Magazine June 7, 2010, Issue

The Ego and the I.D.

(Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash)

An “identity crisis” used to be the last word in chic, but now we have surpassed ourselves and developed identity-card crisis, proving once again that you can’t keep a neurotic American down.

Arizona’s “Your Papers Please” law was the immediate cause of the hysteria currently washing over us, but much more interesting is the speed with which the media coined the name. It was not the brainchild of any one newsperson in particular; rather, it seemed to spring spontaneously from every lip as if the same thought had popped into every head at the same instant. That is precisely what did

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