Society is at an impasse. The terror alerts are color coded and time clocks need to be punched. All the kids are medicated to the eyeballs, crime is on the rise, and soon there will be no social security left. But there is no need to worry about it.
The greatest generation, our grandparents, cared about doing a great job, about saving the world from evils—real or imagined—and about providing a good life for their children. The baby-boomers, our parent’s generation, cared about little more than themselves and patting themselves on the back for all the good things they talked about doing. So, what is left for our generation to care about? Increasingly the answer to that question is…nothing. That is not to say that there is nothing worth worrying about in the world, just that a lot of people in the 18-30 age group cannot find it in their hearts to care about the world in general. As our grandparents would have told us—had we been listening—anything worth doing is worth doing right. Here are ten steps to afford you better living through apathy:
Step 1: Stop worrying about your career. Careers are a myth of a bygone era. Your grandfather might have worked at the same job his entire life, because he could. Used to be a company would pay a man decently for a job that he would work forty hours a week so that he could support his family. He did not always like his job; he did it because his kids needed to go to school and to eat. However, the Boomers decided that they all wanted middle management jobs so that they could sell the working man out for cheaper overseas labor. The irony being that the Boomers are now refusing to relinquish those jobs to the younger generation. All that is left for us, then, is to find a job we like that pays enough to get by and spend the rest of our time drinking Old Style out of Styrofoam coolers.
Step 2: Forget about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. According to the Center for Disease Control as of the turn of the century nearly half of all first marriages end in divorce or separation. With those kinds of statistics marriage is little more than a temporary institution. There is no point, really, to concerning yourself with finding the right person, just someone who will be alright for now. That is not to say that you should not take full advantage of the modern amenities to protect yourself from diseases like babies. It is to say that fun is the name of the game so “find someplace warm—preferably moist—insert, thrust, repeat.”
Step 3: Global Warming? Pollution? Record hurricane seasons year after year? No sweat. And certainly nothing to get worked up over. As the boys in the Canadian punk-rock outfit would have it, “The world will go on without us. If we cannot fit ourselves into the scheme, we will be squeezed out. Suffocated, starved, or parched into extinction.” The planet Earth is a giant ball of dirt, water and gas floating in the vacuum of space. There is very little you or I could do to change that. The problem is that it may become uninhabitable for human life. More accurately, someday it will absolutely be inhospitable to human life in the form that we know it, so there is no use running around trying to change the way everyone lives. Evolution has worked thus far, why not let it have a crack at the next several millennia? The dinosaurs had a terrific recycling program* going and a highly touted public transportation system† but then a giant asteroid came and took it all away from them. Oh sure, we might have better technology and can “predict giant asteroids” but out time here on the mortal coil is finite no matter how we look at it so why spend all your time worrying about what could happen? Get a slurpee, rent a movie, and have a blast while you still can.
Step 4: In other parts of the world they are holding revolutions daily. The people are so fed up with some system or another that they are taking to the streets and using their ploughshares until the gutters run red with the blood of their countrymen. Here in America, on the other hand, we have Survivor, the Super Bowl, and Beer Commercials so we need not worry about that sort of hateful tripe. A young acquaintance of mine, Patrick Martindill, was until recently enjoying the good life provided by an excellent exchange rate in Bolivia while teaching English to the local high schoolers. That was all well and good until the very same locals decided that their government was no longer adequate and took up arms. Pat decided that he could not be bothered and simply avoided the world’s problems by moving back in with his mother and getting a job as a shoe salesman in Suburban Washington, D.C. Let the other people of the world worry about the problems that…
…you know what, fuck it. I know you were promised ten steps, but you get the idea. And, as Bill Amos, a 24 year old substitute teacher from Portland, OR—who substitutes because he can not find a real job, said when contacted for information, “Apathy schmapathy, I’m going to sleep…”
*Dinosaurs would eat almost anything and then turn it into useful fertilizer, which fed the trees, to produce oxygen, thus continuing the cycle of life.
†Just ask Fred Flintstone about his daily commute on the Bronto-bus.
Quote: "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit." -L.M. Willis, Inc.