Friday, June 11, 2010

doooooom!

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?

Fuck…

35 comments:

planespotting said...

That was a very thorough analysis of the past three generations of Americans.

And no offense to our grandparents, but man, it's really hard for me to think of them as the greatest generation. I'm not discounting all the shit they had to put up with during the depression and the subsequent great war that followed (and their sacrifices in it, which basically won the war and saved humanity from fascism), but our grandparents were basically an entire generation that beat their kids, were overt racist, and acted like employing someone was an excuse to treat them like dirt.

Don't get me wrong, I love my grandparents and have genuinely fond memories of hanging out with them and going fishing and all that stuff you do with your parent's parents, but when they were my parents age, they were not the awesomest people. I won't go into specific details, but it's the kind of stuff that you learn about and are just like "shit, my grandparents did that to my mom/dad?"

So keep in mind that while baby boomers may have focused all our minds on champagne wishes and caviar dreams, they also brought in a lot more relaxed attitude toward every aspect of life, which makes doing anything a lot more pleasant, worthwhile and humanizing than almost anything that happened before them.

(Note: this post is filled with a lot of generalizations. Obviously, not all grandparents are racist assholes, just like all baby boomers are not Tom Petty.)

jbody said...

beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

Donnie said...

What happened to your stand up comdedy aspirations?

jbody said...

bbq.beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks

Brendan Kelly said...

planespotting- absolutely. Couldn't agree more. I'm referring to attitudes towards getting shit done, not towards other folks. Lord knows that the level of appreciation for difference just increases with every generation in this country, despite what those hicks in Kansas who run pig races around the mosques would have you believe.

dustyfloors said...

I think I finally need to get my ass to Risque Cafe tonight. Is that place going to be backed with drunken fratboys/tourists/old dudes/douchebags/dirty south siders from Wrigley? Or do they all flock towards John Barleycorn and the like?

Todd said...

Man, I am not on the same page regarding your analysis of gossip sites. I think that humans have an inherent capacity for gossip that evolved to enable us to navigate the complicated social environments that we've been in since probably before we even became sapiens.

"Who is sleeping with who" is really valuable life-or-death information to a hunter gatherer in a social circle made up of a few scores of people.

Gossip sites hijack this innate human desire to maintain awareness of social dynamics, but render it absurd in the context of our weirdo megaculture.

casey said...

Fuck. Welp, I guess it's the armed services for me.

limited nobility said...

the max bemis thing is up at jbtv.he was kinda "punished",doing those nervous coal lump gulpy voice cracks that feel somehow tied to crying.seems they've consolidated the jbtv shows

Mary said...

@Todd: I would totally agree with you, except very little of the western world are food foragers anymore so I would say the importance of our livelihood has changed. We have created this type of social interacting that has become vastly more important than actually getting shit done i.e. working, education, etc. Why? Probably because we want everything without having to actually do anything. There seems to very little "networking" in social networking. It's just a bunch of dumb illiterate people psuedo-communicating with other dumb people about whether or not they saw that video of that 2 year old smoking 2 packs a day. I would say the good intentions are there but it's essentially become misguided. But that's just my observation :)

I hope by electronic xylophone you were actually thinking of the theremin because watching people play that thing still blows my mind.

Robb said...

Gonna have to entirely disagree w/ your Face/off comments from the M Bemis chit chat. Cage - weird yes but not gay. Travolta - nothing secret about it. Good interview though. Bemis seems alright to me all things said, and the way he's made so many douche rocket .org commenters all pissy with the tunes for $ thing is just bonus points.

Robb said...

P.S. Fools be squawkin 'bout a Crispin Glover - Toby resemblance over on p news. Nah. There IS some Harland Williams, however.

Andrew said...

Today's post reminded me of Mike Rowe's TED talk, which was about how we've been waging a cultural war against the value of hard work and the types of jobs that are needed to get things done. Interesting stuff. It's 20 minutes long, but recommend checking it out if you have a little time to spare.
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs.html

P.S. My apologies if this gets posted twice. I posted this link a few minutes ago, but I'm not seeing my comment yet. Maybe URLs need to be approved by the moderator? I dunno.

Drunken Acorn said...

Anyone else pumped for USA vs England tomorrow?

Garfield Roscoe said...

Socks, brace yourselves.

Guess her muff is gone. Done. Closed up shop.

Take a moment while that sinks in.

Daniel said...

Soccer is stupid.

DannyUK said...

@Daniel - As a long time reader of the BSC, your post Daniel has made me made my first post!
We share the same first name, Daniel, I felt I could not let your post go without a reply. Soccer is stupid. But not the game itself, thats awesome and you really need to watch some of that shit, admire, enjoy and embrace. What is 'stupid' is it being called soccer. The game is football, it is play primarily with the foot. It was called football originally when it was invented, the governing body, FIFA - Fédération Internationale de Football Association, does not mention this 'soccer' you write about.

It really pisses me off, as well as many Europeans when it is relegated by Americans as 'soccer'.

To repeat my point again, in England (and the rest of the United Kingdom) it is known as football. In France, it is known as football, in Spain it is known as football, in Italy it is known as the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio, The Italian Football Federation. So on and so forth.

So please, get the bloody name of the sport right. It is not soccer, it is football.


In regards to tomorrows game (although as I type this it is later today), I see an England victory, 2-0. Don't think it'll be a walk over at all. I think the English defence will be strong enough to hold out the US attack, and we'll get two goals, not necessarily on the counter attack, one from a set play, the other from a decent passing play.

James said...

Yes, we do have hamburgers and fries in England, but we call French fries “chips”.

It's soccer in Australia. Soccersoccersoccersoccersoccer.

Jimmy Collyer said...

soccer or football is irrelevant, did you not hear Garfield? Guess her muff and is she filthy have both disappeared!

Garfield Roscoe said...

Thank you Jimmy. I thought I was the only one here who cared about prospective muff and what was nearly always interracial facials.

Shaun said...

No more Is She Filthy OR Guess Her Muff.

Truly the end of days, folks.

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Todd said...

Mary, my point was that humans have the brains of hunter-gatherers who live in relatively small social groups, regardless of whether or not that is true anymore. Evolution, etc.

As such, instincts that would have been beneficial in the past can be be bizarre and detrimental in our current environment. The most obvious example is a taste for sweet things. Before we figured out how to refine carbohydrates, a sweet tooth would lead you to some nice, energy-dense foods. Now it will lead you to a two-liter of Faygo and a broken metabolism.

Similarly, an impulse to check in with the status of the relationships in your social circle used to be a great tool for alliance-building and other Survivor-esque shit. Now, it's just people jerking themselves off on Perez Hilton all day instead of doing their job.

Overall, my point is that the preponderance of gossip sites over "getting shit done" isn't some sort of lack of cultural work ethic, but rather an exploitation of a fundamental human instinct.

Johno said...

Great post.
I'm going to watch the TED talk now but your synopsis of it seems pretty spot-on to me.

And yeah, football is rubbish (especially the type of people who are generally into it) but the World Cup is a great opportunity for a BBQ and drinks with friends in the sun :)

LANDON DONOVAN!

Mary said...

Todd: I completely agree with you and I'm pretty sure we are on the same page, but couldn't you argue that the exploitation of those basic human instincts is a stepping stone to the lack of its cultures ethic?

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

Another Daniel (weird hair question guy) here--only to say I don't think soccer/football (I'm British) is stupid per sé--but the relentless pressure to FUCKING LOVE FOOTBALL, which manifests in various ways including kids being considered losers for not liking / playing / being good at it (yeah, I was and am a loser in many other ways, before anyone tries to make a funny); footballers being hideously overpaid and overpublicised, and therefore everyone rushing to get those stupid haircuts, spitroast women, and so forth; fanatical hooliganism, etc.… Shit sucks. Hell, I'd probably quite enjoy watching it if not for nonsense like that.

Anyway, good read as usual. I'd like to be able to think/write even 100th as cleverly about this stuff!

Drunken Acorn said...

OHHHH!!!!!!! USA ties England!! Fuck yeah, we got lucky with that goal. I bet you Brits wanna kill Green. It's all good. Good game. @ Daniel (the one who doesn't like Football) Come on dude lighten up, it's a reason to get drunk and hang out with your friends. DannyUK couldn't have said it any better myself, Football is great game more Americans should watch and not be so judgemental.

Felipe said...

I heard "Porno and Snuff Films" and "A Toast" over the PA before the Buzzcocks played at a concert tonight. Pretty cool night.

Sean said...

these past few posts have been pretty depressing...

... where's all the felching and guessing her muff?

Robb said...

Beeks u ever just kick back and watch john woo's pre-hollywood films like 'hard boiled'? that inspector tequila is something else! why u haaate me you suspect i'm secretly fat huh?

Nico said...

Man I hate pompous types who sneer at people for saying "soccer." All you are doing is showing how ignorant you are for thinking that soccer is the only form of football. "Football" is a collective term used for many ballsports where the ball is kicked. Soccer, rugby, NFL, aussie-rules, Gaelic football, are ALL football. When my 90-year old granddad talks about football, he means rugby.

So yeah. Go ahead. Call it soccer.

Nick said...

@GailBonhanan1

Totally agree.

Daniel said...

Drunken Acorn:
"Daniel (the one who doesn't like Football) Come on dude lighten up, it's a reason to get drunk and hang out with your friends."

Sure, the social aspect can be one of the better things. But please actually read my post to see I was complaining about other things, and said I'd probably quite enjoy it if not for those, and it being shoved in my face as the most important thing in the world all day long! Sorry for killing the mood. FOOTBALL! BEER! YEEEEAAAAHH!! Is that better? :P

Todd said...

@Mary - Yeah, it does seem like we are mostly agreeing with each other after all. I'm not sure that I'm prepared to make definitive statements regarding the relative work ethic of our culture, but I would certainly think that exploitation of basic human instincts would be the stepping stone to that sort of thing.