For most of my teenage years, self-destruction was an absolute moral positive for myself and my friends. It’s only recently that I begin to realize the degree to which dying young and taking as many people and things with you as possible along the way was the unspoken goal of the period. Whatever was needed, we did the opposite. We were careful to piss everyone off, to leave nothing unbroken and no feeling unhurt. I think we felt as though total, insulting, contrarian destruction was the only kind of truth that could be achieved in our society; as though it was a kind of praxis.
We grew up and the habits evolved. Willful destruction gave way to a kind of blasé, sloppy attitude toward everything. Cocktails at eight in the morning? Fine. Shoes on the bed? Whatever! Parking your car on the lawn? What does it matter? It often appears to be kind of lighthearted devil-may-care sort of thing.
The problem, however, is that it’s still founded on damaging assumptions about the world that point toward harm rather than construction—toward hurting things rather than building them. It’s an attitude that doesn’t give a shit, left over from an earlier age, yet it’s hanging around now in a life in which I do give a shit. It’s dangerous. It’s got to go.
Times and circumstances are different now. They changed ten years ago. I’m no longer in a world full of people who want nothing more, who like nothing better than to be absolutely offended. I can’t allow myself to act as though nothing matters anymore, because everything matters a great deal to me now.
Live and learn, they say.