None of this was caused by me. I did what they all told me to do. My parents. My teachers. My coaches.
Go to college. Do what you love. Be good at it. Be really good at it. Love it. Love your job. Love your work. The money will flow from all of this. THIS PASSION….THIS ENERGY….THIS WORK…
“Don’t worry,” they said. “I know you were poor your whole life,” they said, but they didn’t know. They… Who are They anyway? Do you remember when it was easy to define the They?
How each of them mattered to the outcome of your day? How each little thing They said or did mattered? How those collective additions or subtractions could result in the sum of a good, or a bad day? The ones that mattered when I was a child were so many.
I recall staying awake all night just thinking over each single moment of my day and how each They that mattered would think of each little moment if They were in my shoes. Going over and over each moment with someone else’s thought processes, obsessing over the details and the differences in perspective, and the puzzle of pleasing so many. Was it ever possible?
They call that anxiety. They have magic pills for that.
I’ve never taken a single one.
That sleep you do during the day? We call that Depression.
In high school, I found out the Spanish called it a siesta. And yet the Spanish They live longer than us. They were healthier when They were alive. They worked less. They played more. They lived more. They took naps.
The World Bank They downgraded the Spanish They status as a creditor nation. They call it Retirement. King Juan Carlos might have called it Elephant Hunting. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/9273066/Spanish-royal-family-in-fresh-embarrassment-over-role-of-blonde-aristocrat.html) I wonder how much of the same gene pool the Royal They share in Spain. Estimates for the English royals shared alleles is quite a high percentage, but I leave the speculation and research to the reader as I care little for the backwards breeding practices of kings or Ozarkians. And yes, I see them as the same They.
AARP membership. Naps. Half-price discount at Denny’s. They early to bed. They early to rise. It doesn’t look like my generation will get any of that They rest. We don’t even get the slow build They get to a good night’s rest late in life. Let alone a They nap in the middle. We get the tail end of the never-ending Ouroboros. We have to eat our way back to the head.
So what is the head, and what are They dreams? What does the snake head think as They sleep? Where is its tenacity? I think They might be at home with Mom and Dad right now, unwilling participants in the systematic and internal destruction of a solid middle class They.
Here are my thoughts on the current generation:
It is difficult to find one’s place in the sea of people and constant communication in today’s world. Identity is a literal crisis in today’s society. Once you believe you have discovered one piece of yourself, you might also discover that piece to be at odds with one of the They mentioned above. You may have discovered a piece, but the media and society will systemically eradicate any sense of unity or solidarity you might have with those sleepy-time They we held so dear.
In the ’70s, there was a schism in gender. Look at the separations this has created in our society, our peaceful plaintive pastoral concept of the Nuclear family has been picked apart to the point where it is the norm for a child to have multiple sets of parents. This in turn, creates in early childhood, and more dangerously,in early adulthood a grand schism in the They. A detachment from the most basic of relationships of child to mother or father. Is it any wonder They focus on things like education?
I am not of the belief that feminism challenges the ideas of family, but I am a firm believer in the concept of divide and conquer. Imagine a child’s mind is like a cell. The first division that must take place for it to create the They that exists now outside of the self, must be the division between mother and father and child.
Next, and an ongoing schism that is actually easier to capitalize on is the myth of the term race. They would like us to believe the races are different. Eugenics sought for a long time to prove this difference with the tenets of science. (Again, do your own research into eugenics, please.) Our jawlines might be different. The amount of melanin in our skin, our noses, our eye color, the shape of our ear lobes, the texture of our hair, our ability to cope with various thresholds of the physical environment, etc. etc. Ironically, attempts were made during the separation of the family unit to unite the races. Several key figures in this movement were assassinated in a visible and culturally powerful way. Strong leaders are not good for the They.
Next, a schism inside your own head. McLuhanites may disagree that technology wields power over minds, but I believe any system–especially organic ones like the role of public opinion–can be hijacked for any purpose. Whereas the idea of technology as an extension of some physical aspect of mankind is an appealing one, there are certain parts of the body that, if extended are not readily controlled consciously. The central nervous system, that McLuhan would say was extended outward from the body with the power grid and electricity, is not a conscious physical mechanism at this stage of human evolution.
Since the dawn of the television, public opinion has become a ruling factor in almost every aspect of human life. Advertising performs the same role it always has in advertising itself (McLuhan). The ‘campfire’ which created the ‘global village’ is also a box used for transplanting (ironically, even in a linear fashion, once you become desensitized to overstimulation in cities or on the interwebs) ideas. You are able to say one thing thousands of miles away that could take perhaps dozens of days of travel to deliver. I can speak through television in Denmark live if I so desire.
The nature of television, however, cannot extend beyond that campfire metaphor readily. It is a simple device and much like the one guy on a camping trip that always ends up staring at the fire for hours, television has a similar effect. Linklater’s Idiocracy is an expression of this numbing/dumbing effect. Breaks must be taken from this device, however, Americans’ intake of television has systematically increased since its invention. The trend of late, however, seems the reverse. They have decided the Internet is more suited to their needs.
What They also introduced around the same time as the television is an actual physical barrier to the human assimilation of its own extensions of itself in the form of technology. Drugs. Chemical control of the species would be essential. Divide the organic, more easily transient bonds and relationships made with one another, and you’ve taken a step, but the human mind is a resilient thing. Chemical warfare must take place. Perhaps even the invention of various ‘disorders’ that might have existed before, but now we have ‘knowledge’ of all of the sudden. What did imbalanced people do before They told them to take medicine for that?
And the final nail in the coffin?
Create an impenetrable abstract system of exchange capable of overwhelming all of the senses at once. The end game of capitalism is not and never has been money. Financial wealth is transient. Even the Pharaohs of old knew their earthly treasures could not be taken with them. Capitalism performed its duty efficiently for about 500 years–the duty of creating constant competition inside the specie, of extending the conflict for natural resources to an external idea–however, new models will be required in the coming centuries.
The current methods of control will not work in a slippery Age of Information where people once again regain consciousness outside the warmth of the campfire. The Internet allows for the old linear Capitalist Economic model to be extended only so far. Supply and demand become too easily manipulated and/or stopped by the public opinion which now becomes an organic system reminiscent of the Earth’s weather patterns.
And like the weather They cannot predict, this public opinion and the role it plays in the formation of other systems (like the movement of winds and waters and its role in the constantly shifting thermodynamics of this planet) becomes equally as unpredictable. The observation of an electron as it is stopped changes its physical nature, not just the physics of its movement.
They do not, of course want to see us keep going on the current path. Certain boundaries must be put into place. The wall of the Patriot Act, however, will create the wild card of Julian Assange, who now has his own show in Russia. Even the brilliant predictive cynic Orwell could not have predicted the complexity of the evolution of these systems of constant and ever-shifting propaganda. Next time you see a conflict arise, look two meridian lines to the East or West. The age of the Briton might be at an end, but the age of They‘s influence is not.
They can no longer wield the same power over the human psyche, and the old systems of economic/cultural control are breaking down. Those that are doing the breaking are working more quickly than those doing the building. Even the former world’s great capitals are fading. They may or may not notice. All the fight in the world is not, however, going to stop that Hegelian sun from rising. They fear the invocation of that orb more than others. Natural law dictates this exchange of energy, however, and the form it will take will be constant. Flux is real. Stasis is They. Learn to swim. Learn to move. Learn to adapt.
Creating this environment of constant conflict has resulted in a quickening not just in our ability to manufacture technology, but also a quickness in absorbing its evolutionary benefits. Game theory failed because Nash failed to account for the human in mankind. Show me the math that predicts the nature of humanity, and I will show you the constant and inaccurate models predicting the behavior of electrons. They created a dream. We’re making a reality.
We’re waking up. Time for They to go back to sleep. Time for us to manufacture their further dreams of control. Time again for a new form to take hold.