It was 2008 when I finally learned what, “Fuck it,” meant. I was just one year into my time at Champlain, a college I got in to partially because of political op-eds I had written for local newspapers.
In 2000, right around the time I was beginning high school, I took an interest in politics. By 2004 I was writing about how mind-mashingly insane the whole mess seemed, yet I remained optimistic that it was fixable. And by 2008 I had stopped believing that there was hope for our Federal government and figured I was wasting my energy writing about it. The pattern was all too apparent, and no matter what—be it the Elephants or the Donkeys—money ruled the world. Well-coiffed men with white teeth and tailored suits just pretended to. But make no bones about it, if a toothless hobo claiming to be the reincarnation of a great ape emperor showed up with a box of gold he too would have a say.
When the financial market hit rock bottom after their own binge of bad loans and filthy habits, I experienced a strange moment of clarity. Clarity like the kind I imagine comes when death is at your door and the pineal gland is about to erupt, sending you into a world far beyond comprehension. The end wasn’t necessarily in sight once the bankers and brokers were exposed, but you could smell it lingering over our heads like stale cigarette smoke. Jobs began leaking out of America shortly after Nixon released the poverty displacer known as Globalization, and by the time I was graduating college the only jobs available were jobs nobody wants—the real, soul-crushing jobs chock full of monotony and shame.
Someone once explained the Zen-ness of those jobs to me; that if you could focus all your energy into doing something so tedious and repetitive—and doing it at a high level—you would be able to tap into some higher plane of consciousness. And I wanted to buy that philsophy, but with clarity comes understanding and I’m not one to shovel fries into paper sleeves, feed people’s addictions to material goods, or sit at a desk from 9a.m. to 5p.m. mindlessly turning out emails and organizing virtual folders. I must be stimulated, damnit! My brain needs a challenging variety of work because doing the same thing over and over is bad for the spirit. You just can’t get that kind of fulfilling work with a job that deprives you of your humanity in the hopes that you make an efficient machine.
The American dream these days seems to be unemployment checks and a subscription to Netflix. It’s hard to shake the feeling that at some point (some point soon) something really bad is going to happen, and I’m not talking terrorists managing to blow up a large shipment of high-fructose corn syrup. No, something worse: a wave of severe poverty that drags the majority of us under.
So max out those credit cards, take your time paying back your loans, and enjoy the fruits of past generations’ labor. After all, those who made today possible aren’t just responsible for the perceived affluence, especially when you’re looking at third world countries by comparison, but they are also responsible for the economic system that has caused this mass imbalance of wealth. When the Koch Brothers of the world finally squeeze every last penny out of our pockets that’s when things will get interesting.
But for now, go to your doctor, lie about your symptoms, and get the hard drugs the legal way. Enjoy yourselves. Life is too short to worry about things like bills. I mean, the companies you owe money to don’t seem to feel any urgency when it comes to paying things back or acting honorably. Why should you? Hell, our government doesn’t seem to feel as though the rules apply so let’s follow their example. Let’s do what these dirty creatures have been doing all along. Let’s say, “fuck it,” and dance the crazy dance of degeneracy. Then again, maybe we could give a damn, but giving a damn and giving a fuck just seems to be too much work in this kooked out kind of world.