I Instagram, therefore I am

We all need validation. We all need to believe we matter. We fear death, we’d like to think we’ll somehow live forever. But deep down we know it’s not happening. One day, very soon in the cosmic sense of things, we will be dead. And soon enough everyone we have ever known, everyone who has ever known us, will be dead too. Gone forever, with any memory of us also gone. And we’ll be forgotten. As if we never existed. As if we never mattered. And this thought scares us. We all like to think somehow the memory of us will live forever. After all we still remember poets, painters, scientists and all sorts of people who somehow mattered, who made a difference and have been immortalized one way or another. Why can’t that be us? We take no chances these days. We create profiles for ourselves in websites such as Facebook, we take pictures of ourselves and our surroundings and we write in blogs (such as this one) making sure we’ll be remembered. After all, after I’m gone I would have left behind a legacy: pictures, blog posts, movie reviews and a very elaborate Facebook profile that will probably leave a trace in the web for a long time to come.

We have mostly lost any faith in any sort of God, we are all educated and no longer believe in fairy tales of the past. And this new realization brings back a very real and very dark threat: non-existence. We have always existed, we don’t know how to not exist. The thought scares us. And with heaven no longer being an option, we try to find ways to convince ourselves we matter. We know our cosmic insignificance and we fear what we already know is true: we do not matter, we will not exist forever and whatever we do, we will be forgotten. But that’s what life is. A very short time we get to spend in this universe. It’s a wonderful feeling and yes, we are lucky to be alive. You can try to understand life (the universe and everything) but don’t try so hard to live forever; chances are you’re not gonna make it.

50 Essential Cult Novels

50 Essential Cult Novels… How many have you read?

Flavorwire

Just what is a cult novel? Well, like so many literary terms, the edges blur whenever you try to look right at them, but in the end, you sort of know one when you read one. Sometimes a cult novel is one that the critics panned but the fans love, or sometimes it’s one that both readers and critics love, but a certain contingent of readers really love. Any book with a squadron of rabid fans swearing that it changed their lives quickly seems cultish. Cult novels often come from the fringes, they often represent countercultural perspectives, they often experiment with form. But again: you sort of know one when you see one, and this list contains 50 of the best (or at least the most notable). As always, there are many more good ones out there, and new cults forming all the time across the world, so if your…

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