Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Binding Social Contract

I'll blame this next ramble on the fact that I have been reading a lot of Descartes and Locke lately and the fact that I spent the vast majority of the past six years trying to discover truth and what "self" really is. The truth about truth is that it's allusive. And in the moments that I have grabbed it and realized that I was holding the knowledge of life in my hands, I also realized that it would be gone by the morning. Truth of the essence of our existence is what I am talking about: truth about gods, God, love, hate, good, evil, what makes us tick, and most importantly whether or not they are really different from one another or if they even exist at all. As all people do at a young age, I wanted to explore myself. My friends all tell me that I think too much, and maybe they are right. Or maybe they don't think enough. I'm convinced that some of them might not think at all. Because if we could think (I mean really think without the blinders of social taboos or influence of ideas) a lot of us would be surprised by what we believe. Take the time to separate yourself from society, religion, family, friends, and most importantly preconceived notions by which you have not rationally tested. Why do we believe what we do? Gay marriage, for example, is not popular because of religion. It also has a social taboo (even though homosexual relationships have been around since at least the classical age, if not before). I know many young people who have grown up learning to dispute homosexual legitimacy without even considering the basis from which they draw their argument. Is it rationale? Is it religious reasons? And if it is for those reasons, then why is it for those reasons? In my rationale, I cannot condemn something simply because I was told to by either another person or a book (no matter a holy source). I do not mean that in any disrespect. Merely reasoning that I am a human, like other humans. We all reason and experience the world through our own senses, our own minds, and draw conclusions to our own reasons. We are all equal in the fact that we are all breathing mass that is attempting to understand the world around us that we perceive as a concept of reality. We are all equal in death. Not only are we equal, but we are alone. All of us experience life alone. We may think that we have friends, family, pets, etc. Those are just illusions. And if you refuse to accept that they are illusions (I hope by your own means of testing a rationale) then surely you cannot refuse to accept that these people are not with you throughout your entire life. They die, or move away, or have other things to do. The voices in our heads (I assure you that we all have them) are the only things that accompany us through life. We are all utterly alone, living lonely lives, wanting to "have" things, relationships, and careers. Who are we to say what is right and what is wrong? We cannot possibly know for ourselves; we can only believe in what we choose to believe in. We all experience our own lives through our own senses and try to make sense of a "reality" that we perceive. We must keep our physical bodies nourished and protected in order to keep this reality of being alive. So we eat, sleep, look for shelter, etc. But an interesting shift occurred when we formed societies. To save time and space (and your interest) we will fast forward to modern period societies. How strange is it that we have entered this "social contract" without filling out any paperwork (and we all know how much the government loves paperwork), and without consenting to anything. We were inherently prescribed a nation upon our birth, and even if we choose to leave the nation, we must make the conscious choice to enter another. There is no country for freedom. No matter how many rednecks with confederate flags, dip cans, and beer rally through back-country towns with their raised mud-trucks hollering about freedom and the supremacy of "'Merica", we have lost our sense of freedom. We have lost the original American Dream. The dream that there was a land to be explored, new lives to be had, and places to go where the troubles of large societies could not reach you. Hell, we even lost our spot as one of the leading nations in the world (unless you count waistlines, which we take the cake(s)). We still wave our stars and stripes, singing praises to lady liberty and the land of the free, while the corporations and government officials slowly strip away individuality. We concern ourselves with the protection of our rights, complain about how much money the government takes in taxes, and all the while do not stop to think of why we are in this in the first place! It is a choice to be a part of any society. Be warned: there is no way to be a part of a modern day society without inhibiting your own freedom. We must all give up something in the name of our big brother. Now societies aren't all bad. It is nice to go to the store instead of having to provide for yourself. It is much easier to meet women at a coffee shop than roaming the wild. Also, we have access to much more culture and knowledge than we would if we were to revert to the natural state of man. However, we have come to two separate extremes: living by the rules adorned by someone else in a society, or living in nature. Why can there not be a happy medium? I had a professor who told me that, "if you want to use the roads, then you must obey the rules of the roads". This makes sense. I did not build the roads, they are not mine (ownership is another argument entirely). I will obey your rules to use the roads, just like I would obey your conditions if you were allowing me to borrow your video camera. Yet I must retain my individual self. The type of individual self that has been lost in the main culture of America (although the Americans will refuse to admit it). Why must I live by the rules that I do not agree with? Although I do not partake, cannabis use is a prime example of the conflict between the state and the self. Abortion and gay marriage would be other hot-topic examples. The point is, why are these people deciding for us? And why don't we care anymore? We merely accept the law with the notion that if we do not obey it, bad things will happen to us. This is tyrannical oppression of the individual thought that created America. A government is to be supportive of the ideas of its people, the backbone of the society where the creativity and culture of the people provide the hands and feet, moving along the idea flow. This is an issue larger than who the president is. Obama is not a terrible guy, he is not a tyrannical ruler. This is an issue with the culture, the government overall, and the corporations that have taken over America. And if you think I'm crazy, then ask yourself which products have GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) next time you're in the grocery store, and why the former VP of Monsanto is now Deputy Commissioner of the FDA. (If you haven't read about Monsanto, then I highly suggest you do so before eating). The protection and freedom of the individual has been lost to our greed and lust for money. Our culture is fading away into the mainstream nonsense that companies promote with advertising. They blind us with the promise of success, then demand that we slave for the sake of the dollar. When we tire, they give us pills for the aches, then it's back to work. And we end up forgetting to really live, because we are too busy trying to live. It's not that they tell us that we are free, and that's a lie. It's that we tell ourselves that we are free, and it's a lie. We are subject to the social contract that we never signed. And I'm sick of it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Promise to California

So, when the fuck did anti-depressants come on the scene? I don't mean to be rude, depression is a very serious thing and I empathize with those like me who suffer it. But why do we suffer it? For me, it has a lot to do with feeling stuck. It's like being caught in a rut. And society says I can't pop real medicine like LSD, and force feed me anti-depressants via cheap commercials on their own version of a mind drug- the television. Of course the depressed "need" medicine because society is too busy churning and everyone needs to be a happy part of it. That's what it means to be a citizen. Grow up, try hard in school, get a job to support the economy and your new monogamous nuclear family, raise your children, and hope that there's still imaginary numbers called money in some distant imaginary bank account for you to retire on. Heaven forbid you want something different. That goes against the church.

I say that's bullshit. I don't want anti-depressants. I want LSD. And I want to live in a world where poetry, literature, theatre, language, and music still thrive. Those are the the very heartbeat of culture. ESPN, the Kardashians, the Jersey Shore craze, brand names, money, and all other plaque that our culture misleads people through into conforming and being distracted from the evils of society are quietly slowing our heartbeats. Culture needs a nice, loud shock. A clear signal to restart the heart and fire the veins of America with beautiful literature (both old and new), romantic and entrancing poetry, captivating theatre, and some damn good rock and roll.

That will be happening this summer. The next group of merry pranksters will be taking to the roads -the veins of America, traveling like an I.V. system, straight into the dirty bloodstream that makes America tick, and releasing a powerful alternative way to live. This isn't a commune, it isn't a hippie movement. It's a philosophy. We are the young generation, and we are tired of looking at the real world that has been left for us. We are tired of it, because we do not want it. We have watched the greatest minds of the generations before us befall to sickness of greed or even worse, failure. We will be an example of how to experience the one life that we have- at least in this reality. This trip is about not conforming to society. It's about freedom, independence, love, generosity, and living to the utmost appreciation of our fragile lives. It's about starting up the next renaissance, the next group of bohemians; following the legacy of the beats to truly- as Ken Kesey would say- take our destination furthur than this reality while exploring the fantastic possibilities of life in this country by affirming all that is right, true, and decent in the national character. This trip is about returning America to the goddamn American Dream. And that wasn't built off of economic plans, politics, or the church. The very essential essence of the American Dream was born from manifest destiny; born from seizing life the fucking balls and making the most of yourself every day. And for us, the new generation, it's about appreciating how beautiful the world and cultures around us are. It's about taking the time to adjust our lives to allow for the appraisal of fine yet minimal materials, esteem for living, and the value of life. By taking a leaf from the French, the Beats, Music, and our own ideas, we aim to shock the world. Or at least that's my interpretation of it. If you want to hear someone else's, contact another one of the Merry Pranksters.

Turn on, tune in, and drop out.