike any decade that came before us. Our nation elected a glorified internet troll as the former president, and the future is still looking shaky. The internet and social media have shifted our society toward varying extremes, making it difficult to tune in to the right frequencies. So, in many ways, I’m using my life as a social experiment, a testament to what works and what might not work, to help my peers move faster and more efficiently through this new age.
Society has helped create a group of oxymorons. As a whole, we are a collective of cynical dreamers and young visionaries, with a long list of desires and no patience for seeing it through. Life as we know it is fast and expensive. As a result of capitalism, our society encourages self-destruction, manipulating many of us to be our own worst enemy. The older generations complain and take no responsibility for shaping us. Now that we’ve reached adulthood, our predecessors berate us for the shortcomings they irresponsibly implanted within us. A false belief in American exceptionalism and the security of our institutions helped hide life’s harsh reality during an era of overt and heavy-handed political correctness.
The result up to this point has been a mix of triumph and tragedy. Desire and despair. Ambition and hopelessness. I hope that we can all work together to overcome the madness. On the upside, we have the advantage of being alive during an era of globalization and smart technology. We must continue to dream big and learn from our collective mistakes, institute more progressive government initiatives, and subsidize educational programs for the arts and sciences. We must demand government reform and transparency. Once WE the people take a stand, I have no doubt we’ll be able to make the most significant social and technological impact in modern history.