We’ll give you a free t-shirt if you fill out this credit card application… You can drive home in this brand new car, with no payments until 2000… It’s so much easier to not worry about these details. We’ll take care of them for you. All we ask is that you send in your payment every month like a good slave.No, no, don’t read books. Libraries are closing more and more everyday anyway because they’re obsolete, now superseded by television. That concept we taught you in grade school called “literacy” was just a lie, just like everything else we crammed down your throat. We just want to make life easy for you! We’ll even give you pretty pictures and animation to protect you from that mean computer! Just you don’t worry about that. We’ll manage all the details for you for the low, low price of $99.95.The less you know, the better off we are. Job security. Think we’re stupid? We are, but we can bullshit our way onto your desktop, because you’re even stupider than we are.
The truth is, you never knew you had a choice. You probably wouldn’t even know there was such a thing as software, without which the computer can’t operate, if it hadn’t been for our constant reminders that you can upgrade the crap we sold you for the low, low price of $79.95. But it’s worth it because you get a 30% increase in performance. That will actually impress you because we’re competing with ourselves here.It’s actually not that hard. After a late night and a hang over, we quickly code this crap and hire graphics professionals to candy coat it. Then we break anti-trust laws and cut every corner possible to shove it down your throat. Once we’ve got you convinced that we’re the only people who make software, then we just have to make our code a little bit better, which isn’t difficult considering how shitty it was in the first place, and then sell it to you again!
The greatest part about this deal is that you’ll buy it!We know that and we use it to our advantage, destroying all possible competition by using what we call Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt and we whisper little messages to you that you don’t want the competition because it’s “not well supported,” which is just our fucked up way of saying that we’ve got everyone brainwashed into thinking that we’re the only option.After we have this down (which we do), we use another concept we call “embrace and extend,” which, again, is our fucked up way of saying that we take over all open standards, change them as we see fit, and then shove them down your throat, without you even knowing it, by simply telling you that the competition doesn’t support our standard. We’re rewriting the books of commercialism and we’re taking you with us!
All my life, I have been beaten down by concepts that are false, surrounded by people who unknowingly were brainwashed by these concepts and from the age of 16 I stood to look at these concepts bearing my middle finger. I was angered that these people who called themselves my elders could sit and tell me how incompetent I was and lead me through a life of torture they called “discipline,” and I wondered how such a mass brainwashing could occur that could possibly make these people forget their childhood.
They undermined my self-esteem, my self-confidence, and wasted 12 years of my life, until I realized that I have unknowingly been sold their lie, working like a dog to pay my bills, credit cards, and buy neat little toys that will enslave me till the day I die, cowering at their beuracracies, kissing their feet to give me jobs as they stuck their noses in the air and said I wasn’t good enough.I was becoming just like them, doing as I was told, going to their classes, debugging their RatC programs for them, going to their jobs just to slack off day to day, waiting impatiently for the next paycheck, and forgetting my childhood, just as I wondered so long ago how so many people could let it happen to them and I promised myself that I’d never let it happen to me.
Through all of my conformity training, I was convinced that I must be the one in the wrong. How can all these people be wrong, and I right? Can this world really be as sad as it seems?Status, money, college degrees, yachts, Cadillacs, mansions, and best of all, you get to look down on all these poor kids who you used to be among, “disciplining” them into shape, scolding them for their creativity, cursing at them for using profanity, punishing them for their sins after a late night at the bar or a long weekend in Vegas, hating anything that resembles your own problems, not realizing that they’re learning it all from you, all in the guise of “looking out for what’s in their best interest,” not realizing the absurdity in keeping them from being as miserable as you are, not even having a clue that they’re slammed with it from birth, sitting them in front of a television, taking them to church, lying to them about a man called Santa Claus who blackmails them into “being good.”
Just another religion, but for children. They’ve come to know of him as their savior because he brings them lots of toys. He’s like a drug dealer who gives his first fix for free, and you find yourself working all your life to support your habit of buying toys.After 14 years or so of solid training, these poor children quickly find that they’re absorbed in it and, just like their parents, decide that the only salvation is long weekend nights slamming gallons of alcohol, dousing their pain in chemicals, filling their lungs with cancerous smoke, filling their noses with powder, anything that will drive away this awful hell that’s been built around them, or into which they were born and forced to obey.
Competing fervently for sacred resources that are only sacred because corporations and government personnel hoard them, they pursue any career that will support their habits and pay for their toys, finding after all those long hard years of being told that “honesty is the best policy,” that that’s actually the quickest ticket to skid row, and that success is an equation consisting of lying and cheating, so they use any asset which may serve to benefit them, sticking their nose up at anyone who won’t bring them the status they seek.People with good looks quickly find that that’s the greatest asset they could ever possess, and although they say they resent “not being loved for their brains,” have no problem using their assets to their advantage. Since everyone’s obsessed with sex, all they have to do is remind them of it, and they get dollars stuffed in their underwear. A free fix! What a deal! All because of these self-created taboos and obsession with something that is more natural than bees making honey.
Or they go to school, claiming that education is the pinnacle of human endeavor, earning the status they so desperately seek. I eventually find out that they, in fact, don’t give a shit about education or furthering their field, but instead spend their time begging giant corporations for money, talking to newspaper reporters and drinking Coca Cola while they con their undergraduates with a meek salary to do their work for them, which, in fact, consists of little more than “looking busy,” urging them to become just like them, pursue graduate school and look important. Actually not such a bad deal in this fucked up society.Mass email spamming is a big business. These people aren’t fucking around. They spend from 9am to 5pm every day finding new ways to cram shit down people’s throats.
They go to school for years to learn marketing strategies so they can spend their lives finding new and creative ways to make us buy their crap, whispering to us everywhere we go that More Is Better, that we need what they have to give us, all for their low, low price.We buy it! We don’t even know we have a choice after hearing their shit on the TV, radio, newspapers, Internet, email. They even own the media, picking and choosing what news is broadcast. Overall, they control everything we hear and see from the day we’re born. And we call this a free country. There’s nothing free about it. We’re all captives to a system we hate, dragging ourselves out of bed every morning to do that classic ritual known as “making a living,” hating every moment of it, continually looking at the clock to see if it’s time to go to the bar so we can forget about it all again.
We watch giant corporations and government, which we think we have no choice but to support, destroy the planet, spill pollution everywhere, cut down trees which make up the vital lungs of the planet, watching the ozone layer deteriorate, and all the beautiful greenery be covered with asphalt, but that’s okay because we’ll do anything to avoid those long hours of traffic we have to suffer with everyday, breathing in toxic fumes and smog, hoping that some day, someone will figure it out. Then we watch the world suffer around us, reading articles in the newspaper about sex crimes, murder, robberies, hostages, bombs, suicide, drive-by shootings, car crashes. The culprits are just children like the rest of us, who got tired of being lied to.We don’t really like the Catholic Church, especially because they tell everyone they will burn in Hell if they use condoms, so we watch the world population explode exponentially, but we don’t even know the real crimes they commit: telling everyone they’re pieces of shit, forcing us to cower before them and kiss their hands in the hope that they don’t throw us in hell, telling us that this planet is only a means to an end, so it’s okay if we destroy it.
In fact, they have chapters about it in that book they gave you for Christmas (which, by the way, is a holiday they created with the name of their Savior to represent months of fervent shopping, greed, and stress, which can all be taken away with eggnog, which they will give to you for the low, low price of $4.95 plus tax, plus CRV, plus the income tax you paid to make the money in the first place), that clearly gives you permission to abuse your children, commit ridiculous acts of violence “in the name of God,” and kill anything that doesn’t look like you since you were created in His image. This too, they shove down your throat from childhood, when they know you’re most easily influenced, describing graphically the details of Hell, and threatening you into submission, all of which you’ll find in the pretty little name of “Sunday School.”
So I finally looked around me and realized that these people didn’t just waste 12 years of my life. They wasted 23 years of my life, and were fixing to waste the whole thing, because all along I’ve been going with it, thinking that I must be the one in the wrong, slowly watching myself conform, enslaving myself with credit cards and toys which amounted to little more than junk, begging for their petty wages just to pay the bills and buy time, deferring my problems for another day, doing just as they wanted me to, because my suffering brings them great wealth. I was hoping that some day I will wake up happy.Some day, when I make friends of these psycho-paths, make one of them my girlfriend (a concept which they also created in this complex scheme they call “dating” that keeps people scared of each other and puts money in their pockets by telling them to buy flowers, candy, dinners, and movies), get a “real job” in the “real world,” and make enough money to pay for a dynamically expanding list of expenses that grows as my income grows.
Some day, I will be able to live in their world in peace and not have all these problems, until I finally realized that these problems were all given to me, handed to me as a part of my citizenship to their crappy society. Some day, I will be free, and be able to make my own choices, until I finally realized that it’s their jail.Don’t you see? It’s financial slavery! We’re all living in captivity. We rebel and fight the system when we’re younger, but eventually, they break us. Do you really think it took you 12 years just to learn how to read books and do algebra?! Most of your education is dedicated to breaking your spirit, forcing you to conform, and wrapping you up in a neat package for society to process.This is the jail in which I’ve been born, and I’m convinced that this can’t be the only way. I’m convinced that it’s possible for me to escape the clutches of this society and to break free.
There’s got to be another way. But there’s no way to find it while I’m in chains. We live in a society that calls itself free, yet measures freedom in dollars.With money, you can do anything. You can read and study and learn. You can volunteer your time to any organization you wish. You can start your own organizations. Who needs organizations? You could simply spend your time doing what you find valuable, help anyone you want, hurt anyone you want. You could stay or leave. You could go anywhere you want. You could begin any career you want, work any job you want, start your own business, or not even work at all and slack off all you want. That’s what I call freedom.Without money, you have one choice: work. A noble pursuit in and of itself, but it loses its nobility when one has no choice.
What is the distinction between work and play besides the freedom with which one has to do it? More specifically, there seems to be a distinction between fun work, play, and just plain drudgery. For most people, their jobs fall under the latter category.They agonize every morning to get out of bed, groan over a giant mug of coffee, throw on their clothes, try to make themselves impressionable, and race to work, fighting miles of traffic. They spend hours slacking off and passing time, trying to avoid the boss as much as possible. They justify it at the end of the month with their paycheck, much of which is spent on trying to forget about it all. Television, sports, bars, Vegas, dance clubs, exotic dancers, marijuana, cocaine. Most of it, though, is spent on toys, which we see every day flashed across the television. Fast cars, big houses, cute little computers, boats, jet skis, motorhomes, yachts, mansions.
Some of the biggest expenses are the ones we don’t even see: income tax, sales tax, retirement plans that never pay off, interest, insurance, repairs, CRV, registration fees, bank fees, storage fees, parking fees, dumping fees. They’re all there. We pay them and their only purpose is to sustain the lifestyle that they told us to lead. It’s bad enough that we spend money on junk we don’t need, but it’s unforgivable that we end up spending more just to earn the money to buy the junk, pay taxes just to purchase the junk, pay interest just to buy more junk than we can afford, pay insurance just to protect the junk, pay mechanics and repairmen just to fix the junk, pay registration fees just to let society know that we have the junk, pay bank fees just to have the money around to pay for the junk, pay parking or storage fees just to put the junk somewhere, and then when we’re all done with it, pay dumping fees to get rid of the junk. When we’re done buying their junk, and dishing out even more just to sustain it, we’re broke.
Paycheck’s all spent. Time for another unbearable month of work. Months go by, years go by, all the dreams are brushed aside, and we wonder where our lives went. The only thing we have to show for years of hard work and misery is a garage-full of junk that doesn’t work, is out-dated, is no longer useful, or is no longer as exciting as it used to look on the TV.On top of all of that, we have thousands of dollars in debts. Our paychecks are no longer spent on junk as much as it is just keeping up with the interest on their debts. Now we have a job we hate, junk we have to find a way to get rid of, bill collectors nagging at us, and all of our time and money goes into keeping up with it all; by this time, we’re beginning to feel that all we really ever needed was love.That’s what I call slavery. Why are we so easily captivated by it? Simple.
We accept the reality which we’re presented. People spend their lives working fervently to keep us from thinking, they themselves a captive. What can we do about it? Again, simple. Stop buying junk. You don’t need to waste time at a job you hate earning money if you don’t spend it on anything. Instead, you can waste your time at a job you hate earning money undoing the whole mess. Not a very attractive option, but, hey, that’s why I call it slavery.Those who would not know what to do with more leisure than they now enjoy, I might advise to work twice as hard as they do–work till they pay for themselves, and get their free papers.Henry David ThoreauWhat options are available when the world’s values are either strictly American, or nothing more than a bad replica of American? Is there any better society?
I don’t know; I’m too busy working to study up on it. What are the social economic options? I don’t know; I’m too busy working to study up on it. Marxism, capitalism, socialism, communism, feudalism. I know all about what I’ve been told is the wrong way to live, but you’ve seen how I feel about what I’ve been told. I wish I could spend time learning these things for myself, getting all the perspectives, and making my own decision instead of letting society do my thinking for me. But I can’t. I’m too busy working to study up on it. Gee, too busy doing their crap to think for myself. Coincidence? I think not.Lucky for us, they have a convenient little system set up so that we don’t have to think for ourselves. They give us a fake dualism between liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, so as to not overwhelm us with options. Two choices, which are so similar as to be only one option, but different enough to make us think we actually have a choice.
Each camp has their platform and their suggested votes because they know we’re too busy oiling their Machine to actually study it in-depth. And in case anyone is actually dedicated enough to study it that well, they expend the rest of their effort snowing us with corporate-owned media that entertains more than it informs.With money comes time, and with time comes freedom. I know this is a catch-22. In order to get money, you need to have money. In order to get freedom, you have to work and sacrifice. All of this used to scare me because I’m still stuck doing the same thing.
I’m deferring my happiness until the day when I will no longer have to defer my happiness, which is absurd if you think about it, but I realized that given my confined situation I might as well give myself hope that someday I will actually be free from it. Hey, I’m not the one who made the society; I’m the one fighting it.Call me paranoid. Call me pessimistic. Call me a rebel. But you’re enslaved nevertheless. I may be paranoid, but you’re miserable. I no longer see the value in keeping people from prejudgeing me. People who are quick to prejudge won’t hear my message anyway, and those that are open-minded enough to hear it will hear it loudest.