Mortality

As of the last post, I’ve had plenty of existential wanderings within my philosophy and life. But it makes sense, because 2015 was the year where I finally began to face my mortality.

The initial spark for it all came in April, with the death of an old friend from high-school. Although he was ridiculed in school for his looks, his introverted personality, and his passion for professional wrestling, he never let that dull the brightness he saw in everyone he met. He was practically impoverished, yet would give his meager possessions to anyone in need – even if that person was undeserving.

He pursued his dream of being an amateur professional wrestler, attracting a large following of fans who saw the kindness he had within him. While I was looking on the face of my young, dead friend, I realized that I had been treading water for far too long. I did not like my life – I felt alone, unloved, underpaid and overworked. Here was a man who was underpaid and overworked, but loved more than anything.

So I started spiritual introspection, re-reading the New Testament of the Bible. I quit my job, and went back to work at Starbucks. I applied to take the GRE, and attend grad school down in Tennessee living at some family property in Knoxville. I was hoping that I’d finally be able to find better work and more importantly, love.

But of course, since not all things are expected, it’s unwise to expect everything.

Millenialism

Pardon me for being a little anti-establishment, Marxist, or possibly a little conspiracy theorist in my reasoning – but there are several observations I’ve made over the past few years that I really want to mention.

I am further coming to grips with my identity as a Millennial, and it bothers me. I feel as though my generation both gives and receives a whole lot of misdirected blame. However, could I maybe pose the question that this ‘underemployment’ and ‘narcissism’ is perhaps ‘the system’ working its own favor?

Its apparent that ‘the system’ is constantly trying to distract us, in order to acquire our time in order to get at our money. Facebook, the latest celebrity news, Twitter, video games, smartphones, pornography, new technological gadgets and services- the amount of weapons that ‘the system’ has at its disposal increases every day. All of these things create a sense of alienation between us as citizens, family members, relationship partners, and coworkers. In terms of ‘the system’ – this is a good thing.

Dividing us socially, creating certain boundaries that one needs to pass in order to be accepted – such as having to dress a certain way, own certain items, or modify ones behavior – allow new markets to open up. ‘The system’ has agreed that certain behaviors, items, and services are the ‘in thing’ and so we are required to acquire them in order to maintain some semblance of being content.

The need to acquire these fetishized items, services, and modes of behavior creates an anxiety in people. This allows for even further penetration of these countless distractions, so that those in control of these distractions can increase the amount of power that they already have.

This leads to the concept that a society’s values serve the ‘powers that be’ in some form. Isn’t it apparent that our society – that values instantaneous communication, instant gratification in relationships, and ‘excitement’ in the form of games – stresses only those things that sell and concentrate power for a decreasing few of people?

As a young man, I am encouraged to NOT settle down, to not be romantically or seriously attached to any particular woman. I am told to not get engaged, because its ‘rushing things’. I should ‘keep my options open’. It is almost the same thing as employment. ┬áIsn’t this a form of cultural values serving the powers that be?

Its an excuse to help further extend adolescence, and make it so we think of the present instead of the future. If I am not investing in building a family, I am more likely to spend time and money on consumer goods. If I am not investing in my future, I can spend my money now and ‘build the economy’. If I am not attached to any one person, it makes it easier to market sexuality and ‘excitement’. If I am not attaching my fate to another persons, I am more easily able to not have any commitments, allowing those in control to take advantage of me. If I am not attached to any one place, person, or ideal there is no excuse other than to use me. Life is rendered meaningless so that we can be exploited.

This is essentially the same as the process of being ripped out of our hometowns and being processed in college in order to be a free-floating, unattached cog in a machine drifting towards the flow of money.

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