We like to think well of ourselves, in this modern time, and we like to feel smart -- even though the smart people among us are a minority we hound to death for being "different" and daring to think both realistically and creatively. We like to congratulate ourselves on our society much like we would the purchase of a new boat, or car, or house, or the completion of a successful marriage or business merger. We like to look back at history and exclaim, "The horror! The horror!" while smirkingly congratulating ourselves on what we have.
After all, we're free... no longer are we owned by the king, or the lord of the manor, but we can go anywhere we want and do whatever we desire -- if we can afford it, of course. We have the right to move freely, to marry freely, to escape all boundaries of class and accident of birth, except, of course, the need to earn a living. And that is a bit of a rub. While we don't have a lord of the manor, we do have landlords, or banks to whom we pay quite a lot for housing. And then we go to a grocery store and -- well, you don't want to not buy organic; you might as well smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. And if you send your kids to public school, they might end up stupid. Don't want to live near a ghetto? Well, now we're talking yuppie-class housing. Add up the organic food, the security system, the computers and other tools of success, the private schools, the better-than-average car, and of course the house in the suburbs or safe city neighborhood, and wow, you're talking quite a bundle.
If you're lucky, you can work from age 22-70 at some job and earn enough money that your family can live like yuppie kings on their own manse, and avoid becoming dropouts, gangsters, illiterates, drug addicts, or crime victim statistics. You'll be doing okay, of course, until competition comes along; then it's no longer enough to work eight hours a day and commute one. And of course there's no limit to competition, because everyone wants the same thing: your yuppie lifestyle. So soon you're working those sixteen-hour days, knowing that your wife's diddling the pool guy and your kid's into pot because you're not home to anchor a family. At least you don't live in the ghetto, because if you come from a good zip code, the courts will cut him a break on his first offense.
When you get done with it all, at age 70, you'll have sent both your kids to college and paid for your wife's venereal health and psychotherapy, because the poor thing's bored out of her mind and keeps wondering if she shouldn't be doing more with her life than yoga, kid-care and the pool putz. Enjoy your freedom. You can take one vacation a year, up to two weeks, anywhere that you can afford -- and really, you're the only one limiting yourself here by noticing that a $10,000 vacation leaves the curve of your kid's college funding accrual a bit flat. So you drive to the grand canyon, or go to Hawaii, or some thing; enjoy your freedom. Back to work on Monday.
You can now mix races if you so desire, and there are no social classes, so you can marry anyone. You have sexual freedom so you don't have to marry (although many did not marry in traditional societies, we like to pretend that everyone was hetero Christian and normal or they got speared immediately) and you can have as many partners as you want. When that gets boring, as it inevitably does, you can find a wife who's as bored as you and you can both try not to scream out the wrong name during intercourse, wondering in the back pocket of your mind what exactly is different between people in this grunting, cycling motion. You can live as weirdly as you want, but if any complaints sneak back to the workplace... well, they don't fire you for being different, but if the competition isn't? You come up short. And are replaced.
Good thing we got rid of that medieval stupidity. Lord of the Manse, hah! The only people you owe money to now are the banks for your house, the credit cards you must use to stay competitive, the insurance companies and of course your retirement fund. When you get past 70, you'll start living off that, so we hope that you didn't spend too much on your yuppie lifestyle, because you're going to have to save up investments which will produce $30,000-50,000 a year to pay for retirement homes. You wouldn't want to be without medical care, or a place to go. Those people end up worse than homeless, or doing granny porn.
It's amazing how hard people work. All of them want the same thing, but only a few percentage points of the population get a chance to have a life this nice; most people try to get rich, and do not succeed. It's not always something they could have done something about either, as timing and market forces play a lot into it, as anyone who invested in Netscape in 1998 can tell you. You're going to have to work harder in the future too, because to make all these new impoverished people and millionaires, we've had to expand humanity and now the air and water and even ground are poisoned. So in addition to buying your way out of the ghetto, you need to buy your way into a filter-sealed environment where the outside poisons cannot get you.
True, it is a never-ending cycle, this feedback loop that has us always needing more profit and thus causing more problems we try to avoid. There is no end, and there's no mercy for those poor dumbshits who couldn't get this far. Be glad you're ahead -- or are you? Scan those stock reports, job emails, and phone messages now (pay for the pool guy's venereal test, while you're at it). Is it any wonder that most of your friends get to bed with three glasses of wine, a sleeping pill, and some mantra that suggests they'll never die? What are you throwing your life away for? All you do is work and then attend supervised, pre-ordained, purchased entertainment activities like movies, bars, rodeos, yoga classes. You barely know your wife or kids.
Fact is, modern man, you were so clever -- you saw what the lord of the manse had, and you desired it, like Cain viewing Abel naked in the shower, resplendent in a natural glory you are in your Gollum-like ugliness not given, resplendent in a natural intelligence that in your Goliath-like stolidity you are not given -- cheated! -- like Esau viewing Jacob the future inheritor, like a dark-haired girl looking longingly on a blonde until longing turns to hate. You saw what those gifted by nature had and you determined you'd take it. You gathered all you knew and said, now we rule -- and you did. You overthrew the Lord of the Manse, you married and impregnated his granddaughters, and now everything's equal. Yet there's a new Lord of the Manse and it's not one person, but millions, hiding behind your credit cards and your house payments, parasitically wanting exactly what you do which is more money all of the time, and thus we all prey on each other, parasitic brothers locked in arms as we descend the whirlpool of our feedback loop rotting society for our profit -- but surely it was worth it, because you're free?
You're not a serf anymore, or are you? Oh, you outsmarted yourself, and ruined the whole game in the process. Good work. Next time life gets you down, remember that you've not only prolonged your servitude but made it bitter and turned every person against all others for -- for what? For gold? Oh, there's no hope. Enjoy what you've made. Maybe even embrace depression and low self-esteem, and think about hating your own life and subjecting yourself to the most mindless tasks you can out of pure anger, even turned inward -- like suicide, but parasitic and prolonged. There is no hope; leap into the vortex of darkness. Last one in's a rotten egg. Serf's up!
March 26, 2006