I say something interesting in an email

It happens occasionally.

In an email to a friend, recently, I surprised myself by saying:

“For the record:  no persona, when visualized, is much like a human being.  It’s a particularly interesting irony:  the faces we choose to present to the world, when examined closely, don’t look much like people at all.

But it couldn’t be any other way, because personae are exactly what we put up as opposed to simply being human:  they are our substitute for putting our selves, our humanity, forward.  They are forged, honed, and crafted in a way that would be torturous for any person.  They seem artificial when visualized precisely because that’s what they are – just as they “feel” inauthentic to the person putting them forward.”

A mask always looks more like a mask than it does a human being.

Of course, persona is one of those things I’ve spent a lifetime thinking about at an amateur level.  Recommended reading includes Irving Goffman’s “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Society,” Camille Paglia’s “Sexual Personae,” and … of course … almost anything written by the great Philip Reiff.