why doesn't it happen more often?


last night, i almost lost my grip on reality completely. it's easy to do. it's easy to lose yourself and become completely paralyzed and conspire that the whole world has turned against you. i mean, when the franchise tax board doesn't call you back for a temporary position that makes barely above minimum wage, the world suddenly becomes a dark and dreary place. i understand the real source of my frustration, though. the self-loathing stems from the fact that i don't have to work - at least not for now - but i feel compelled to. i'm aware of this brainwashing that has taken place where i feel like i must be making someone else a lot of money, otherwise i'm a complete waste of space. i'm unpatriotic.

but there are cures. there are woody allen films and barbara ehrenreich books and band of horses records and people who are rooting for you. there's no dignity in self-pity; no answers for whether or not life is meaningless, or whether god exists. i'm here; i might as well try and do something, and i might as well laugh at myself. what else can i do?

it was important for me to see hannah and her sisters today. there's a scene where woody allen's character is watching this black and white charlie chaplin film, and it occurs to him that he has to go on living, god or no god. suddenly, it occurs to him that "not all of it is terrible." and we have to go on for the good stuff, even if it comes rarely and in small doses.

i try to do good. and it's easy to do nothing.

i had to donate all of my adbusters magazines to the library today. it was just something i had to do. i remember the first time i held an issue. it was the no future issue, and i was flipping through it the first time i visited santa cruz bookshop. i got excited that there was finally a magazine that meshed with things i had been learning in school, things i had been thinking about for a long time. i thought it was amazing that all the ads were only spoof ads, taking dead aim at the worst corporations and fast food joints. i thought everyone should be reading this. everyone should be questioning all the junk he owns, all the junk for sale, and where it all goes when he's had his fill. in short, i got a somewhat obsessed, and very self-righteous.

i got a subscription. i read about every awful thing happening in the world, and every time i went to a store, i felt bad for all the shoppers, unaware of how their daily transactions lead to human suffering on a global scale. i tried telling people about adbusters. normally, they'd flip through a few pages and toss it aside. "so, where we eating?"

then, one summer i came home. i knew who would get it. i knew who i could talk to about this type of stuff. my cousin. i casually namedropped it in a conversation. "so, have you heard of adbusters?" "yeah," he said, smiling. "they're fun and all," he continued, "but, you know. we still have to be a part of the system." i was pretty devastated. i thought the revolution would be happening in, like, you know, two weeks. he was right, though, as he usually is. like it or not, i still have to be a part of it.

after a while, i couldn't read the magazine anymore. the writers and material would change, but the message remained constant: don't buy anything and live without dead time. i didn't really need a subscription renewal for that; to renew would be downright paradoxical.

besides, they never published my short, nonfiction story. or the random photos i sent them.

so, au revoir, adbusters. i'm sure we'll meet again, preferably when i'm waiting on someone at an indie bookstore or a barnes & noble (sorry, borders still doesn't carry you). i'll flip through your pages, and i'll hold you up so that the older, well-dressed man reading time or the wall street journal notices. i'll put you back on the shelf where you'll remain hidden; you'll remain an obscure reminder that we must continue to fight to get our voices heard.

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