Freedom towards death, part 1
I have not written anything since my 18th birthday, so I’ll pick back up there.
I am now, they say, an adult, but the only difference I can see, leaving aside the obsession with political homeopathy peculiar to this nation and its ideological empire, is that I can now legally acquire tobacco. (Not that I had any difficulty with that three years ago.) The span of childhood stretches out endlessly into the horizon, forever expanding its scope as society degenerates. Several generations ago, an ancestor of mine left his country behind when he was younger than I to come to America with nothing but a book of prayers, take a job as a janitor, channel that pay into real estate investment, and die a millionaire. Clearly, such a thing is not even a possibility for this generation. College until 22, graduate school until God knows when, and then a predictable office job until 70 or death—if we’re lucky. The skills, the knowledge, the opportunity have been denied us by a machine intent on creating not factory workers, as is commonly charged, but Cold Warriors, schooled in nothing but the arcane arts of STEM and set eternally upon the single task of stopping the Soviets. But there no longer are any Soviets! Rebels without a cause become bureaucrats without a purpose, marching listlessly about their strange Vogon battleships, getting schwasted on the weekends in a desperate attempt to escape the invisible prison of the postmodern society they inhabit—only inhabit—even if it means waking up in a real one the next morning. Every sensible construct conquered is not destroyed, but merely replaced with an insensible one.
Surely we cannot believe we are free! And yet many of us do. Constantly the battle cry is raised: set us free from this oppressive construct, this totalitarian rubbish of a less enlightened age, that we may reach the only true freedom of the hermit, isolated from all but ourselves! But even the hermit cannot be truly free; can he cast asunder the barbaric chains of his biological needs? No man is free who still must eat. What are we to be liberated from, when liberation is attainable only in death? And, indeed, our contemporary liberation leads us closer to this state; for every bone removed from the skeleton society has built, we further collapse into an orderless mass. In the immortal words of the poet Jeff Moss:
Bones are important,
They do a big job.
Without them, you’d be just
A big squooshy blob.
But for every step we take in that direction, we further sense that something is missing, that something we never knew we had has been stolen from us, and we attempt to build it back, albeit in an unrecognizable form; perverted beyond recognition by that very formlessness, yet in always the same way. The American dream is replaced by the Roman. Rock and roll may be a recent invention, but sex and drugs are eternal.