It’s hard for me to write about anything real these days. I’ve been split between writing a fiction book and writing reviews for new music and movies for chickenshit change to survive. Between that time, it’s been nearly impossible to write shit that portends to the actual world. Part of the issue: there is no “real” life anymore; everything is artifice and masks and “online personas” and adjectives and products-as-descriptors, there is nothing substantial and nobody really goes outside anymore because covid still lingers like a spectre over us.
From a personal standpoint, I can’t find a good job to save my life. I haven’t paid my rent on time in years. I am depressed and numb. I am a disappointment to my family, particularly my parents who have deluded themselves into thinking they are living in a sane world that’s not crumbling at all and that their chief concern should only be whether I will give them grandkids.
Truthfully, I believe that I died at some point and this is really hell. It strikes me as what hell would actually be, not a prison of fire and brimstone, but ordinary. The guilt, anguish, trauma, and fear naturally occurs due to the world we’ve inherited and the torture is psychological. But I don’t know anything about spirituality, I was raised Christian. Christianity is the religion of capital. The validation for the white wealth class. God wants certain people to be rich and to be special, and the rest of us pray to win this lottery.
From the societal vantage, we have come to the spiritual end of the American experiment. Maybe not the physical one, that might drag on for a hundred more years, but existentially speaking its dunzo. The free market failed and capitalism didn’t save us. All the things that make humanity worthwhile: community, human connection, love, art, culture, and sharing have been replaced by division, resentment, degradation, greed, alienation, hatred, bullets, and bombs. You will likely never own a home and everyone is too mired in insecurity over their debts and poverty to fuck. People fight over identity and what words they should or shouldn’t say because it’s the only semblance of control they have anymore. None of it means anything but the internet has taught all of us that nothing should mean anything anyways.
Social media has been especially insidious in the way it’s turned our brains into mush. Scrambled shitheads that are walking anxieties and becoming radicalized against one another and also certain types of milk. The systemic destruction of arts education and intellectualism has made it so are grad school is Tumblr which has only succeeded in teaching us how to pontificate and intellectualize so far up our own ass that we’re actually even dumber than we started. Our language has devolved into just above toddler talk; words mean everything to the point that they mean absolutely nothing. We’re quirked up, sauced up, zooted, dragged, on fleek, and like bruh, we girlboss, gaslight, gatekeep, gaybash, and Gayle King; it’s all giving and it’s the vibe shift for me. Every word is really just a description, and every description is in danger of being ableist. I have opinions on everything but I know nothing.
The strange irony that America: this country where you’re the most susceptible to violent, grisly death, is also the country most delusional about it. Blame organized religion or just our inflated egos but we act like death, as a concept, can and should be avoided mentally. This has the effect of making us behave as though we could never die, which has the side effect of keeping us from truly living. We have been distracted from death in the abstract and numb to it in the physical. We are zombies on prozac and vyvanse and xanax and percocet, sleeping all day and having our brains scooped up by our phones. In this country, the young get eaten. If they’re not physically murdered, tortured, or abused, they are psychologically traumatized until they feel like isolated nothings who hold no money and therefore no value or worth.
I spend most of my days watching documentaries about the times when people did things in this country. Maybe it was the internet that ended those days, maybe rent is too high for anyone to ever make culture again, or maybe we just stopped doing the fun drugs. Every day I wake up and hope the internet has somehow just disappeared, the same way Ben Affleck said he wanted Good Will Hunting to so he could make something of himself and not just hang around shitty Boston forever. There’s too much destruction for life to thrive, it’s too expensive to live, the climate is fucked up, and you can’t even hand with friends anymore without getting sick. Eventually things have to hit an impasse, a point of no return, but what will happen when that takes place. Will we mobilize, unionize, and protest? Will we full-scale riot and burn this shit down? Or will we just twiddle our thumbs waiting for anyone to save us? God don’t care so that’s not gonna save us. All we can do is stand up for our own humanity. “Thoughts and prayers” are like NFTs in that no one can explain to me what they actually do but assure me they’re valuable. Maybe our obsession with burning down the planet is our own version of a protest, hoping we can bring about Armageddon in time to avoid paying rent next month. We won’t win that one though, the universe is undefeated and it’ll eat us whole, if we don’t beat it to the punch.
If you want to send any questions, comments, concerns, good vibes or hate, or advice, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading. The newsletter is free but you can show your appreciation by donating whatever you can to the fund here. (or CashApp $iodara).