The final segment of my extended conversation with Honeydogs’ founder Adam Levy is now online and can be viewed below.
In this chapter of the interview, we discuss the huge, disruptive shifts in our religious, political, technological and artistic culture that have left so many people feeling set adrift in, as Adam so adroitly puts it, “an a la carte menu of meaning.” Which is to say, no meaning at all.
Adam is no scientist, as he readily acknowledges. He is merely an artist, social worker and teacher—and a huge thinker—who has painfully direct experience in this arena. His son Daniel, a promising young artist, killed himself in early 2012.
Adam thinks that the proliferation of mental illness, including the bipolar disorder that led Daniel to end his own life, might have something to do with the democratization of our culture. Adam thinks we have migrated, through an alchemic blend of social upheaval, political disintegration and technological change over the last half-century, to a place culturally where individuals can choose to be anything. Or nothing. The template, as he says, is unwritten. We have no central story—no Beowulf around which to build our sociological identity.
For many, Adam acknowledges—one would wager even for himself—that shift is a liberating one. For many others, it can leave life devoid of meaning, with no center, no obvious purpose, no clear direction. Adam thinks it is possible that an increasing number of those people who feel that way, as did his own son, choose death rather than trying to choose to construct a life from that endless menu of bewildering options.
It is a stunning, keenly intelligent and heartfelt conversation, and I hope you will take time to watch all four segments. They can be found grouped together here: https://vimeo.com/user19795481.