People Must Be Stopped

3 min readFeb 21, 2024

People lack belief.

Don’t get me wrong, people believe in celebrity and clout and “getting a bag” and likes and brands and influence and Spotify Wrapped and whatnot.

People believe they’re just one follow away from meaning something, to being someone who matters to people who matter. Can’t you see it now? T.Swift, Selena Gomez and you there in the middle at the big game. Life would just be so grand, won’t it?

But people lack belief.

It’s more likely you saw Tupac today than a genocide.

It’s honestly dope that Andre 3000 made a flute album. But you need to stay who you were in 2014.

It’s cool to be into Zodiac but not Jesus.

It’s not cool to admit you did someone wrong. Accountability isn’t in style. Better to manipulate.

Being in love is only cool if you’ve effectively executed a slow reveal, via social media of course, of this person who suddenly has your heart. Better for them to be seen online than actually known.

If your friend has a good idea, a new song or a business concept, you’ll convince yourself you’re being a good friend by requiring a lot of social proof in the form of news articles, online followers and maybe an influencer or two before you become a customer of their product. But a celebrity will surely get you to confirm on Shopify on a pre-order for a product that won’t come out for six more months.

People lack belief.

We have replaced authenticity and community and connection and conviction and intuition and belief for buzz and virality and followers and comments and reels and potential wasted on IG Stories.

People would rather live and love and hope and have faith through their TikTok than IRL. Mercury Retrograde gets more credit than working moms.

People are worried about A.I. and Gaza and gentrification the same way they’re worried about wearing the right hoodie and having the right song in their Story. Whatever everyone else is on, so am I.

The desperate need for people to stand out while doing the bare minimum to help others and society is slowly producing a people so focused on individualism that trying to fit in — but look cool and unique while doing it — has become the most basic and boring form of mainstream America we’ve ever seen. The sense of community that actually fosters connection and values individuality is lost in the masses of people who swear they’re really cool.

Commercialism has become the DNA of this country, but not even in producing what is to be sold…only consuming it enough to be known for having an eye for what to buy with as little attention paid to what is being built and created as possible.

Spotify. Fox News. The NFL. People care about the thing without truly valuing the actual thing.

People are burned out and grieving and hiding their true selves and in need of therapy and a hug and a vacation and love. But people have to say these things and do these things in a way that other people can understand for fear of looking uncool in public. People prioritize the public over the private.

People must be stopped.




I believe. I have ideas and turn some into businesses. Sometimes I run long distances. Chris Nolan, ATCQ, Lake Como & Murakami are my favorites. @joahspearman