#147 – Holden Caulfield Where Are You?

The young alienated antihero of J. D. Salinger’s novel Catcher in the Rye could not abide “phonies.” Actually what triggered Holden’s reactions were the same unconscious behaviors we see all around us today especially our Washington politicians and would-be Washington politicians parading across our screens in this election season.

The American electorate is now seeing confusing array of would-be candidates cascade across our screens. Are they Pop-culture celebrities or political leaders or have they all morphed into one? “Politicians have been looking to harness the power of the pop-culture celebrity since, at the very least, 1920, the year Warren G. Harding enjoyed the support of the actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.” (1)  Now we have a president who parlayed a stint as a pop-culture celebrity into a gig as the Chief Executive.

“Trump is one of the phoniest people ever to walk the earth. Maybe that’s why he was uniquely suited to tear through the phony conventions and bloated world of consultants that made up politics as usual.” (2)

What is missing in America today is neither genuine politicians nor voters who are rational but reality itself. Remember the 1983 Woody Allen film Zelig? In this “mockumentary” film, Leonard Zelig is a neurotic nebbish seeking attention and fame by unconsciously taking on the characteristics of the famous personalities around him. In short, he is living a faux life vicariously by projecting his identity on persons both living and dead whom he believed had power and fame. Is this what American voters are seeking when they vote for the celebrity of the moment?

How can we find our way back to reality? Click on the link below to find a map to guide you and it is not a map of the homes of the Hollywood stars.

Insight # 147:  For most people in the Western universe, in fact most people in the world, almost all of the energy is located in the first, second or third chakras.    —Ram Dass



  1. Chang, Clio. “Pop Quiz.” The New York Times Magazine. September 15, 2019, pages 17-18.
  2. Dowd, Maureen. “Let’s Debate: Are Democrats Doomed?” The New York Times Sunday Review. September 15, 2019, page 9.

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