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" The Gravel Pit "

Searching For Gold In The Age Of Plastic: Depression
Posted by Kyle on Feb 4, 2006, 20:01

To many people, the thought of suicide is absolutely disgusting - surely an act only worthy of cowards. While a vast majority of these people are simply using the arguement to assert their own assumed superiority and stroking their own ego, the point itself doesn't seem very accurate to those who can see the problems that we face on a daily basis. When one looks at the way modern people (western) live their lives, the only thing that shocks me is that more people don't take "the coward's way out". It is this writer's opinion that most of them would have good justification for doing it. Focusing primarily on teenagers and young adults, we can see that nearly all of the tools that they need to grow up strong, intelligent and productive have become so corrupt and broken that it's easy to lose hope that they will have any kind of future that they'll actually want to look forward to.

When two people come together to create Another, it is one of the most important tasks that any person can undertake. Ideally, at the moment of conception, a new world is created wherein two prepared people agree to perpetuate their bloodline and their culture so that it may thrive for another generation. When the purpose of this creation is less than pure, either by circumstance or lack or responsibility on the part of the parents, a handicap is immediately placed upon the new life. They will never be the sole focus of the parents because of this. There will, almost invariably, be other things in the parent's lives that of the utmost importance that may take precedence over the needs of their child.

During weekdays they will get up at 6 am for 5 or 6 days of the week to commute for an hour to their job in a cramped and stale cubicle doing a job they hate deep down, and then come home up to 12 or more hours later having only enough time to drink a quick beer and microwaved meal while watching the latest hit reality show and fighting over money. Weekends weren't spent teaching their child how to fly fish or studying and reviewing school work, they were spent indulging whatever various addictions they had and buying a cool new trendy piece of plastic to entertain themselves before beginning the cycle again on monday morning. Because they haven't yet figured out what they're good at in life, and how it is easy to make enough money to survive comfortably on(without the cool plastic toys and fast cars and things that people seem convinced that they "need"), they spend all their time spinning their wheels trying to figure out why they can't keep up with the Jones', when they could be teaching their child strong values and the beauty of the world around them. Instead they teach them how to be a miserable clone in a suit that thinks money and possessions are the highest law in this life.

Today people make the mistake of turning on the television, and they are bombarded with sounds and images that best represent the face of modern culture. It is a culture of products where everything is for sale, including our spirit and skills. A reasonably intelligent adult can look at the latest hit "reality" show or generic sitcom and smile at the absurdity of it before turning it off. When a young person looks at these images, they see in them the examples of what they should strive for in life. The people are beautiful and rich and popular, and when the children haven't been properly taught about the transience of those qualities, it's inevitable that they will emulate these falsehoods.  We are not taught to celebrate the great leader for being a great leader, or the great plumber for being a great plumber, we are taught to celebrate those who have the most money, the most popular votes, the highest corner office. Even the best and brightest among us can find those things appealing sometimes because they create a feeling of security and safety.

When you're never taught the difference, and are so conditioned to accepting the lowest common denominator, it's not a stretch to believe that you can go from white skateboarder to emulating the black rappers on MTV. Family lines and local pride are erased in favour of creating a world of sameness where nobody rises above, or falls below the level of consumer and the only freedom is the freedom to own more plastic, more tv channels, and strive only for more money. The differences between people are faded so that we can't cherish our own uniqueness and the beauty of other cultures. The white kid can emulate the black rapper, the black kid can emulate the white rocker, all the while forgetting about what makes humanity special. At this point it's easy to forget universal truths and eternal values passed down from generation to generation, and accept the idea that Get Rich Or Die Tryin' is just as spiritually important and immortal as In The Nightside Eclipse, although 50 Cent will be replaced on the charts 3 weeks later, and Emperor is celebrated a decade later.

Is it really any wonder that many kids these days become so disillusioned that they feel compelled to search out virtual communities to escape the mind-numbing sameness and oppressive neurosis inherited from their parents? Finding like minded people, even if they are thousands of miles away, must feel very attractive when compared to the miasma of school popularity networks that insist on rigid sameness and shared beliefs. They have nicer visuals than the polluted and skyscraper laden real world to! Such is the plight of the discontented of the world who have figured out how bad things can truly be, but don't have the resources to bring them to a healthy solution. Some will fall into drug abuse, sex, depression, and suicide. Some will give up and turn their brain off, deciding to simply go with the flow and become another clone. My highest hopes for those who are trying to make it out of this pit, and to those who are already lost. I hope that someday they will find someone or something that can help them achieve greater things than becoming another product, another statistic.


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