There are two ways to live. You can be a sheep, do what everyone does, be reasonably safe and boring as hell, or you can research it yourself, do it your own way, the better way… and then get royally screwed by economic imperialism, the media machine and the status quo.
Yes, it’s another day of feeling like the superior product always dies, the more honest person always loses, the more innovative idea always gets knocked down. Why? Corel bit me in the ass, SCSI is going away, resumé-inflators are getting jobs I want (while my honesty online is busy hurting my prospects), music quality is being degraded by music producers in the interest of getting me to listen to it less but pay for more, my chances of being able to travel to interesting places are being exponentially reduced as McDonald’s continues to appear in the most pristine of places, and my knowledge and skills are dismissed because I haven’t kissed the asses of the movers and shakers by doing internships, but instead struck out on my own as a freelancer five years ago. Some days you just keep running up against it, like the cosmos is trying to tell you something.
Some days, I just feel like wrapping myself in a red flag, pulling out a gun and trying to launch a revolution or die trying. I get so tired of fighting a system that claims to foster individuality but is really only trying to foster wealth, smashing all real individuality as well as it smashes any little guy. All those business-class jerks in Armani suits fighting for success, success, success, hating all non-westerners and dating girls who are cash and power whores like they are. Even the academics are no different, studying whatever will bring in IP cash, rather than what needs to be studied. I have respect for bums and vagrants these days more than anyone else; at least they are true to something.
Dammit, dammit, dammit. And how much cash will I have to shell out to move from Corel software to new software so that I can keep writing? And how much will I have to spend to move from SCSI to IDE? And how much will I spend ten years from now to listen to my CDs? $2.00 a song? $4.00 a song? All that only to listen to music with intentional artifacts introduced for copy protection… And when I finally manage to get out of here, I will find that wherever I go, I’ve never left the western cash machine. I will be drinking myself into a stupor on a Wal-Mart parking lot somewhere in Greenland or Siberia or Bali or even in the middle of the Galapagos islands.
There is no escape. Resistance is futile. There is only one way. Get the MTV haircut, wear the MSNBC-suit and climb that ladder so that you can complain about having lived badly on your death bed.
Not me! I am going right now to read Proust. I will take my time. Then, I am going to write. I will dress badly, wake up late and write. Maybe I will even develop a drink problem for good measure, now that it’s fashionable to be sped up and loved hard rather than hung over and obnoxious. Then, I will listen to MP3’s that I encoded myself, or maybe I won’t even listen to major-label tunes — instead, I’ll pull out my own guitar and sing along with myself! Take that, RIAA! Take that, America! Take that, Western World!
P.S. Every time I want to get terrified, I just type my name into a search engine. Ugh. Sometimes I wish I was more anonymous.