Archive for January, 2015

Hipster Mozes

arcdia

The other night I was at party at some guy’s house. It was a nice party. We had some beers, we played some music and at a certain point someone dimmed the light and we all danced to Pet Shop Boys. For a little while I thought the party would really turn into something, but then some nice looking girls left to go to a rave in West and with them the essential element of the party vanished. There was only guys left except one girl sleeping and the dancing became pretty awkward so we stopped and sat back on the couch. Someone rolled a joint. Another guy vomited in the toilet. Alas. It was not to be.

We’ve all been there. It’s late, you feel like you should go home, but beer is good and what the fuck why not but then someone starts a discussion on consumerism, or capitalism, or whatever. These discussions aren’t really discussion in the literal sense of the word, they are more like exchanging monologues. Nobody is really listening to what the other guy is saying, they are just waiting for their turn to talk about some interesting fact they read in a Naomi Klein book.

So there I sat listening to a guy with a magnificent beard going on about how our educational system was programmed to create factory-drones without any creativity, how we have been enslaved by materialism to become perpetually unhappy with ourselves so that we spend our unhappy drone-lives buying useless shit we don’t need. (he actually quoted Fight Club at some point) He went on to declare the only way to escape the treadmill was to become a farmer and live somewhere in the mountains in a self-sustainable way. With cattle. And solar panels and stuff. The mountains? I asked. Yes, the mountains. Because Global Warming. I started to get the feeling this guy secretly wished for all of it to happen really soon. Global warming like a modern Biblical flood. A punishment for our unsustainable way of living. I pictured him as hipster-mozes, building a arc and filling it with quinoa beans and chia seeds to start the human race again.

At some point the ridiculous stories started to spin out of control. One guy said: Capitalism needs Africa to be poor to sustain its economic elite in the West! Another claimed the IMF was just a front for a secret world order run by remnants of the Habsburger empire (I am not joking). It went on and on from the evil seed-hoarding company Monsanto -who, if I understood it correctly, are attempting to replace all life on earth with soylent green- to conspiracies surrounding McDonalds putting addictive additives into their Big macs. At a certain point someone casually sighed he was ashamed to be from the West. Ashamed to be from the West? That was my cue. It was time to go home.

On my drunken stroll back home I got pretty angry. What happened to us? Why are we so keen on shitting all over our society, our values, our economic and political systems? What is so terribly wrong with capitalism, our way of life, that we have to blame it for all the evil the world? Aren’t there more deserving targets for this kind of judgement? North Korea apparently is a pretty shitty place to live, why don’t we do some monologue-ing on Kim Yong-Un’s policy of mass starvation? With all the failing states and autocratic regimes out there breaking people down why take it out on the system that gave you your life? I mean, don’t get me wrong: I see the flaws in our way of living, I see the unfairness in our economic system, I see the hilarious stupidity of living in a world dominated by consumption and advertising. But COME ON PEOPLE. Sometimes I get the feeling we lose sight of the big picture. The extend of the path we followed as a society, the gains, where we came from. Also back into history, or something.

Count your blessings and stop shitting in your own nest. That was the feeling I had walking back home. I felt my generation was spoiled and distracted. Being from where we have been born by chance we have enjoyed incredible measures of security, freedom and wealth. Our worry-free twenty-something lives are entirely products of Western capitalist society and that includes openly criticizing anything you want. Yes, that’s right. Even your nest-shitting is basically a product of the thing you seem to despise the most.

You know what? I love capitalism, (I almost feel I just said something dirty). I love our silly democracy. I love secularism. I love individualism. I consider them to be forces of good. I also believe (this is gonna sound awful…) our Western values should be cherished and defended, because they didn’t just happen to be there, those -isms and ocracies have been written in human blood. Our forefathers have fought and suffered to attain them. We actually have them, and what do we do? We shit all over it at parties.

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