Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Underground Man

From a post entitled "The Underground Man Lives With His Parents":
I live a life of luxury and privilege, still in the nest at 25. I graduated after a langorous, if uneventful and unfruitful stay in college, with an Anthropology degree. I spent a year unemployed afterward, then worked a temp job, then worked a mind numbing clerical/warehouse job for about a year and a half, until I couldn't quite stand it anymore and quit. I managed to save a bit of money, I have no debt, I'm currently unemployed. I suffer from depression, anxiety, and ADD, hereditary and most likely unrelated to my living situation. I spend most of my time surfing the internet, reading articles, thinking, dreaming, wondering, immersed in a sea of information I could never possibly utilize. I'm currently looking for a job, but see about zero prospects for anything like an acceptable future as anything other than an office drone or retail slave. I felt guilty about this state of affairs, but apathy and moral nihilism have a tendency of erasing those qualms. I see myself probably as the hikikomori or parasite singles of Japan might, I'm taking advantage of a situation and trying my best to wring some enjoyment out of it until the ground falls from underneath me. It is a strange kind of apocalyptic slackerism, one that recognizes its own unsustainability but continues despite itself due to a perceived lack of options. I feel as if I might as well, for the time being, indulge in my whims and remove myself, at least in body, from the moral landscape of this failed and hypocritical economy. A world where intelligence doesn't matter, where failed promises and expectations hang around one's neck like a weight that can never be relinquished. I believed the lie that intelligence and education could serve me, that society would recognize the peice of paper I gained for my efforts and lavish me with rewards and congratulations. The expectations were useful fantasies that served me well up until it was time to take a short glimpse into the eyes of reality. I live in a semi-conscious state between dream and reality. A twilight zone filled with abstract phantasms and ideas. I recognize the reality of the suffering of the world but can't relate to it. Born into privilege, raised in privilege, nursed on privilege, but always aware of a hardship I never could touch, I never could assimilate or understand. I spend my time examing the digitally mediated images of expressions on the faces of slum dwellers as they make yet another trip to the garbage dump of a compassionless society to scavenge for the days rewards. I watch the stock market rise and dip and undulate, back and forth, dancing like a man on the razor thin edge of a heroin overdose. I wonder what it's going to be like when that man falls down, crumpled into the ground like a forgotten newspaper. I wonder what kind of demons his dreamless sleep will unleash. I've lived a life of privleged weakness. Weakness of character and spirit. I hope and hope and hope, that when the end comes, I'll be able to leave with some amount of grace. Perhaps, in that moment, I'll finally understand the expressions on their faces.