A few weeks ago, on my way to a birthday barbecue with my girlfriend’s family in St. Catharines, I called in an order to the Universe for an answer to this question: what’s the thing that I’ve wanted to say for weeks, but haven’t said out loud for fear of offending friends, inviting disagreement, or otherwise looking bad?
On the traffic-laden drive down from Clarkson, I found myself activating the Voice Recorder on my phone. My order to the universe had come back in 30 minutes or less. Here it is transcribed, cleaned up only for grammar and spelling and such things:
When you live in a generation in which everyone is raised to be a superstar, the only way to buck the trend is to deliberately choose ‘failure” and mediocrity.
There actually is nothing great about our generation. We’re a privileged little bunch of shits. Even if you were born broke, you’re still born with these expectations that someone is just going to hand you a job.
Everything gets cheapened and diluted here. Everyone’s got to be a superstar which only cheapens and dilutes superstardom.
When the previous generation found out that they weren’t all going to be movie stars and astronauts, they started fight clubs. When this generation finds out the same, they start Tumblr feeds.
Everybody is a sudden expert. When did everyone become such a fucking expert? You write a couple of things and suddenly you’re an expert author and writer and coach You open up a small mom and pop shop in the middle of a shit part of town, and suddenly you’re an “entrepreneur”.
Even worse, you may decide you’re going to be an entrepreneur and your whole business revolves around telling other people how to be an entrepreneur. You got rich off of nothing, like a snake eating its own tail, like blowing oneself. That’s really what it is. Imagine an entire generation that makes its fortune off of masturbation, auto erotic asphyxiation.
And in the face of this, all of these images of mansions, we have McMansions. Someone figured out how make a widget for mansions, too, as if there wasn’t already a market for it, as if you couldn’t already get rich doing that. And now you go about making six figures and still being broke, living the same type of lifestyle you vowed you wouldn’t live.
Where are the authentic people anymore, the real ones? They ‘re living poor, not beyond their means. They’re leaving for each other to make themselves happy. And yeah, they get into scrapes, they get into fights, they sometimes don’t vote or pay their taxes or credit cards, but they try their best. But this isn’t an avocation for the working man and woman, either. It’s just for something that’s just goddamn real for a change.
Bigger species on this planet, dinosaurs and mastodons, died out because they consumed too many resources and when the environment changed, there wasn’t enough for them to fill their bellies. And we know what we’re living through: there is an overabundance of things here, but at an environmental expense, and all the people living large, they’re just tomorrow’s dinosaurs: what happens when things dry up? How will you live without your mansions, without your trust funds, without your swimming pools and movie stars? What are you going to have then?
Maybe the single biggest hypocrisy out of this generation has been that we vowed we wouldn’t be workaholic parents and divorcees, that we would lead good meaningful lives, we would make something of ourselves, and then stay together for the sake of the kids and raise the kids well on solid values. Instead what we’ve done is turn dating into a commodity. We have a higher divorce rate than our parents did, and we’re just as hooked on the toys growing up as we were when we were kids. Maybe even more than our parents. Who here doesn’t have an iPod?