Personality crisis

Here it is, the apotheosis of everything I have ever written about: the lifestyle planner. Today’s Wall Street Journal, in an article calculated to outrage (and sure, I’ll take the bait), explains this new service available to those who want to appear stylish but don’t want to be bothered with developing an actual personal style. (Why don’t this people get it over with and have themselve cryogenically frozen?) Deciding what you are interested in is so tiresome, and isn’t it much better to hire someone to choose those things for you? If you can pay someone to have good taste for you, it’s just as good if not better than actually ahving it yourself. That is the capitalit ideology of money, having it means having for yourself as personal qualities everything it can buy. So never mind the fact that if you hired one of these people, you’d become a stand in for yourself in your own life, never mind that you’d reduce the richness of life to the synthetic glamor of a fashion shoot. Taste has become sheerly a matter of display rather than a demonstration of competence or insight or discretion or discrimination. The idea is that if you spend enough to create the illusion of have a personality, a soul, you can that much more easily live with the certain knowledge that you don’t have one.

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