January 26, 2008

Entertain me!

Today I was discussing the current and past generations with a co-worker that I carpool with. We got on this topic because I was going on about how my father is so energetic, almost 75, and he can work circles around most of us. He probably has more willpower and work ethic than anyone I know.

Anyways, we came upon that idea that a good portion of my and most of the following generations have become the 'Entertain Me' generation. Entertainment is more important than the fulfillment you get from accomplishing something, or creating something. I see it in my own life and many of my friends, the perspective is just not the same, in our spare time we don't work on projects or play music or read,we sit and stare at the tube or play video games.

We believe we deserve the rest somehow, because of our stressful jobs, our family, etc. we need to shut off our brains and zone. We think that the distraction of the flashy lights and talking boxes will help us forget whatever is bothering us, pass the time until the next day, maybe it'll be better tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and it's the same shit, the same revolving pile of shit, just getting bigger because you're delaying dealing with it. (ok, maybe that's my own life). I'm sure it's not just me though, I talk to others, I hear how they live, some of us are just passing the time away until we kick it.

The number of distractions out there is endless, the number of things you can do other than what you should be doing is growing daily. If you have an addictive leaning towards gaming, gambling, porn, anything, you can find it, it's most likely out there, and it's accessible from your home computer, laptop, cellphone, and others I can't think of. Everywhere I look there's something to take my mind off of whatever I want to procrastinate.

If it's not that, it's buying things, shopping, racking up the debt, hoping the things will fill up the void, the hole that's missing. I have a sister-in-law who this describes perfectly: 'Oh if only I had this, or that house, or now that bigger house.. I'd be happy right?'.

Why is all this like it is? I don't know... maybe because life isn't so hard now as it was for our ancestors. Even my parents generation had to work harder, physically work harder to get things done. My parents had to ride horses to school, or walk, or ride in a carriage, the amount of preparation involved in saddling a horse, or hooking up a harness? Try it some time and you will be grateful for your turnkey car ignition. Life was hard, sure it's still hard but I think the physical aspect was more rewarding than mental athletics. Endorphins, adrenalin, all those things that come from physical activity that make us happier.

Ok you might say 'no, it's more stressful!!!' but I highly doubt it: you turn on a switch and you have light, you turn a knob and you have cooking heat, you can't tell me that we don't have an easier life. You want to go to a city 300 km away? You get in your car and drive 3 hours, not a week in horse and buggy. Traveling was a journey before, now it's a bothersome task in between destinations. Our lives of convenience, have they made us more happy? I highly doubt it, convenience was supposed to give us more time, but what we've done is filled that time with useless meaningless pass-times, meant to fill up days, weeks, pass the time until we die.

Is this all there is? Life = Struggle, at least I think so, we were meant to struggle. Struggle = happiness, if we aren't struggling with something we're bored, if you're sitting watching TV you're semi-conscious but the boredom comes back when the tube goes off, and then the guilt kicks in because you spent 4 hours of your life doing nothing. It may not be in the foreground of your consciousness, but it's there, I'm certain. If you're not struggling, then your self-image degrades, you have nothing to talk about in conversation (other than TV), you have no persona that you can call your own. It's no surprise that depression runs rampant, if you have little to nothing that is specifically you, how can you be happy?

When you're working on something difficult, it's stressful, sure, but that struggle makes you human, it gives you a spine, an ego, something you can be proud of. Something you can bring up in conversation with others that are in somewhat the same struggle. It's easy .... so easy to just flick the switch... turn on and turn off your brain. All I'm saying is take a moment to pause, please, think, isn't there something better I could be doing?

I'm writing this to myself also, fyi, Dave? Turn it off... just back away... go work on something, anything.. .you know what you have to do.

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January 10, 2008

Happy new year!

Welcome to 2008!

Welcome, for me anyways, to the realization you spent WAY too much money at Christmas on presents. Welcome to the note from your insurance company that there was insufficient funds in your account on the day your payment was supposed to automatically come out (Dec. 24th no less), oh and by they way here is your f*#$ing nsf fee on top of that.

Welcome to a bank account dried up and caked with mud from the banker monkeys throwing feces at each other, and the insurance company who decided to schedule the re-dip into my account the f$#@ing day before I get paid next.

Happy New Year! Hope this isn't an indicator of the rest of the year!

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