It’s Friday. This weekend is ribfest, which is exactly what it sounds like, and I’m pretty excited. I have to work tonight, and the bar I bartend at (risqué café at clark and Sheffield) is right down the road from Wrigley field where the sox/cubs game is taking place this afternoon. Should be a rollicking good time. Come say hi if you’re not drunk enough from the Blackhawks parade.
Okay, so I was just sitting here, surfing the internet mindlessly when I came across Perez Hilton’s new website (how new is it? I couldn’t tell you. It could be two years old for all I know) that’s just entirely devoted to cunt flashing and tits. It’s not really all that cool, but it’s deeply engrossing. Anyway, as I was sitting here, checking out Peaches Geldof’s naked cans, I began to think a little about the state of our fine nation, our western world, if you will.
I mean, what kind of people are we that we willingly just waste our time clicking on images of Lindsay Lohan getting out of cars for hours on end? Do you think they’re doing this in China? No way, man. And yeah, it’s because the internet there is censored, but there’s something bigger going on here, and I dunno…America’s doomed, right? We all know that, don’t we? I don’t like it any more than you, but look at this trajectory we’ve made in the last hundred or so years:
Our great grandparents grew up in a world that was changing, a lot like our world is changing now. Cars, refrigerators, uh…I dunno, electric xylophones and motion pictures and shit like that. They were living in a huge, vastly spaced out world, hearing about all sorts of technology that people had dared not dream of a generation before. Motherfuckers were getting houses fitted with lightbulbs and there were cars coming through now and then and the world was CHANGING, and it was never gonna be the same. Some ohio hillbillies went out to the coast and built a goddamned flying machine, for fucks sake!
You get the idea. All of a sudden the game was getting changed and it wasn’t just suddenly being able to settle the argument about how much the fattest guy ever weighed by using your phone. It wasn’t just a faster way to get mcnuggets. It was like one second you’re churning your own butter in the dark, the next second you’re in a fucking machine that takes you places, drinking carbonated beverages with ice from a machine in it, all for the first time ever. This had to have been an exciting and scary time.
Anyway, our grandparents, or ‘the greatest generation’ as they’re referred to by Tom Brokaw (and themselves) came along and pretty much spruced up the place using the technology that was becoming more readily available. And sure, they often did it by employing some variation of feudalism and they wound up in a shitty depression even worse than the one that we’re in now, but when the war (the Big One part deux, folks) came along, they went off and fought and came home and settled into jobs so they could get their piece of the pie.
This was the ‘american dream;’ getting a job, didn’t have to be glamorous, but a job, a decent job, and putting a dishwasher in the house and a television and being able to get a nice car and working your dick off and taking care of folks and then boom! You retire and your kids take care of you, heaven, Valhalla, yadda yadda yadda. This is why, for a lot of you, your grandparents, even if they were never rich, have some money. They, as a generation knew how to save and they had clear goals and saw concrete and pragmatic ways of achieving them.
Then our parents came along and brought this new and kind of poisonous attitude into the equation. Now, it wasn’t their fault, per se. You can’t help when you’re born and social evolution is just that, and in the gene pool that is ‘america’ or even ‘western society’ or whatever, we’re all just parts of the helix, so it’s not individuals I’m talking about here, but just the way things went. Human beings as a group are like water, and they flow to the easiest possible solution 100% of the time and they also kind of tend to hate their parents, so coming out of all that hard work and pragmatism, there’s gonna be some devastating effects on the horizon.
Suddenly, the ideal of a safe home and creature comforts and stuff were standard. Therefore there was no reason to aspire to that, per se. Instead we got this generation of people cruising around like a bunch of completely selfish dickbags, chasing ‘self actualization’ and bullshit ideas like that; fucking, fighting, dicking people over, just flaunting their brazen disregard for shit all over the place. Keep in mind, folks, this is the generation that essentially invented divorce. These folks so despised the generation above them, (who, let’s be frank, got pretty fucking smug out there in the burbs after WWII, and then sent them into viet nam and well, I’m not trying to be a ‘greatest generation’ apologist or shit on our parents generation. They also did some great shit. They finally made some decent rock music, got some cool haircuts and popularized the orgy and pornography. Also, they did a lot for the rights of marginalized individuals, and generally hooked up the rights of humanity and all that. I can get behind all that stuff. And it’s all at LEAST as important as anything the folks before them did) that they dismantled the notion of stability and reimagined the American Dream as the individual setting off as a venture capitalist or as a bold new thinker. If the generation before valued working your way to the top, our parents generation valued starting at the top, even if it was a small top and growing something underneath them.
Take Ben and Jerry. They were the presidents of a gourmet ice cream franchise way before it was anything more than two gay hippies jacking each other off with cherry Garcia-lubed hands in their bathtubs, but the shit expanded and suddenly: woah! Who knew that you could become a huge CEO just by doing what you love, no matter how obscure! This became a huge move for these folks. Then we got born.
Now we’re born into this world where it seems like any asinine notion is possible, not because it is, mind you, but because our parents, rather than extolling the value of hard work, have extolled the dumb virtues of ‘everyone being good at something’ and have beat into all of our heads that we’re special. Never mind that we’re a generation that’s gigantic and there’s NO fucking way that most of us are anything that even remotely approximates special. Look at us. We’re mongoloids.
We’ve grown up seeing famous rock stars and famous movie stars (two things that have existed for a while, but haven’t been up in the public’s face every second of the day for long) in huge numbers and we’ve all decided that these kind of crazy pipe dream jobs are not only possible, but pretty much the only way to go. And EVERYBODY thinks their dumb, idiotic, crappy idea is worth a shit, when lemme tell you, it ain’t. Not mine, not yours and definitely not your tubby pal over there.
Everyone’s a fashion designer or in some dumb band or an author or a filmmaker or gonna be in the NBA or gonna write the grand unifying theory of cognitive science (the guy who lived next door to me in the dorms in college was gonna do just that. He also thought I was CRAZY to have an answering machine that was just a crazy preacher chanting ‘thank you jesus’ over and over again. “they’re all gonna think you’re religious, man!” he’d say. Wonder what burger king he’s working at today) and that’s it. Our American Dream is ‘not working at all’ but instead becoming a famous and wealthy success by doing something that we’d pay to be able to do.
And THAT, folks, is why we’re fucked. Who’s gonna step up and do the shit that needs to be done? Not me. Not you. Maybe the Chinese? Not likely either, as they’re burning coal to power their freezers and fucking at a pace that puts rabbits to shame.
The generation above us hasn’t done shit for this place but plunge us into debt and let our infrastructure and environment plunge into disrepair and we’re a WAY more selfish and ‘instant gratification’ oriented group of dildos than they are.
I guess the whole thing, though, is that we’re all apparently doomed by terrorists, plague, war, environmental catastrophe and general depression brought on by only interacting with machines, so whatever, right? Might as well check out unratedperez.com all day. What’s the fucking point in doing anything? Why make your bed? You’re just gonna get into it at night again anyway, right?