the red balloon.


i saw this short 1960's french film last week called the red balloon. it was a short film about a six-year old french boy who finds a red balloon on his way to school. all these other french boys were running around the streets completely unsupervised. as usual, i wondered why real life in 2008 couldn't be that simple and free. "why are they all allowed to run around the entire town like that?" i asked my mom. "back in the day," she said, "there weren't any kindappings or murders or anything like that." i know that couldn't possibly be true, but i also know that kids back in the day were allowed to romp around a lot more, typically unsupervised, than today's children are allowed to.

i don't know what the red balloon is supposed to symbolize. i once wrote in some red balloons in a story. in the story, there was a picture of a woman holding red balloons. i think it was around that time that i realized i would never be able to finish a short story. i couldn't. in retrospect, it was stupid to think that my professor could teach me how to drastically improve my writing in a quarter. i don't know why it took so long for someone to take me under his wing. i was there for four years, and all i wanted to do was write, and they made me take fucking origins of western civilization and biology and art history and other bullshit required classes. i know, you're probably sick of hearing it, but whatever. i'm sick of writing it, but i will anyway because i can't sleep. sometimes i have tons of things on my mind, bits and pieces of memories, or else something horribly negative, and i have to put it all down because maybe if i put it all down, i won't have to think of them anymore.

i think it was midway into my freshman year that i realized i wasn't special at all, and that being accepted to a small private school didn't mean shit. it came with the insight that this institution didn't give a shit about me; it just wanted my money. and how fucked is that? does anyone ever think or say some shit like that, as opposed to the usual adage, "get a good education so you can get a good job?" a good job is an oxymoron. how fucking ridiculous it is that we have to pay so that maybe, just maybe, some asshole or some corporation might employ us? we get ourselves into debt to work our asses off, and we're lucky if they'll insure us. oh, and they'll tax your income, too. i've never understood paying the IRS for working. what we're doing and what we have been doing is saying yes, i'll go to school, and then i'll go to school some more, and then you can pay me whatever you feel like, and then you can take whatever you want out of my wages, too.

sometimes i think we deserve it. we are a sorry lot. the past eight years can attest to that.

i remember my first rejection letter right out of college. i applied for an americorps position to work for the mockingbird times, a newsletter by and for homeless youth. i failed the interview and i received a rejection email, along with another email from my professor stating how "disappointed" he was that i didn't present my research to faculty. i remember feeling hopeless, that i had done what i was supposed to do for the past sixteen years, and now i couldn't get some stupid volunteer position. on my way out, i kicked the library door open and sat on the steps with my girlfriend. bellarmine had cleared out and there were only a few lights left on in the dorms. it was a humbling moment, thinking that maybe i wasn't cut out for this.

that's the thing about going and going and going. you'll either be really excited that you've gone so far, or you'll be really disappointed that you've been on the wrong track for quite some time.

this past year will always be remembered as my year of rejection. how it no longer has the same effect it once did, since most programs, jobs, and other things that require applications usually suck anyway. i mean, college was great, but then again, so are hookers and trips to disneyland and any other really expensive things. my hope is that statements like that will make future generations weary about getting into debt in order to be a potential capitalist slave.

there's no one really to blame for this illogical, diseased system. no fingers to point, except maybe the middle one, straight up, parallel to the closest mirror. fuck you for being hopeless and frustrated and for giving in so easily. for saying things like, "when are we gonna fix this?" and then not doing anything about it. for your paralysis and constant worry about what other people think. for your inability to lead and take action. for letting them get to you, letting them win.

let it go.

2 comments:

sprout said...

i saw 'the flight of the red balloon' last weekend and it was one of the most excruciatingly boring movies i've ever seen. there's absolutely no plot and juliette binoche has blonde hair. i do not recommend it.

EasilyEntertained said...

A strong endorsement of Obama. (btw, goddamn you're depressing)