Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Generation of The Lost


Normally I’m of a mind to say when a person becomes an adult after a certain point in time they are no longer able to lay blame at the feet of the parents.  There is a tendency to hold onto these excuses and clutch to the safety of finding fault elsewhere.  I think one of the true tests of being a fully realized adult is accepting your own failures.  Mine are myriad and I only have myself to blame.  Yes, there were often external forces and, yes, I was often surrounded by assholes intent on ruining things but it doesn’t excuse me from not succeeding.  Everyone has their own unique difficulties.  I’ve stopped trying to weigh out such intangibles.  There a many people who think they suffer the sling and arrows of misfortune when compared to most they suffer no more than stiff breeze and an inconvenience.  It’s not like we are Chinese prisoners who are cruelly forced to play online games to farm gold and so the prison system can profit by selling them to spoiled kids in the States.  (http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2011/06/02/cinhese-prisoners-forced-to-famr-world-of-warcraft-gold).  Meta humor points: Insert obligatory racist Chinese Gold Farmer joke that only gamers can understand.

I continue to mess up but as much as I want to say it’s another person’s fault, and my god is that an attractive excuse, it does me nothing but harm to embrace this false platitude.  So I’ll stick with fully realized self loathing over ignorant narcissistic rage.

However, to an extent my generation is screwed for many reasons.  There actually are forces aligned against us that are wholly unfair and completely out of our control.  Not that we can’t succeed despite this but the deck is stacked against this generation far more than our parents.  I could lead off and simply say, “fuck you baby boomers; you inconsiderate leeches, you arrogant shitheads, you egomaniacal bastards” but that gets me nowhere.  And baby boomers simply have not cornered the market in arrogance.

So what are these forces that are bending us over and violating us, you ask?  The simple answer is economic oppression and the war of the classes.  I’ll let a quote from Bill Hicks’ set this up.

"If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses.  And what can this tell you about American culture?  Well, look at the drugs we use.  Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates:  Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Fridat to to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in."

As a cube rat who swills coffee every day this could be a ugly pill to swallow.  I somewhat like my job.  There are things I’d rather do but I’m not unhappy and I’m living comfortable.  But I don’t have kids and my wife also has a good job.  Now imagine like most everyone else I have high student loan debts.  My spending becomes a wee bit tighter.  Or I get sick.  Even with decent healthcare (without it I’d most likely lose my house trying to pay) I could be in debt for years.  The worst problem is if I really get hurt and can’t work them I might as well hope my friend’s couch is comfortable.  At a time when I need more money I’m making less.  How about the fact that bankruptcy doesn’t work the same anymore.
I like details and specific’s so read this if you’re ready to get riled up.

The short version is a school teacher, who is a parent, broke her back and had financial difficulties.  She applied for bankruptcy to alleviate her debt and forgive her student loans.  She won.  Which is great.  Then the people who owned her student debt filed and got that part overturned.  This kind of defeats the point of the whole tabula rasa bit of Chapter 11.  Why you might ask?  Because the law is often ugly and cold.  It is slanted because we allow it to be slanted.  There are plenty of bleeding hearts who rally for our rights and live their life for the betterment of the rest of us.  But the counterbalance is heavily funded by companies who don’t give a shit.  Your plight means nothing.  They simply want to keep the board happy and make a profit.  It’s legal and it works.  Companies will rarely take a stance that doesn’t give them funding.  Morality simply doesn’t pay.  Which leads to my other point.

Companies have more power now that ever.  Corporate politics are amazing.  They are slick smart well funded sharks.  I admire them from afar and with just about every inch of me hate them passionately.  These are people who think nothing of trampling my rights.  They give less and charge more.

My generation pays more for less.  Look at the worth of a college degree.  The cost of an education has risen dramatically but the reward has dwindled.  A college degree is only good for entry level position at best.  A masters might weigh you down more than help you.  There are over qualified member os the workforce  everywhere.  I tell anyone who can listen it is worthless to go into law school.  This isn’t true of course but the market is oversaturated.  Old firms have imploded and you see senior level partners competing.  Who luck does a person who graduated from a garbage law school have against those with ten, twenty years of real work have.  None essentially.  And guess what, you have some nice student loans coming due real quick.

Remember when only person from a family of our had to work and the other parents could stay home.  There were two cars and a house.  No?  Neither can I.  Where the fuck did that go?  I’d trade a smart phone for some of that.  I mean we do have the whole living longer thing and cooler technology and my TV has awesome fucking resolution.

I mean it is nothing new the wealthy have their thumbs pressing down hard on the rest.  We couldn’t be allowed to have a fair share.  Wealthy elite are there for a reason.  I can’t blame them.  Why give freely when you don’t have to?  When there is no punishment other than a moral stance.  It’s not like ending corporate tax loopholes and doges could improve our economy that much.  Or maybe not:

According this article we could actually raise somewhere around $114 Billion this way.  That about $1,000.00 per person living in the United States.  Obviously you should trust everything on the internet implicitly… but there is undoubtedly some truth there whether or not the math proves out.

Our society is built to keep the poor to stay poor.  Education in this country is going to shit.  Guess where the shittiest schools are?  The cities.  Guess where the bulk of poverty is?  The city.  Sweet, so we under-educate those who most need a leg up.  Oh, and guess who gets to control the context of our textbooks?  Texas.  This isn’t necessarily a problem.  Until that is the religious right figured it out and now things like creationism gets shoved into books and treated as fact.

Read more here:

Yeah, so our education system is in the hands of people who think science is myth and faith is fact.  This should disturb rational human beings.  I know plenty of people who are religious.  They are not ignorant or hateful and they do not push their beliefs.  They wouldn’t push this nonsense.  But these alarmist fringe assholes are pushing the envelope and are hurting the educational system.  Science is under attack by these people.  Science is part of what made this country a leader.

Don’t think the US is alone in this.  Look at the issues Spain is having:

So we are screwed by the legal system with less ways to get out of debt, we are held back by educational costs and worsening standards, as well as being oppressed by the mighty corporations (this is only slight exaggeration).

But now I come back to the first point.  If we know the issues we have inherited why has there been no change.  Because it’s hard and it feels like pushing a boulder uphill that threatens to roll back any instant.  Our apathy, our bitter bleak outlook stop us before we start our action.  So yeah, we are a generation of failures.  We are a generation of the lost.  But staying that way we only have ourselves to blame.  So the question is what does it take to create change?

Ben

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Thanks for posting. You are awesome!

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