The last thing that fish would ever notice in its habitat is the water. Likewise the most obvious and powerful realities of our human culture seemed also be the most unrecognized.
And it is only when we take pause, often at the risk of social alienation, to question the foundational principles and ideas to which our lives are oriented, a dark truth about our supposed "normality" becomes more clear.
Today we live in an ocean with enormous waves of status obsession, materialism, vanity, ego and consumerism. Our very lives had become defined not by our productive thoughts, social contributions and good will, but by superficial, delusional set of associations with the very fabric of our society that now radiates cheap romanticism, connected to vain competition, conspicuous consumption and neurotic addictions often related to physical beauty, status and superficial wealth.
In effect it is social conformity masquerading as individualism, with the virtues of balance, intelligence, peace, public health and true creativity left to rot on the sidelines. The cultural water we inhabit today runs deep with heavy pollution. It starts in our formative years when to be smart and achieving is to be a nerd or a geek.