Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Appartement: A New Word For Our Times

noun: a real or imagined psychological discomfort caused by the expectation or anticipation of future political or socio-political events.  The term originated with specific reference to November 2010 elections but may also relate to future events (see further below under Extended Meanings).

Appartement derives from the French word for apartment, and is preferably given a French pronunciation. The cognate English word apartment conveys the notion of "a set of private rooms in a building entirely of these".  The new word is derived from an older notion of separateness which ultimately manifests as solitary living. A paradox of appartement philosophy is an anti-communal spirit (preferring to abide alone) and this feature distinguishes adherents of appartement philosophy from earlier anti-establishment movements, for example, the hippies.

Extended Meanings
(1) Appartement philosophy began in the early 21st century as an earnest rebellion against what adherents viewed as increasingly materialist, amoral trends within United States social culture. Initially identified with a politically left-leaning philosophy, the appartement movement championed greener living, despite the need for more and more additional single person dwellings.  Appartement philosophy championed cultural diversity, indeed to the point of regarding everything and everybody as equal (but separate).  Adherents of appartement, notably white, young and affluent, actively despised cohabitation with opposite and even same sexed partners, especially if children instead of pets were involved, preferring the solitary "apart" lifestyle.

(2)  Appartement describes the existential angst of living alone in a big city surrounded by relative well being, yet having the feeling that that relative well being may unexpectedly vanish.  As a societal phenomenon, appartement sentiment first emerged as embodying independence and upward financial mobility, particularly amongst youths reaching or exceeding college age.  Appartement philosophy was best exemplified in the halcyon days of condominium speculation in the first decade of the 21st century. 

(3) Appartement sentiment describes the feeling of willful detachment that adherents may feel when contemplating great swaths of fly-over-country where people live in actual family-based units which they consider archaic.

After the November 2010 elections, fictional and real portrayals in novels, films, and television began depicting appartement adherents with growing derision and scorn.  Adherents of appartement began to be seen as an isolated phenomenon.  Paradoxically, as world events incurred to unify the United States, the appartement movement smoothly blended into the fabric of greater American society.

[Addedappartement is exacerbated by modern social networking. To some degree, people "network" at the expense of forming older, more traditional social networks such as neighborhoods]


  1. How can a psychological discomfort be imagined?

    Alternatively, how can a psychological discomfort be real?

  2. Well, I'd say it was a psychological discomfort.

    But if something exists only in one's own self, it is both real and imagined, I guess. Heh.

  3. Come on blake, give me a break. I was imagining myself sitting in a left bank cafe wearing a beret when I thought this up. :)