The advice columnist Philipa Perry, writing in The Observer Magazine (24/04/22), says “There is a part of you (and me, and all of us) destined to remain alone, unseen… Because of this feeling of it not being possible for our inner world to be truly known and seen by others, when asked, most people feel that they often believe themselves to be not in the centre of a group, but more towards the edges.”
Yet the internet age is supposed to be the era of interconnectivity. Every one is trying to belong, to work their way into the bosom of their tribe. Is this the reason many members of Britain’s minorities feel marginalised or othered by “micro-aggressions”, subtleties, and vaguely perceived “attitudes” of the putative majority? Have their concrete experiences of racist rejection made them even more sensitive to the existential isolation we all suffer from?
Of course, the leaders and spokespeople of these tribes snuggle up right at the centre of the group. Is this what they seek: a sense of doing something useful for their people and thus being recognised and valued as indispensable? Is this all about belonging? About Existential angst?