House. Land. Property. Ownership. The ubiquitous american dream. Hunter went all the way to Las Vegas to find it, up on that little hill, with the right kind of eyes. My parents’ generation fought first to fuck it all up, then later to passively-aggressively nurse it all back to health. My generation lost it, though we had precious little claim on it from the beginning.
Things are not what they used to be, so says the siren-song of growing old. Life moves far too quickly here in this over-tweaked world with its fuckered up politics and loathsome people. The American fabric is unraveling, thread by precious thread—you can watch it beamed into your face every night on the news and read all about it every single morning in the blogs, once the talking-shitheads have had their chance at “analysis” and regret as they oh, so smugly and expertly pick away at the cancerous scabs growing tumorously on us all.
The middle class has killed us and in doing so, has only hastened its own demise, like a toothy parasite that takes just one bite too many and inadvertently kills its unknowing and clueless host. It was all just a farce, this terminal notion of a comfortable middle class, built upon one regrettable blunder after another…the generational sinkhole of dishonesty and regrets.
Everything that our parents told us was a lie. And by the time we had finally figured that out, it was too late. Do well in school. Find a good job. Buy a house. Start a family. Then you will be happy. And it was all bullshit. They never once fucking told us that the best that we could hope for was mediocrity—and even that is fleeting, unless you scramble…and struggle….and claw…and fight…every single fucking day to not have what little you do have to slip away.
That is not my America.
And neither should it be yours. Yet we have somehow collectively decided to settle, just as long as the next reality-tv-pop-tart star is in our face…or our ears…or on our phones, bleeping and blinking in our pockets, the one true lifeline to the content necessary to feed the social media beast of our own making in a never-ending circle-jerk of dis/likes, thumbs up (somewhere), and electronic pseudo-validation that is now the sole lubricant in the social-fisting of our communities.
Crosby, Stills & Nash taught us to “teach our children well”. And we try. We try scrambling and shouting down a cacophony of “aren’t I just so damn special and precious and unique” self-serving bullshit. We try being a good example, though an example of what, exactly, we are never quite sure. Because nobody ever told us. We were left to flounder blindly around through the hippie-bush haze and polluted, surreal mists of the late 1970s, feeling our way through false promises of an “as seen on t.v.” lifestyle and the smoothly marketed promises that the next big electronic fad will somehow solve all our petty little problems.
We never learned anything. So how, then, can we teach? At least teach something worthwhile. Teach something that will have a lasting, positive impact on the world and those in it. Teach something that isn’t just straight up lies and whiney, middle-aged intellectual buttfuckery.
But maybe the lesson is in not teaching. Perhaps it is that wisdom, unlike other, more common infections cannot be so easily transmitted from person to person. And I believe that you first catch that infection while navigating the diverse underworld of the school playground, where the tentative flickers of wisdom are first sparked into life. And everyone needs to take their spot on the hot asphalt and let the tingles of awareness burrow deep into their still developing, shitty little brains. It is inescapable.
We cannot insulate. We cannot isolate. We cannot overlook that ground. 1 Every single person needs a push, whether from the creature comforts of a safe and warm nest, or out to the blacktopped jungles. Skinned knees go hand in dirty hand with bruised egos…they all play a part in the beginnings of the ultimate unfairness that is youth.
We can teach with words. We can teach by example. We can teach with intimidation and fear. We can even teach with violence. Regardless the method, you just hope to whatever god you choose to believe in that at least some of it…some minute little crumb of heartfelt advice somehow sticks through all the raging rivers of adolescent ass-kegeling angst, an existence seemingly measured by whether or not they will get the WIFI password (which has somehow become the much sought after Holy Grail of their generation. The fuckers.).
You want…pray…for that crumb to stick and fester and grow to the point where it somehow intertwines with the core of their being, mashing together to form the slight semblance of a decent human being…one who does not hate…one who never hurts…one who strives every day to make their world just a tiny bit better and more beautiful.
In our doing this shitty, selfish thing, we have inadvertently placed a great and terrible burden upon the next generation in line. They will have to struggle with not only the mess that we were left with, but also the one of our own making. Because we never really did anything. About, well, everything…
We tried hiding it all underneath flannel…and music…and writing…and great billowing clouds of mind-tickling smoke. Not surprisingly, it did not work. And in a lot of ways, actually served to make things much worse (fucks to you, Nickleback, you anal prolapse of a “band”). It never lead to our america. It did not provide us with a bright and promising future. It merely served to supply us with a collection of now comical reminiscences, shared with weekend-only friends while killing time at football games…or dance classes…or frumpy no-fun fundraisers for whatever happens to be the cause dejour.
It is on the shoulders of our children to somehow fix it all, this big colossal fuck-hole of a country, with its racism…and sexism…and idolatry. That is the thought…well, one of many thoughts…that keeps me awake long into the night, far beyond what most people would consider healthy. It is an undeniable, damnedable disaster just waiting to happen, a powder-keg tipped over and broken. And we are a nation of drunken, slightly retarded toddlers crawling around and playing with matches, just like our mothers had warned against.
god help them…
I think that they are fucked.
- Shout-out to my bearded bitch of a bestie, A.L., for letting me steal his shit, thereby affording me the rare opportunity to perform a literary “blow-and-go” to a cornerstone of American literature.
It felt dirty. And amazing.