If I’m going to be mentioning to Freddie deBoer on this blog, and his description of our society’s required-indifference, then I should link to his post on Chill Culture.
I think that the same basic dynamic crops up in a cultural expectation that pretension is the worst of all sins and that being straightforward in your desire to live a life of depth and meaning is somehow ridiculous. It is the voice that tells you that you must spend your time in an art museum making little cracks about how you know it is somehow self-involved to want to look at artwork worth looking at. It is the expectation that a novelist is very high status but an MFA student is very low status. It is your desire to be seen as smart but never to be seen attempting to become smarter, to have read important books in the past but never to be reading one now. It is never mentioning the fact that you actually liked your thesis and thought it was worth writing. It is the way in which you are trained to see your impulses to live surrounded by beauty and intellectual challenge and meaning as somehow a matter of vanity and self-absorption instead of as the most understandable desires a human can have.
Which itself is basically a linkpost to a beautiful piece by Alana Massey.
So, ladies and gentleman and people who do not believe in the binary, we have reached peak Chill. Or at least I hope we have. Because Chill is the opposite of something else too: warmth. And kindness, and earnestness, and vulnerability. And we need just enough of those things to occasionally do something so remarkably unchill as fall in love.