My Generation – Written In 2003 or 2004

This may not be for you. For all I know, you’re going to loathe this document just as much as I love it. It doesn’t matter as long as you absorb it.

I’m here to talk about my fellow man. My fellows are not the “adult generation;” not “Baby Boomers;” not “Generation X;” my generation. What can we call it? The MTV Generation? The Dot Net Generation? When I was in 6th grade I had a doctor tell me that they might nickname us “Generation Death” because of the AIDS epidemic. Are you people kidding me?

We’re none of that, and we’re all of that. Get down to brass tacks – we’re the generation of the doomed. We are loathed by the world, and probably for good reason. Look at us. We sit around with more technology than we know what to do with and complain because the line at McDonald’s is too long. We’re hated by everyone, and worst of all, we don’t care. We’re Generation Ennui – the generation of apathy.

For those of you still paying attention, I’m giving props to Hesse’s Siddhartha for the whole “Ennui” comment. Ennui is, to my understanding, a Hindu word that is best defined in English as both emptiness and apathy. This describes us well. I talk to faculty here that tell me “we are not a protest­oriented university.” You know why that is? Because they say that’s the way it is and you sit there like good little sheep and listen and follow along, and for what? The good of the school; the good of the collective; the good of your state; the good of the world?

This whole thing is a double-edged sword, I understand. You sit here and read this and, hopefully, by now you know I am just like you. I am just another ant in The Hive that is engulfing us all, and I fear that it’s just getting worse and worse. If my people continue to sit around Starbucks and bitch about how much of a bummer life is without doing anything, our generation is going to have some serious problems. Like we don’t already.

The previous generations like to blame us for our faults, because it’s a lot easier that way, but our stigmas are as much begotten from them as they are theirs to begin with. The difference is that we can’t use their tactics anymore. Our parents, for the most part, were our age between 1960 and 1980. Then there’s Gen-X, which I’d say were our age from 1980 to 2000. I consider us (and when I say this I mean everyone born 1980-85) to be the first installment of our next generation, which will last until 2020. This is simply my definitions of the generations, I’m sorry if you don’t agree. Let’s move on.

The Baby Boomers were born in a time very similar to when my generation was born. As different as the 50s and 80s were, they really weren’t. It was a great economic time, followed by a period of turmoil – the 1960s and 1990s. Instead of Bob Dylan and Elvis we had TuPac and Biggie; instead of Kerouac we have Palahniuk (I realize Kerouac was more of a 50s beatnik, but please try to stay with me here). The Boomers were looked at by their parents just as we are being looked at now – the end of life as they knew it. The only difference was that instead of listening to Mommy and Daddy, they turned into Hippies. Now, please, I’m not saying that all our parents were hippies, I know mine weren’t, but regardless of what they were, they were all thinking radically. Our generation is tied to the status quo somehow, not just within the university or the state, but within our very lives.

Our parents became the up-tight suburban dorks they collectively are now known as because they changed the rules of the time to fit what they wanted and needed, and then they grew up and realized that money changes everything. Luckily, our generation is very aware of just how influential money is. I could go into some semi-socialist radical spiel about how bad advertising is and how MTV and all that stuff is corrupting my poor generation, but that’s a bunch of crap. Are you, my generation, ready to accept that the reason we’re so screwed up is pop culture and advertising? I’m not. I mean, I understand that it is a big part of our culture and it has definitely taken various tolls on us as a generation (I’ll get to that later), but where did MTV come from? We didn’t make MTV, we just helped the monster grow; it was Gen-X who made MTV. And if you want to really get down to it, it was the Boomers, who made MTV for Gen-X so they could make a fast buck.

OK, now, let’s stop. I’m doing what I didn’t want to do to you here, which is turn you off with a bunch of “passing the buck” garbage. People hate that, and I am one of them, so while I am leaving the

previous paragraph in so you can hear my ideas, please don’t go off and think that I think the big bad capitalist adult world is against me. Hopefully by now you know I’m not an idiot, I can accept responsibility for my actions, I go to Starbucks and I eat at McDonald’s, and I’m just as pissed at me as I am at you, whoever you may be. We’re all in this together, and that’s the point I was trying to make. Just so I don’t have to write all the different things down, let’s just agree that my generation’s current state is essentially due to previous generations instilling their values in us while we grow up. Logical, universal, difficult to accept.

Now’s probably a good time to mention how my generation has screwed up, and we have really screwed up. I don’t know whether to call us unwitting pawns of the Boomers or if we are just an entirely self-loathing generation. Nothing is ever enough for us, we just want more and more until we have so much that we have to get rid of it to get the newer bigger thing. Remember the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? This does not apply to my generation, and it never has. A friend of mine just removed a $400+ system in his car to put a bigger, better one in, and all his old stuff just sits at his place. It’s a pile of metal and plastic that amounts to over $400 that lessens in value each passing moment. I mean, that’s the real deal with everything we have – nothing holds any value more than the day we buy it. What do I mean? Open-box specials. Cases of food being thrown out of a restaurant at the end of a day because, while not spoiled, it would spoil by the next night, so instead of donate it to hungry people we throw it in the dumpster. We’re insane, aren’t we?

How can you look at yourself and not think you’re out of your mind, honestly? Look where you are and what you’re doing. You’re dropping eighty grand on an education that, if your lucky, will land you a thirty grand a year job when you’re done. In all reality, you’re probably going to haul boxes or wait tables or whatever The Hive needs you to do until one of the Boomers quits or dies so you can take over his or her job at one third the cost. What … are … we … doing? We see this coming – it’s right in front of us, just ask someone from a few years ago what kind of job they have and how much they like it. I do not know many people under twenty-five in a job they plan to keep for more than five years. I wish I could say I know no one, but I do know a few very successful young people, so that kills the universality of my argument. How sad.

So we’re the wasted generation, aren’t we? Wake up, go to class, hang out, party, go to bed, and do it again. Monotonous and usually predictable, this describes most of our lives. I wish it didn’t describe mine – are you really glad that describes yours? Because that’s how they see you, and you need to realize that, or you are doomed. The generations above us have no faith in us because it’s really been a downward spiral since they did a few good things back in the late 60s and early 70s. I mean, in the 1970s, the Boomers effectively decreased the voting age decreased to 18, increased the drinking age to 21, and decided to not really care about their brethren who had just comeback from Vietnam. For some reason, the Boomers cared enough to radically secure a new voting idea in the nation but then didn’t care at all when a system that had existed for two hundred years disappeared. Maybe they let it happen because they’re radicals and wanted a funky change like the drinking age, and maybe it got passed because the latter part of the Boomers were a lot like us – drugged up and not caring. Just like them, we’d rather break a law than fight to get it reformed – they had enough of that hard work stuff back in the Civil Rights movement, they had no time for this silly drinking age, it didn’t even really effect them; most people thought it would be a relatively short-lived law. Oops.

Instead, the Boomers effectively extended childhood three years but teased them with the idea of citizenship because they could vote at 18. And they fell for it! So would you, if you just got through a drug wave the likes of which this country didn’t see again until crack got invented; these people were dropping acid and smoking pot in the streets of San Francisco, they probably figured it would be just like every other intoxicant “the man” tried to keep them away from. Wouldn’t you? They had no idea that their world was about to implode. One of my personal heroes, Hunter S. Thompson, speaking of a mere half-decade after the peak of the Hippie movement, wrote, “Now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see

the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” They never saw disco coming.

Quaaludes, coke, disco, heavy metal, punk rock, easy listening; those poor bastards had no idea what they were getting into. It took a whole decade to stuff those same hippies into suits and cram them into cubicles. Maybe it was the draw of the money, because I know I can’t say they were all on drugs,

so I really have to assume it was the money. To be honest, if I were a hippie, preaching about how we all need to love and be happy and one as a society and then saw it all slowly unravel as the rest of “my generation” got to it, I’d probably just say screw it, too. Let’s move into Generation X, the ones who really made our lives interesting.

Thanks to the first five years of Generation X (1980-85) we have crack, crank, lots of bad music, deficits, suburban facades of paradise, and it’s all thanks to what just happened twelve sentences back. The Boomers got Gen X to believe what they believed – work hard, use the system to your advantage, continue on. That didn’t work so well for Gen-X. So what the hell happened? TV? Internet? Cell phones? Drugs? Music? Not one of them, not some of it, all of it. It’s all taken a toll both on us and our predecessors, and it’s up to us to make sure that it doesn’t continue. In my study of American history, I have never found two decades so totally different from each other than the 1980s and 1990s. There’s lots of blame to toss around here, so I’ll get started.

Kurt Cobain, Dr. Dre, and Rage Against the Machine taught me what I didn’t learn in my real life. For some of you, it was Sublime, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Snoop, TuPac, Biggie, it doesn’t really matter – what matters is that our culture is dependant on one thing. Leaders. It’s kind of hard to idolize Reagan, Bush, Clinton, or any Senator or congerssman. It’s really easy to idolize a pop star – at least they care about you (or at least your contribution to their record sales), and they’re obviously much easier to identify with as far as their age and ideas are concerned. But what I want to know is how we went from Every Rose Has It’s Thorn to Heart-Shaped Box in five years. When and why did we get so pissed off? Because I know I’m a pretty angry individual as far as my culture and “my reality” is concerned. I’m frustrated, and you should be to, because I know that this isn’t what you really want, and you know there’s something better out there. I think if we knew why we are so angry, then we can perhaps correct the situation. Sadly, I’m angry about a lot of stuff, as I’m sure you’ve noticed while reading these last … what …2,000 words? It’s a little more than that. I do hope you haven’t gotten bored you, and I apologies if you have, however, I think that you would have stopped reading by now if that were the case. Perhaps I should just shut up and move on.

Let’s think about the 90s, where most of what I remember comes from. When people ask me, “What’s your first memory of the 1990s?” I say, “The L.A. riots.” I grew up on the West Coast, so the L.A. riots were a big thing even though they were a six-hour drive away. Lots of scared yuppies in Marin County (just north of San Francisco) worried that the “underprivileged young urban African­Americans” in Oakland were about to cross the Bay and mercilessly attack the Peninsula. OK, I’m exaggerating, but there was a lot of concern that there would be riots in Oakland. What a wonderful culture we live in when we decide that because people in Compton (a predominantly black neighborhood) are upset enough to riot, of course the same thing will happen to black people everywhere. It’s that sort of retarded mentality that had people taking to the streets in the first place. Bradley Nowell, a fine example of what happens to beautiful minds when they’re caught in a Hell of drugs and poverty, wrote this about the riot in a song:

They said it was for the black man

They said it was for the Mexican

But not for the white man

But if you look at the streets it wasn’t about Rodney King It’s bout this f**ked up situation and the f**kin police It’s about coming up and staying on top

or screamin’ 187 on a mofo cop

It’s not written on the papers, but its written on the wall National guard smoke from all around

Is this not a metaphor for our same situation? Go listen to April 29, 1992 and tell me that you can’t relate to it after living in High Point for a year. Now I’m not a fan of killing cops and don’t condone it, but I definitely understand what Bradley was getting at – when a system that is designed to protect begins to oppress, then it is up to the society to gave the system that power to take the power back. But how can we? The United States military bombs other countries back to the Stone Age because they either needed to pass the buck on terrorism because they couldn’t find bin Laden or they really wanted to free those poor oppressed Iraqui people. It’s all about money, people, haven’t I said this already? And don’t tell me Saddam’s a bad guy and deserves to be gone – Saddam was a prick that our government never should have helped gain a stable rule over Iraq in the first place, but once again our previous generations were too involved in things like the Big Bad Cold War, which we all know cost billions of lives. Oh, no, I’m sorry, that was supposed to be dollars, not lives.

Don’t let them fool you, Saddam and bin Laden exist thanks to us. Go look at how many terrorist bomb experts are graduates of U.S. IV-league schools. And, my generation, you ignorant apathetic sheep, it’s our baby now. We have to clean up what they spilled all over the place, and that includes the toxic waste and oil spills. How ironic that we bomb a country to get a cheaper price on oil just so we can have a company (owned by U.S. taxpayers, yes, but really owned by Middle Eastern oil suppliers) let a drunk behind the wheel of a tanker and run the thing aground. How many people reading this under the age of twenty-five can distinctly remember any detail at all about the Exxon Valdez accident? I don’t remember anything. The farthest my real memory goes back is the Challenger accident in the 80s, and I can remember that two second explosion better than that multi-month catastrophe. Why? Because it looked cool and was visibly disturbing – there were people on that ship. People don’t die directly from oil spills – sorry, we don’t care, where’s our heat at?

So, by now, if you’re like me, you’re ready to kick your own ass after reading this, or at least be ready to do some ass kicking. Or maybe not, maybe you continue to not care. After all, what are you going to do about it? Golden rule – he who has the gold makes the rules. We don’t have gold, we have loans. Our parents might have gold, but they’re not going to be hooking us up with that too much longer – look at the economy. And this is great for our generation because just as our parents say “Bank Closed” we’re going to be in the fight of our lives to survive in a very brand new world. It’s the world that we ignore but see all over. It’s our world, but that doesn’t mean it has to be our reality. We can change if we can just take the time to stop just taking everything we’re given. We’re like veal that has gotten so fat in our cages that we couldn’t run away if we wanted to. The fact is that all we have to do is stop eating so we can gain enough room to escape our bondage.

The first thing our generation needs to do is realize that we are all in this mess together, and that means a whole lot of changes. The racism stuff has got to go – that’s been waiting since the civil rights movement and was derailed by a blatant characterization of young black people as degenerate crackheads that started just after the apex of what is sometimes known as “Affirmative Black Action.” Yeah, I said it, and I meant it. You think there’s no reason that five grams of rock gets you the same mandatory sentence as fifty grams of blow? Wake up and face the facts, the system above us keeps us down by making us fight each other. We’re competitive over everything; get good grades; get a good job; get the hot wife; get the rich husband; have a great body; drive the best car; dress the best. What are we trying to prove? It’s not just the racism, it’s the political correctness, too. Instead of our generation being brought together by things like affirmative action, we were forced apart by it by keeping in the same mindset of “oh, that’s them.” We’re all them! All of us. We all really equally distrusted by the world right now; a classic Less Than Jake song opens with an obviously adult man saying, “I promise I will not judge any person only as a teenager, if you will constantly remind yourself that some of my generation judges people by their race, their belief, or the color of their skin, and that this is no more right than saying all teenagers are drunken dope addicts who are glue- sniffers.” Well put.

So that’s step one – we’re all the same, deal with it. I’m tired of hearing women say if they ruled the world there would be no war, I’m sick of hearing men say how women belong in the kitchen. White men can’t jump? Black men can’t sunburn? This is the kind of stupid shit we have to contend with

here, people! The garbage that’s been passed down from everyone before us that we need to sift through and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, we will not be led down this stupid path of constant strife against each other, we’re going to survive and break through your regulations and reservations. We’re going to rise up and destroy the institutions that have kept us watching MTV and logging on, but we can’t yet. We’re too dependant. There is no possible way to get every teenager to stop watching MTV, though that would be really cool. American youth is the largest market for products dependant on discretionary income usually because all the cash they have is totally expendable and renewable. Whether you’re a 16 year old with an allowance or a 19 year old in school with a job, there really isn’t much you need. Food and shelter is taken care of by loans and/or parents, so the rest of the money has to go somewhere. What do we do, save it? Yeah, that worked great for our parents, let’s go see if they want to loan you ten grand to invest in the stock market right now. So we spend it and we use it, and we usually spend it and use it parting. What else are we going to do? School isn’t really that hard, especially not in comparison to the “real world” we’re about to collide with in the next few years.

What’s worse is that we’re not stupid. We’re totally aware of what’s going on, we just still don’t care. Maybe you care a little more now. I hope you do. I wonder how it is that somehow clinical depression and ADD didn’t flare up until the 1990s and I wonder why that is. As of current there are many more young people making use of facilities such as this Honey Lake Clinic Teen Depression Center as they are struggling through life. However, in my conclusion it’s not because you’re underdeveloped, it’s because you’re overdeveloped in a world that never stops. I don’t know anyone, anyone, that has an I.Q. of over 110 that couldn’t be diagnosed with ADD. While I have never been diagnosed, I know I have it, and I’m glad, it’s the territory that goes with being smart, you think a lot. Somehow people (The Boomers, again, for the most part) got sucked into the idea that you could quickly and easily give little Johnny a pill and you didn’t have to spank him anymore and he’ll do well in school. Yes, the same people who passed the legislation on crack and all that stuff I just got done complaining about is the same generation that is controlling themselves and their kids with Prozac and Ritalin, they’re just not from the street. Unless of course little Johnny decides to sell the drugs you’re giving him which, sorry folks, he has probably done at least once. That’s right, everyone I know that is prescribed drugs for ADD or ADHD has committed a felony at least once. How’s that for some poetic justice? I love when a plan comes together.

I’m not lying to you here, people, why would I? It’s not like you can find me and know who wrote this, though I know some of you will and I’m sure the world will eventually find out just who I am. My goal is to tell you everything I can and hopefully get you to do something greater than I am doing here. It’s rare that I write for this reason, but you people have really pissed me off, and I just felt the need to get everything out. So let’s be honest – I’m your friendly neighborhood Bohemian, just cruising along alone, desperately hoping more will see what I do and take up the cause. It’s unfortunate … people don’t like Bohemians. We do, our generation does, Bohemians are our favorite people. They’re the kids that hang out, smoke pot, drink heavily, have fun, and just live as they want to. There may be some people out there who still don’t understand me, so I will try to explain by identifying whom I consider to be the epitome of what is a Bohemian. He doesn’t go to school here anymore, some would say he was too dumb, some would say he was too smart, but none would deny that he was undoubtedly “The Man” in every sense of the word. His name was Steven Skribner, known to most as Spicoli, known by me as Buddha, known to everyone as a great man. For those of you that knew Steve, you understand what I mean. For those of you that never got to know him, or never took the time to know him, I am infinitely sorry, because you missed an experience more amazing than a supernova.

We could all be just a little more like Steve. Not the wasted part, but the part that was love. The mind that none could match in simplicity or brilliance. We need to be a generation of Super-Spicolis. A generation that understands what is happening but also has the motivation to do something about it. Everything we need to rule the world is at our feet, don’t you see? We’re the best and the worst – we have infinite access to knowledge on the internet but what do we do? We pirate music! Napster was a very ineffective voice of Generation X that tried to say, “We’re not going to take it anymore!” that was snuffed by the government because they regulate the internet.

You want the real truths? The real hard fact. The fact that just might make you burn this document? We’re more like the terrorists than we admit. Since when did we respect America or its laws? I know that the youth is getting more and more conservative (relatively speaking, stay with me) but we still don’t listen to our government until we want to or feel we need to. September 11 gave the U.S. so much power over our generation because now we are scared, and of what? The terrorists? Are you really afraid of the terrorists? The world has a pretty big history of terror, people; you idiots that want to get rid of terrorism remind me of people who were in support of a drug war. You can’t stop things that people inherently do, especially if it feels good or they think it will assure them eternal life. I’m not scared of terrorists in the Middle East, I’m scared of people we have decided to not classify as terrorists that live in my country. I am personally more afraid of being shot by a paranoid police officer that thinks I’m reaching for a gun than some “horrible random drug addict that plagues our streets and supports terrorism because he buys drugs.” At least I have some common ground with the drug addict, it’s much harder to find common ground with a cop. This is not to say I’ve not had great conversations with cops or district attorneys, I really enjoy them very much, to be honest. It’s always better to find out what laws you’re breaking before you get caught breaking them. Now would be a good time to mention I’m a white dude.

Within three blocks of my residence, I am aware of three active crack houses. I live mere blocks off campus. There have been times in my life when I was walking by one of these said houses (decently intoxicated) and one of two guys on the porch said something to me to the effect of, “What-choo doin’ up in herre, cracka’?” I turned, looked at him, and said, “I’m walking home.” I stood and talked for a minute at three in the morning with this crack dealer about the neighborhood and about life. We shook hands and, where we met as different people, we parted as like men, because we both knew we were wrong, and the hostility existed only within ourselves, and we knew that it was not our own, but instilled in us. You can’t just judge people you don’t know, it’s not right and it’s not fair to them or you. Do you really want a version of someone in your head that’s not really them? Do you have a love of lies that I don’t have? I don’t think so. Next time you’re strolling down O.A. and see people on their porch, say what’s up. What are you scared of? Maybe you’re scared I’m right. Maybe you fear the connection. I mean, we all fear the connection, don’t we?

There’s a reason I’m writing this and not telling you this. For one thing, there’s too much to say, so I feel I must write it. But the real fact is, I’m scared; I talk about this stuff and people say I think too much. I write it and people say the same thing, but it’s usually more positive, which brings us here. I’ll be honest, I’m a real jerk when it comes to what I think; you must have known that already, reading so much of this. I don’t mean to ram it down your throat, it’s just that it’s my way. You like it, admit it. It’s safe and it’s different, so you like it even more, just like your worlds you’ve made for yourselves. A bunch of ants, serving The Hive, talking on phones, chatting on-line, watching TV, surfing the net, interacting with the world without actual interaction. Reality as defined by fiber-optic cable. We’re living in a world of radiation with phones and Wi-Fi everywhere… it’s no surprise that people are getting EMF meters to measure the radio waves, which you can Buy Here. Additionaly, it’s no surprise that with the rise of screens and technology, people are suffering from computer vision sundrome, with symptoms including eye fatigue, eye ache, blurry vision and neck pain…all from looking at screens! It shouldn’t come as a shock that people are investing in Felix Gray glasses that block the blue light from screens that causes these undesirable symptoms. How is it possible that just a few years ago this syndrome didn’t exist?! And here you are, here I am, redefining it on paper, getting back to basics. Hard copy … yuck. I should just mass E-mail it to everyone I can, but I don’t want to do that. I want to see how bold you are, if you’ll pick up a packet of words that you don’t know anything about just to see if it grabs you. And, I guess it has. Here we are.

If at least some of this document has not been read outdoors, I am now angry at you for it. Please, if you haven’t yet, go outside and read this. I’m stuck at a keyboard here and I would die for sunlight, but I’ve been at this for three hours straight and am not going to stop just yet, not to mention that it’s almost midnight. Being a writer makes you realize how many words you waste in life – we just passed the 5,000 word mark on this bad boy and that’s a lot of words for just three hours of typing. I’m worried I may repeat things to you; if I do so, I apologize. I was never very good at remembering what I write, that’s why I write it down.

New point – education. This is a topic that a lot of adults are mad about and I can understand why: college is now what high school was when they were our age. Sadly, this goes all the way back to the drinking law (oh yes it does!!!), because adults effectively extended our adolescence by three years. How can these people expect us to go out at 18 and be responsible adults when it is so blatantly obvious that they don’t trust us to be that way? Sure, they trust us to pack heat and kill for our country, but that’s just so they don’t have to do it. We’re young and dumb, they’re old and smart, and that’s the fact of it. They’ve been here longer and they know how to play the game because they invented the damn thing. What’s funny is that these adults are the same “anti-authoritative hippies” they always were, and we as kids are fairly anti-establishment as well. I know I am, and my parents weren’t hippies, as I know I’ve said. Our parents sent us to school and said, “Be good and mind the teacher,” but as soon as we come home with a bad report card our parents are on the phone with that same teacher asking why little Johnny can’t pass Algebra. He takes his Ritalin, he should be fine!

Come on, my friends, my generation, my people, my fellow citizens of The University, The City, The World, The Hive, let us become what it is we are destined to become. There has never been a time where communication was so easily accessible and so totally neglected by the masses – the time to strike is now. The time for revolution is not near, it is now. It is time for a revolution of many things, most of which our spirit. Somehow we as a generation feel bad about being our generation – that feeling comes from our past generations and their past generations and it’s up to us to stop it. Screw them, take the blame, take it all, and let’s get down and go to town on this place! I’m tired of having the world think I’m a greedy infidel or a capitalist swine or an arrogant American. I don’t want it anymore, and I don’t think you should either. It’s time to stop being ants in The Hive, it’s time to destroy It, or at least part of It. We can no longer live in fear of what a school, a state, or a society will do to us for what it is we believe in. It’s time to change our name, it’s time to become a generation of empathy instead of apathy. You can’t destroy The Hive from within, this goes back to the whole thing with terrorism, which I will explain now.

Terrorism has existed forever because it is inherent to The Hive being as it is. The idea of terrorism, the real idea, is to take what is the status quo and use it against those in power so they might understand how bad said status quo is. It doesn’t work. It sucks, actually, it’s only effective in people’s minds, and it’s really not that effective, as was seen at the end of 2001. Humans have a tendency to really enjoy getting kicked in the stomach if only for the reason that it toughens us for the next blow we know we’ll eventually have to take. Those within our generation that wish to destroy the system are trying to do the same stupid things, just look at how many computer viruses there are. Our generation is essentially what Osama bin Laden was when he was young – his culture, or at least the culture he desired, was being threatened with destruction. The only difference is that it was a different time and a different war – we don’t fight wars with guns anymore. Sure, we have wars with guns and bombs and the terrorists fly planes into buildings or make truck bombs and blow up military barracks, but so what? What has any of it done? Is there any military campaign our country can call a success in the last forty years? We aren’t the dominant military power anymore, regardless of our guns and bombs, we can’t really hurt anyone. We can hurt individuals or even a system of government or, if we really go crazy, create a total regime change on an entire country, but our attacks lack the one thing that the terrorists have – their attacks are a lot scarier. On the other hand, however, the U.S. bombs buildings that are crucial for the structure of a government (essentially, the military), kills some people that are essentially the same thing, and then tells the people that they are going to have what’s called a “democratic election” and they as a collective can decide what they want and we, as the all-knowing Big Brother, will instate said system for them. This sounds like terrorism, people, sorry. Military action is terrorism, no matter how much our government would like us to believe that terrorism only happens when civilians are killed. And what really gets our goat is that we suck at it – we are really the unwilling police of the world. We’re trying to clean up a mess in the Middle East that Great Britain made when they redrew the boarders of those countries centuries ago. Once again, I’m passing the buck, when really all that needs to be done is for someone to take some responsibility. Once again, we suck at it, and have really just made a bad situation worse. I could really sit and whine about the whole deal in the Middle East, but that’s not really the point here, and I think I’ve made my point about terrorism.

Americans aren’t told lies by their government, they just aren’t told all the facts. The government hides the facts from the people in order to maintain the status quo. When I say information, I don’t mean secret codes and defense plans, I mean world events that are manipulated by both the government and the media, which have as of late become the same entity. I’m talking about how the government uses the media to turn Osama bin Laden into Saddam Hussien; how they can sit and say how cruel the Taliban was after September 11 but didn’t care at all when women’s rights groups cried out in the early 1990s about the same mistreatment they now decided to chastise; how Saudi Arabia funds a big chunk of terrorist attacks launched from the Middle East but we don’t care because they give us good prices on oil because we’re bombing their neighbors. You want to know why I’m so upset? Because of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is a little country in Africa where a whole lot of diamonds come from. About 15 years ago a group of rebels began overthrowing the government with lots of strong-arm tactics and some pretty gruesome stuff. Once the rebels threw out the previous government, the world urged this new government to hold a general election to decide what the people really wanted. To ensure that everyone would vote their way, anyone who had a questionable vote had his hands chopped off so he couldn’t vote, along with the usual raping of family members as well as the dismemberment of sons so they could not avenge the acts done against them. And then the rebel government took power and it has been that way ever since. And what do we say when we’re asked why we don’t get involved in Sierra Leone? Because it’s an issue of national autonomy.

Are you sick of this yet? Should I stop or should I continue? How much more do you need to hear before you do something? I’m not asking you to lead a revolution, I’m just asking you to think about this stuff that I’ve written. Most of it doesn’t really matter, the real core of the issue is that we have to start binding together as a culture and as a civilization, because our world is all new, and our reality is what we make it, if we simply choose to do so. We must not be kept down by how much others wish we did something else, or what a system wants, or even what we think we want. We’re just waiting, and for what? The time is now and the place is here. Power is not bestowed, it is acquired. We must stop looking back on our past generations’ mistakes expecting them to fix things. This is the idea behind our political system – refresh the whole thing at least once a decade so a new batch of people can come in, clean up, and make bad things happen of their own. It’s time for us to make some things happen …I just don’t know what they are, and I’m sorry. I wish I had some grand scheme or master plan here, but I don’t. I’m not a prophet and I’m not a heretic, I’m just a man who sees what he sees and tells others about it. I am really relying on you to take what I have written here and make your own master plan, whatever it may be.

Our generation can be great. We can do so much because it is the last thing that They will ever see coming. We’re the generation of apathy, we don’t care, what are we going to do? What, indeed…

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