Joan Didion’s Influence on 'superego'

Contributor III

superego has taken inspiration from artists, thinkers, and leaders of the past to shape the foundation of our organization. When superego launched in June 2021, our Instagram debut told a story inspired by American writer Joan Didion. Didion’s Slouching Toward Bethlehem, a collection of short essays that describe her experiences in California in the 1960s, has been applauded as an essential portrait of American youth. Still, decades after it was written, these essays are looked to for insight on youth counterculture and attitudes toward social change. Didion’s words spoke volumes to the founding values of superego. You can read an excerpt from her essays that particularly moved us below:


It’s a social movement, quintessentially romantic, the kind that recurs in times of real social crisis. The themes are always the same. A return to innocence. The invocation of an earlier authority and control. The mysteries of the blood. An itch for the transcendental, for purification. Right there you’ve got the ways that romanticism historically ends up in trouble, lends itself to authoritarianism. When the direction appears. How long do you think it’ll take for that to happen? is a question a San Francisco psychiatrist asked me.


For me, the quote “The themes are always the same” made me pause and reflect. While our generation is not unique in inheriting social issues, the way that we challenge such issues and push for change is. What themes is our generation experiencing that are similar to previous generations? What is special about the way Gen Z calls for change?


To read her full essay, click on the link here:


Is there anything from this essay that spoke to you? Comment below with your reactions!



This is a terrific and thought-provoking essay. Thanks @marinajosephine for sharing!


One thing that I think is particularly special about Gen Z is the fact that we exist at the intersection of unique circumstances and opportunities that both demand and enable our action. For example as we learned this morning, we're facing a "code red for humanity" with respect to climate, still living through a global health crisis, fighting daily battles for equal rights and recognition, and existing within systems that perpetuate inequities. But at the same time, our generation has access to technology to learn, connect, and take action like never before and we have the passion to accelerate the pace and impact of our work. 


Simply put, we can't afford to wait and it's imperative that we leverage the tools we have available to rally more people around calls for change and a commitment to safer, more inclusive future. Epic kudos to superego for amplifying Gen Z voices and opinions on these issues.  

Visionary I

I LOVE Joan Didion @marinajosephine ! What's your favourite book of hers?