So, what to do? Develop your first of many masks.

Well, the reason I like the mask formulation is not that it appears to exist (at least in Western society) but that with the concept of “mask vs inner self”, while ultimately potentially sociopathic, nevertheless *does* allow a great number of coping skills for navigating rough terrain.
Acting.

Is it *good*? Ultimately? No. If I was to wave a wand and *poof* everybody behaves the way I’d like them to, then we could have authentic individuals without masks, without personhood and such.

But the ideal society has yet to emerge. As time marches on, children are born. They learn to talk. Suddenly, they’re thrust into school.

All of these faces, people, personalities, authorities and stress.
Your gooey parts are sticking to some, your pricky parts are piercing others without you knowing it, and you find yourself punched in the soft underbelly more than you’d like.

So, what to do?

Develop your first of many masks.

Is it the model of an ideal society? No. But for example, my audience on Vine – almost 1/2 of them are between 8-18. – the rest are adult age – 4400 kids- *real* people coping with crap school systems, coping with stereotyping behaviors, coping with “nobody understands the real me” – being stuck in slots or putting others in slots.. and navigating as best they can for survival.

Some don’t make it. Suicide in the middle school age has always been a problem since the very beginnings of the school systems, if I remember my 19th century Literature properly…. and no, I have no sources.

Learning acting, learning behavior that, when taken to extremes, is sociopathic, is _not_ a betterment for society… but – here is the pragmatist in me…

… what’s the alternative at present? I have an audience. I’ll present an age appropriate message to contrast with.

“Masks are wrong and shouldn’t be” – is something I agree with.

Yet “Not fitting in” remains a valid concern for those pushed through the meat-grinder of our academic civilization… and assuredly has roots long before the advent of public education.

I need an alternative Ian. I’ll present it. I’ll find some nice music to go along with it. I already advise, “Be yourself, fuck the mask” as much as possible, but I still acknowledge the existence of the mask because it’s a commonly understood, easily digested metaphor for a sense of “me”ness to me vs a “me”ness to you, and another “me”ness to someone else, reserving the full unaltered authenticity for those with whom one feels full trust, which is usually a good friend.

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