Here are some highlights from this interview with Alok Vaid-Menon.

“I hate how ‘growing up’ means that we are taught not to be honest and vulnerable with each other in public. I want to know everything about everyone. I am so bad at small talk. At parties with strangers I want to talk about your daddy issues and your first kiss and what you wanted your life to become and whether or not that came true. It’s hard for me to live in a world where we are taught that people we do not know are ‘strangers,’ and where we are taught to afford infinite complexity to ourselves and not others. Most of the time I want to scream in large groups about all of the parts of ourselves that we have to censor in order to become coherent.”

“I struggle with how we have to aestheticize our pain – often make it beautiful – in order for it to be taken seriously.”

“I’m working on understanding apathy as a political strategy of survival, as an active process of desensitization to the cruelty of the mundane. I’m working on understanding how to feel a type of happiness detached from possession – how to truly feel accomplished outside of the various rites of capitalism we are ingrained to value.”