📰 Domestic Cozy: 3
Full Title: Domestic Cozy: 3
I increasingly like a thesis I initially resisted: many unusual and toxic culture-war phenomena in nominally public spaces can be understood as an outward projection of a cozy ethos prevailing in domestic spaces. Applying Jungian magical thinking, we should expect this projection to be anything but cozy. The shadow of domestic cozy ought to be a particular pattern of public strife. We should expect this strife to have a recognizably domestic heat signature — the ugly family scene rather than the barroom brawl, soccer riot, or gang war.
The term domestic cozy evokes peaceful ASMRish imagery — comfort, safety, relaxation, intimacy, trust. Its outward, public-facing projection, however, reverses all that. It is associated with discomfort, aggression, stress, hostility, and distrust.
We can unpack it in somewhat more detail if we assume the default Zoomer social unit, irrespective of context, to be the Family. The term fam, which apparently originated in black culture a couple of decades ago, has in recent years crossed over into mainstream usage. I think the driver has probably been the Zoomer need for an overloaded notion of Family. The Zoomer experience of the world is a strong pack experience in an unflattened Hobbesian world. Zoomers navigate the world in Family-like fictive-kin groups to a relatively greater extent than older generations, because they were raised to believe that the world beyond Family is devolving into apocalyptic chaos (which may or may not be true).
If Millennials act like they’re always in public, performing for an imagined audience, and Gen Xers act like they’re solitary, invisible, cyberpunk antiheroes hacking their way through futuristic technology-stack underbellies, Zoomers act like they’re always at home with Family, with the concomitant expectations of safety, intimacy, and trust. When those expectations are stressed, they react the way families do under threat, with the aggression of Family members responding to a threat to one of their own.