Wednesday, June 14, 2006


It's always about money. Our McCulture has taught us that we can no longer create our own happiness. They have convinced us that only they can provide meaning, that we need them to distil it, bottle it in too much packaging, sell us the detachable accessories and double-a batteries necessary to make it work and then develop the breath mints to take away its horrible aftertaste.

I'm tired of having beautiful women whisper from advertisements, ‘buy this product and you can have us!’ I'm done with worrying about what the Gap marketing wiz would say about my clothes, or what whoever pretends to be Ann Landers would say about my relationships.

It all seems pretty overwhelming: thousands of ads daily, thousands of images, thousands of commands. However, I do think that there is something an ordinary person can do to improve the world, in their little way, and in the process possibly make their own existence meaningful. Any person can look at what they are doing and ask why they are doing it. If they can’t figure out why they do something, they can try to figure out who convinced them that it was their idea to do it, who profits from their action, and who suffers.

Of course, there's a chance that one might discover that one's lifestyle is one's own, that there is no puppetmaster, no insidious bug of jingoistic consumer brain-washing. However, chances are, if you’ve grown up in industrialized society, your actions and decisions are somehow based upon the desires and values of the propagandists and marketers. There is no shame in admitting this; they’re good at what they do. But now that we have discovered the cancer, now that we know the enemy, we can begin to root it out. We can stop participating in the ecocide, the genocide, the suicide.

Then, since we are, by nature, social animals, we can join with others who are following their own north star to freedom. From the ashes of a false identity a phoenix of a new society can emerge, a society that is governed by, and made for the needs of, its members. It is in this phoenix, which is not a dream, but a reality for thousands of those detached from the Matrix, that we rest our hopes and dreams upon.

Only with self-discovery can we improve ourselves, and the only change we can be sure of attaining is self-change. Like Jack Kerouac on a dusty backcountry road, I’m beat, tired of the old, empty ways and ready to grasp onto my own life- to succeed or fail for myself and on my own terms.

It’s time that we realize that fashion is a whim of a designer and patriotism is based of the fancy of boundary line makers. It's time that we free ourselves, start building a new society and try to remember what love was like before it needed a diamond, a scent, or a particular set of words to be true.

…We owe it to ourselves.

-By Jesse