Identity Crisis

I don’t often cite Freud, but his concept, paraphrased by Margaret Talbot in a profile of Carrie Brownstein in the New Yorker (January 2, 2012), seems to explain the minutia and self-absorption of the banter of our modern age:

the narcissism of small differences: the need to distinguish oneself by minute shadings and to insist, with outsized militancy, on the importance of those shadings.