Life in the “Real World”

22 Feb

         So, I spent the weekend in the real world (that place we get thrown into after college) with Alex and Mike in their apartment in Providence. It’s a huge apartment for them, and it was nice to be in a real house, with a television, and a living room, and a guest room, and a computer with a fast connection, and all the other luxuries of a home. They love it, even tho they say it is too big for them. They both work for Blue Cross/Blue Sheild insurance doing I’m not sure exactly what regarding costumer service and re-certifying clients and basically talking on the phone a lot. Sounds awful to me, but, they seem to enjoy it. In fact, they’ve become completely domestic. They are the most domestic gay couple ever. As they put it, they are “art fags” since, in addition to working on the phone in a cubicle in one of seven insurance buildings downtown, they go to plays, and shows, and concerts, and other Culture-type stuff all the time. They also eat out a lot. At nice restaurants. And plan expensive tropical vacations. Something made possible by dual incomes from a huge insurance company. And they love it. It’s the life they have chosen (or chosen to like, but forced to live) and are enjoying it (or pretending to enjoy it so well that they are convinced that they really do). Something about the visit, other than that it made me painfully miss my loved one, was saddening. Now, I’ve known Alex since he was ten, as we met at the place we both still love, and I know he’s still halfheartedly looking to become a journalist, to be able to do something with the education that he paid for for four years, and I know he does genuinely enjoy plays and concerts and the more non-job related parts of his domestic life. It’s possible that’s the right way for him to live, and it just bothers me because it’s not the right way for me to live. It’s possible. But I doubt it.
         When I got back, I had a discussion with Sarah, which was fairly philosophical considering it was Sarah and she avoids talking about serious topics, at least with me, usually. Hehe. Anyways, we talked about my distaste for the domestic way of life, and how I am probably, like everyone else, going to end up living it. And we mentioned the fact that most people know that it’s not exactly right, that it’s bad to shop at wal-mart, that organic food is better, etc. but that they ignore that fact. Wal-mart is convenient and cheaper. That fact prevails all others. The majority speaks. Of course, we’re translating what the majority is saying with the language of money, because money is what makes the world go around, but, perhaps if we ignore the money thing, the majority is saying something else. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all. My point is that to see a friend i’ve known since he was ten, since he would perform at council fires and read hebrew at his bar-mitzvah, suddenly be entirely domestic, and happy about it, made me sad.
         I know he’s happy, and in love, and for all intents and purposes living out the american dream, and I’m happy for him, I’m just sad about the world in general. I guess. I’m sad that a majority of people end up living like he is, even tho most of them if you asked would say they would rather do something else with their life. I’m sad that people do things only because they “need” money. I’m sad that, even worse, people know that they are doing things for no reason other than money, know that they don’t like money, don’t like the system, but that they don’t do anything about that knowledge. They just keep right on earning money. Now, I don’t really blame them. What can they do right? You’ve got to eat, and our culture keeps the food under lock and key. So there’s no choice. You need money. The Program that is our Culture is incredibly good at surviving. That’s what it’s designed to do. Maybe you choose to “rebel” against it, maybe you don’t go to college, or maybe you don’t get a job right away, or at all, maybe you even join activist groups and go to protests. Maybe you boycott corporate products. Maybe you live with few possesions, spending as little money as you think you can. Whatever you do, or don’t do, the Program that is our Culture will make you a hypocrite. No matter what you do, you will somehow be supporting something you don’t like. Child labor, sweat shops, animal cruelty, war, you support it all. So do I. It’s how our Culture, that invisible Program that most people refuse to even acknowledge as a Being, survives.
         It’s like in The Matrix, you’re perfectly welcome to rebel, to unplug, to live in Zion, in fact, the system counts on you doing so, because then there is a “choice” and humans can’t survive without choice. Of course, it’s just the illusion of choice, but, as long as we don’t know that, the machines will thrive. What’s the real-life version of the Matrix, for the real world?
         We’re welcome to “rebel” all we want, to buy only organic food, wear only hemp cloth clothes we made ourselves from stuff we grew in the backyard of the house we built ourselves out of entirely recycled material, to be sustainable, but the Culture will go on. We’re even welcome to get a job that we like to do! In fact, it depends on us rebeling that much to go on. As long as we still need money. As long as we still believe that we need money to survive, we can do whatever we want. We can rob from banks, get caught, sent to jail, raped and killed, and the Culture will go on. In fact, it depends on us doing that to go on. It depends on us not realizing that there are other choices. It depends on us believing that we need money to live. It depends on us continuing to follow its rules, even if we acknowledge the fact that we don’t like them, and know they’re not right. I guess it doesn’t have much to worry about from me. I know what it’s up to, I can see how it works, but, it knows I’m not doing anything about it. After all, what choice do I have? The food is under lock and key, and I can’t get a key without money, and I need food. What choice do I have? What choice do any of us have?


5 Responses to “Life in the “Real World””

  1. s0starryeyed February 22, 2004 at 8:49 pm #

    hi bro! i was wondering where you went. that’s awesome you got to see alex & his boy- he is such a cool guy. it must have also served as a mini- vacation. see, if people could just see past all the politcal and religious BS, and realize that gay marriage is about love, no wait the poeple who oppose it are too stupid to realize that love’s love. they sounds sooo cute! cuter than me & pierre 😛
    i think you think too much. you’re so sweet and caring, but thinking about things like child labor and poverty and the like is just going to get you sad. i don’t want anything to bother you.
    i miss you very much… i’ll talk to you later

  2. s0starryeyed February 22, 2004 at 8:52 pm #

    PS i wish i livede back in the 50’s… i love the whole domistication idea. raise the kids, make dinner, marital (or co-habitational) bliss. old fashioned, i know. 😛

    • junorhane February 24, 2004 at 11:12 am #

      I doubt you really want to live in the fifties. Domestication is one thing, but the fifties is another. Think of Pleasantville. Or the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (Has anyone else seen that??)

  3. kirawen February 24, 2004 at 3:20 am #

    When did my head escape and get on your lj? Unfortunately, that right there is definitely in the top of my thoughts more often than not. How come neither of us have found a solution yet?
    But yanno, don’t let it get you down. It’s my job to be the one down all the time lol! ::hugs::
    Humm… it really all comes down to, all you can do is make sure you’re happy. Even if that happiness is just illusion. Because, if you really do have no choice but to follow the system, you might as well be happy in it… Ack. Tis a very great problem indeed.
    Also sounds like my thoughts on utopias. Just going by human nature, a utopia can never exist. Human emotions fuck everything up, and even if most people manage to control themselves and live out the utopia, there will *always* be that one person who fucks it up, whether their intentions are good or not. Just look at The Giver–life was a utopia in that society because they’d found a way to abolish strong emotions by keeping memories of those emotions locked into one person. And that one person, as noble as his intentions were, thought it the most terrible thing that people were not able to feel the emotions he got to “experience.” But you know, the minute he gave back those emotions and memories, the whole society errupted into chaos. Not to bash strong emotions or anything, because they are wonderful, but it is my opinion things like systems of money can’t be abolished until strong emotions are taken care of. So… I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that life is perfect in a strange, stange way. Strong emotions are a wonderful thing, and if the price for it is a little chaos here and there… is that really so much of a price?
    Ok, that’s enough philosophical(?) rambling for now ^^;;;;;; ::skitters off::

    • junorhane February 24, 2004 at 11:23 am #

      Re: Whoah…
      I imagine that this topic, or a variant of it, is often at the top of most people’s thots. As for your thots on Utopias, even tho we’ve had this discussion before, I maintain that one is certainly possible. Your definition of Human Nature is based on reality, and not the way Human Nature is supposed to be, the way it is designed to be. So, while you’re right that until the programming that is running humans currently changes, a Utopia isn’t possible, you’re wrong in saying that it is Human Nature itself that makes a Utopia impossible. And as for The Giver I wouldn’t say that life was a utopia in that society. That society worked because they eliminated difference. Everything was the same, everyone got the same possessions, the same jobs, the same clothes, etc. Even (highlight to read the tiny spoiler) color was the same. (ok, spoiler over.) The minute he gave back the differences, the society erupted into chaos, naturally. But I wouldn’t say it was a utopia either way. Personally, I prefer a world with difference.

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