Archive for October, 2007

October 17, 2007

Is that stock option in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

Money and the relentless pursuit of money may be the central conflict of our generation. In fact it has at times taken over my life, making everything in my life less sweet, taking sleep from the night and bringing anxiety attacks during the commute.  We want it all but struggle to get it all and the more we get the bigger our bills grow. I admit that I’m looking for a way to make money without the usual work involved. I admit that I’m only a step above taking money for sex.

But really isn’t that what marriage is all about? A contractual agreement by which the white male shares of his privileged ability to generate a good income to a woman who can provide a sexual outlet and other amenities? The woman also receives the protection that his gender provides.  Yes and if she can procreate,  well that’s worth its weight in gold eh?

Women often struggle to make money. Its not just the gender pay equity gap either, its that many women want to do jobs that no one else does. Caring for others is something natural for women and unfortunately that just doesn’t pay well. So getting married is often a good deal for women who can take care of people and have someone else work in the marketplace.  For most of us – caring for others is great but it can get claustrophobic and boring.

Working is far more interesting but has its own costs. Hold up your hand if you work for a big Corporation like GE.  Now – I have a question what is that about? Do you think about what it might be like to actually do something meaningful? I don’t know what that means to you, maybe selling sports tickets or playing computer games, it could be riding your bike around and writing little stories about the adventures you’ve had or maybe something really difficult like solving global warming.

We have all come to the point of working to support this capitalist system without considering that there may be other options. NOT communism. That is not what I’m talking about. I am talking about rethinking, reconsidering and rewriting our approach to making a living. Can we Stop the Insanity of prostituting ourselves for money? Do we have the moral fiber to live differently no matter what our corporate conscience says? Hard to say at this point.

I know a lot of unhappy people who have good paying jobs but hate their lives. They keep working hard and being miserable. Buying stuff just doesn’t cut it and when you arrive at the level where your mortgage payment controls what kind of job you have – well it seems like we’ve entered our own private Guantanamo.  Is there a way out? Not sure but looking and I’ll give you the lowdown when I get there.

October 16, 2007

The New Anti Hero: This is who we are

You are probably saying to yourself what does this mean? Is it more of the navel gazing generation’s fascination with self glorification and self loathing.  Simply, yes more… but more with a reality bending twist and a desire to join you in your journey.

So why do you need this? Because you are already sneaking around watching Weeds, Californication, Family Guy and Two and a half Men. (No one with professional do-gooder, spiritual or other moral high ground credentials admits that these are their favorite shows.) You long for unfettered hedonism and hate your longings for everything bad for you and a Macys charge card. You do everything good for you like eating fiber and exercising, but you are thinking about Porno and dreaming of a date with 50Cent.  What the hell is going on here? This is who we are – no better than our parents but hellaciously more self righteous, more earth centric and globally village minded, but with a serving of conspicuous consumption the side. (Its OK to buy a big expensive TV, mountain bike and engagement ring but not an SUV)

Recently I began to write my memoirs as a response to what I “see” and how I feel- more and more  we as a society are becoming increasingly conflicted. We aren’t Democrats or Republicans – we’re Independents. We love our capitalists (Oprah and Bill Gates) and we hate our capitalists (Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh). We love our values and attend church, but really think that the church is utter crap. We love our Country and Hate our country. Who are we and what do we believe in?

The OLs and OGs ( Old Ladies and Old Guys, White of course) curse us – we have no work ethic, our concern with being happy is ridiculuous and they as spiritual guides tell us “you can’t find God through self exploration.”  Recently when I told my parents that I was going to a meditation group they asked me if I had found Nirvana. They thought that was funny – but I didn’t.

These are the same people I explained the Roman Catholic Charismatic Christianity movement of the 1970s. Yes I was praising Jesus and speaking in tongues long ago before the fundamentalists took credit for all experiential christianity. I did try joining up with them (the cult years) in the early 80s but they were just too misogynistic for my tastes.

Now that I’m in my midlife – ( if I’m going to live to be 90 or older) I am ready to dissect it all. I am ready to surgically open and reveal  all of the dark secrets of my self and accept them, I’m ready to be proud of the many accomplishments I’ve made.

We are the anti-hero generation. We are good people doing some really crappy stuff, at least sometimes. Most of the time we are doing good things and hating ourselves for not being good enough.

“This is who we are” is a phrase taken from Chris Carter’s  show Millennium.  The main character Frank Black is an anti-hero.  He was trying to do the right thing in complicated times, but was caught up in something much more sinister. We are caught up in what some claim is the Fall of the American Empire. Conspiracy theories are becoming reality and reality seems more unreal all the time. Everything seems unpredictable and we are unsure.

Let’s see how it plays out and discuss what is happening to all of us along the way. Let me know your thoughts and feelings.