I just can’t relate to it. I’ve heard some variation of this phrase whenever I suggest a new book, film, podcast, or television show. It’s popped up everywhere, from casual conversation to the classroom. I too am guilty of using it.

But this easy dismissal takes on a more sinister cast in the midst of an election year, the kind of year that reveals the worst of our collective cultural tendency to systematize identity, locating and marking boundaries between ourselves and others.

In the media and at the polls, we become demographic statistics and voting blocks, delineated by age, race, gender, class, sexuality, geography, and other categories which seek to place our actions and reactions in predictable narratives. This urge to entrench and delimit identities in easy-to-consume packages becomes the primary interface, a feature of American culture writ large that emerges in its most virulent form in deeply political years.

These impulses are closely linked.

Read the full post on Newfound.

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Photo by Lilly Rum on Unsplash.

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