A Giant Glass Crater.
A very good friend of mine sent me an e-mail this morning remarking on yesterday's puked-up pablum. In that post, I recommended the forced migration and expulsion of Muslims from the Western World if only because it would make the process of boarding a flight to Disneyland that much easier for us all, and represent a giant step towards getting the government out of our lives. He also makes reference to some of my other pet peeves, written about extensively in this Diary of a Madman (the epidemic of stupidity, the complete wasteland full of knuckle-dragging barbarians that is American politics, and my going-to-crap-at-warp-speed hometown). He writes:
A giant glass crater...... is what you want the middle east to become...I'm convinced Staten island should [secede] from the union and implement a few of your policies.Oh, while you're at it, I want you to enforce that you need to take a general intelligence test before you get the right to vote, too. Too many idiots in this world cast their vote because they are promised a free lunch and a brief joyride on a minibus. Thoughts?
And this began to dovetail nicely with one of the recurring themes which runs through my mailbox; the comments and e-mails I get from complete retards who want to know what sort of horrible disease I must suffer from that makes me so "negative" and "hateful" of (fill-in-the-blank) Muslims/Democrats/Women/Minorities/Ivy Leaguers/Irish Setters/ the Elderly/Single Mothers/Europeans/Union Workers, et. al.
The most impassioned nonsense though, comes from self-important Baby Boomers who want to know why I hate them so much. There was one 60+ year old respondent yesterday who especially chapped my ass with is sanctimony about how his generation 'created' so much, and 'contributed' to this-that-and-the-other, and was 'owed' a 'debt' of 'gratitude'. I wanted to puke.
The notions seemingly came together of their own accord -- would life really be more tolerable if we just started knocking off certain categories of disagreeable people? Why is it that I seem to hold certain antipathies towards certain groups of folks? And who the fuck does this jackoff lecturing me in an e-mail think he is? -- and shit just sprang into my head.
So, with this in mind, I wrote my buddy back. I hope my "I'm Baby Boomer God" correspondent reads this, and finally gets it:
Yes, there should be a great culling of the herd, methinks, to be followed by a carefully-planned program of street executions.
Never mind taking a test to vote; there should be a list of minimum requirements necessary for continued breathing. And, of course, I'd just kill anyone born before 1960, if only because I don't feel like supporting them in their old age, which thanks to medical science seems to last far longer than it actually needs to, and keeps people alive long past the point where they're of any use to anyone.
To wit: our world is run by the Baby Boomers. They are the CEO's, Politicians, Professors, Money managers, Media figures, Generals, Bishops, and Bureaucrats, all infused with the rubbishy, romantically-retarded mindsets of their youth -- the Kennedy worshipers, the Flower Power generation, the Hippies, the Draft Dodgers, the Acid Droppers, the Communism-was-a-great-idea-only-poorly-executed mindset, and the No-Fault Divorce Generation. Do you think they've done a good job running this world? Have they done the right things? Are they leaving anything of value in their wake? If you judged an entire generation of human beings on just what it was they collectively left to a civilization, what would their (the Baby Boomer's) record be?
The Beatles, The Nehru Jacket, Situational Ethics, AIDS, Hedonism, The Pet Rock, Jimmy Carter, Mood Rings, Earth Shoes, Financial Collapse, interminable warfare with incomplete or nebulous 'Victories', and the mass marketing and consumption of Viagra and Cheetos?
Yes, re-open Auschwitz under new management, I say!
Baby Boomers are some of my biggest detractors, and my second-deadliest enemy (I didn't forget about you fly-swatting-eat-with-the-same-hand-I-wipe-my-ass-with-sheep-shaggers-in-the-sand!). This generation seems to think they're smarter and better than I am, that they're entitled to live forever on my dime all hopped up on government-financed Viagra, plastic surgery, and medical miracles that claim to 'cure' all the inconveniences of Old Age -- from a toe fungus to malfunctioning prostate -- at $300 a bottle, and which always comes with a list of side effects that predictably begins with crippling diarrhea and always includes with 'risk of sudden heart failure', and a warning not to drive or operate heavy machinery under it's influence. That's when they're not busy lecturing me on how I wouldn't live "in the world we have today" if it hadn't had been for them and their Noble Enterprise in every field of endeavor from modern communications to medicine.
Guess again, people. If you were truly honest with yourselves, you'd see just exactly what pieces of excrement the majority of you truly are. You have merely stood upon the shoulders of giants, and self-proclaimed yourselves Titans, and presuming the right to lord it over much better people than you.
Does this world look like an Earthly Paradise to you? Does it even look like a moderately-tolerable world? It's the World you Baby Boomers have created, you know. You run it. You crafted it in your mold and gave it the special ingredient that only you could provide in abundance; bullshit. In my mind, the resulting product of such infantile minds was entirely predictable.
Because, for the most part, Baby Boomers were the most mollycoddled, selfish, spoiled, over-indulged, and least-disciplined generation of human beings to ever come down the pike. Spare me the defensive e-mails, please, about how you, personally, are the exception to the rule; how grew up poor, how your parents were strict disciplinarians, and how you did 'all the right things', ate your peas, and never followed that pot-smoking-orgy-lovin' Hippie crowd. If you actually do exist, in the form you've presented yourself, then you, Sir or Madam, are a distinct minority. You are a dinosaur. You are the unexpected shard of pottery that turns up in the stratigraphy of human history, and throws the archaeologist for a loop. A flaw in the pattern. The majority of the people of your generation have caused the people of my generation to wonder whether or not you were all just a colossal waste of DNA, some Great Cosmic Mistake.
On that Chart that shows the "Evolution of Man", I wonder if it wouldn't make more sense to count 'Baby Boomer' as a separate species, and then stick it someplace between the primordial primates and the first upright-walkers? We could call it Homo Erectus Erectus, the two 'Erectus' designation nicely describing both what absolute pricks most of you are, and your complete fascination with the hard-on. Viva Viagra! and all that.
Where does this visceral dislike come from, you ask? This desire to write off an entire mass of human beings, this lack of empathy, sympathy, the denial, even, of your basic humanity?
Well, I would think it starts with my parents, who for lack of a better term, were/are absolutely horrible human beings. They weren't cruel, nor were they neglecting --up to a certain point -- but they were selfish, thoughtless bastards, the pair. Mostly this is because the culture in which they 'came of age' was a selfish, thoughtless age of bastards. They were still living on the cusp of the previous era, where some Old-Fashioned virtues were still respected, or at least still followed because society had not made it's Next Great Leap of Stupidity (that would require a new range of technology which on the one had, promised to make communication ever faster, cheaper, easier and achievable, to break down frontiers and open new vistas of human achievement, and on the other, isolates and stratifies us all in ways that we can barely begin to recognize),which explains why they got married so young (father: 23, mother: 20) . That was, according to the mores of the day, what you were 'supposed' to do when you were that age, and when the routine of double-feature-and-hamburger-at-the-Malt-shop became stale, when you couldn't think of anything better to do on Saturday Night, and you didn't have the guts to wear tie-dye and get blasted as 'mind-expanding' experience.
My parents weren't exactly what you would call 'involved', unless you applied that word to them solely as individuals. They were certainly very involved with themselves. Which is probably why they got divorced. As I've 'grown up' and 'matured' I've come to recognize that my parents never gave me a single piece of advice, not one decent example, not a shred of guidance in any form that you would expect to get from a parent, which didn't, ultimately, revolve around three basic premises:
1. Don't embarrass me in public.
2. What would people say about ME if they saw you behaving that way?
3.I'm your Mother/Father....you owe me.
In fact, it was my grandparents who taught me my lessons growing up, and unfortunately for me, they died (young) just at the point where I probably was just beginning to understand what sort of people they were, what they were telling me, and just what it was they still had to offer. My (maternal) grandparents were teaching me maxims that if one person in ten still followed, would make Planet Earth a much better place;
1. People have obligations to one another, and responsibilities towards one another
2. Hard work eventually pays off
3. A man's word is his bond, and honesty is always the best policy
4. Nothing EVER comes before family
5. Do 'the right things' all the time and all will be well.
Unfortunately, they were teaching me these things just at that point in history where my parent's generation was busy tearing that foundation of common sense, that Universal Code of Conduct, down.
In fact, in retrospect, the only things my parents ever taught me was that everything in life could be dealt with by the application of a very simple formula;
2. Run away from your problems when they could no longer be ignored
3. Bitch and whine about your problems when running away no longer works is the only way to go,
,4. When denial, running, bitching, whining don't serve, do everything you can to make your problems someone else's,
5. When all of the above fails, complain that you are the victim of an invisible, all-encompassing conspiracy, and then stew in your own juices about how 'unfair' it all is.
My Father, an absolute cretin that someone thought it would be a good idea to give a badge and gun to, thankfully died at age 37, and so spared me having to put up with his special brand of insanity for many years after. My mother simply made her misery everyone else's by making bad decisions in serial fashion and then calling upon her children to pick up the pieces of her shattered life (and, naturally, suffer the consequences that came with those pieces). If that meant your eldest (19 year-old) son had to co-sign second mortgages as part of your (second) divorce settlement, or take out extended lines of credit in his name for your use, or work 12-hours a day, seven-days a week to feed everyone, while you declared personal bankruptcy in the dark of night without his knowledge -- so you could be 'free' while sticking him with the bills and legal responsibilities -- then so much the better. The part where he had to financially and morally support you for the next 20 years, and become all but a surrogate husband because you were a depressed bag of skin for whom work was a dirty word, was the part that went unspoken. But then again, I was younger and dumber, and still thought that sons were supposed to do things like this for their mothers. It was a rather romantic notion, no?
There was never even as much as a "Thank you", or an "I'm sorry". No need for any of that. You gave birth, after all.
When I went to work for a living (at age 18), skipping college because my overriding goal since the age of 14 was to get the fuck out of my mother's house just as quickly as possible (she remarried, when I was 13, to a complete asshole who's Ozzie-and-Harriet vision of what a married couple should be didn't seem to include a wife with three teenagers that he couldn't stand in tow) I encountered a shitload of people just like my parents; authority figures who were self-interested, selfish, stupid, short-sighted, crass, conceited, and convinced of their own superiority (after all, they had been at Woodstock, and burned their Draft Cards, and finished college, although they hardly ever seemed to display anything approaching 'smarts', you see), and they had a certain power -- they could sign a paycheck, or they could pass on the secrets of the trade -- and they used these, often wantonly, to bludgeon people into line.
"Into Line" is a euphemism for 'keep me employed without having to really work, Cubicle Slave!'
I can't tell you how many really bad bosses I've had. I've lost count. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been denied promotions, recognition of a job well done, opportunities, or even just the simple respect due a human being because there was something else at stake -- usually money -- by someone who had achieved a certain position in life and had to do everything humanly possible just to stay there. If that meant stepping all over others, then so be it. If that meant making a promise one day and breaking it the next, then that was alright, too. Ethics, you see, are something that you're supposed to demand, but which only other people are supposed to have, and something that's conveniently forgotten by you until it becomes necessary to use them to your advantage.
Yeah, I know: Life isn't fair. Fine, I can deal with that. When it's unfair because someone has a vested interest in making it unfair, then I have issues.
Keeping someone 'in their place' because they kept you in YOUR place was simply what a 'good manager' did, the definition of 'good manager' being 'bigger paycheck for me, more responsibility (and accountability) for everyone else'. I found the worst examples of this mindset in exactly the place you would most reasonably expect to find it; on Wall Street.
If you've ever had any morals or quaint ideas of the Old-fashioned virtues about you, you will quickly become a victim in that sort of environment. You're dead meat the second you walk through the door with that mindset. There's hunters and there's prey, and what comes in between equates to the human equivalent of a Serengeti-plains scavenger, like a hyena. The differences between people on Wall Street are not truly measured in ability, intelligence or potential, but in corner offices, status, bonus checks, perks, and titles, but mostly by what one is willing and prepared to do to his fellow human beings in order to get them. The ability to play at office politics, rather than the ability to do something productive, is far more important in this regard , as is having the 'right' qualifications (pieces of paper that say you faithfully parroted whatever the professor told you to think). 'Connections' (Ivy League vs. State School, working-class background vs. upper-middle class background, school or club ties vs. professional ones) matter even more than smarts or politics.
If you doubt this, take a look at our 401(k) statement this month, or ask your bank just how it is that your home is now basically worthless. The 'Best and the Brightest'? How many of them actually got fired after that debacle? How many billions of dollars did the government pour into financial institutions to cover their losses? Don't make me laugh. These guys are simply bookies in better suits. The Mob is actually fairer, more honest about what it does, and harder-working, but because the Mafia isn't a licensed agent of the State Revenue Collectors, they're the ones who get prosecuted.
When you haven't any of that ammunition (the right sort of qualifications or connections) in your arsenal, you have to do the best you can. I became a master of playing their game -- but by my own rules. Wall Street made me a hyena.
So, you need me (to keep you in your cushy no-responsibility-high-pay job) more than I need you? Good, let's see you discipline me when I'm an hour late late tomorrow...and the next day. I want to see you have to eat my shit for a change when I do it.Thinking of throwing me to the wolves to save your own sorry hide when the time comes? Well, let's just see who else will work every weekend and holiday, or take on the shittiest projects when you need them to, because otherwise you don't get the leather upholstery in the BMW this year. Not going to put an extra zero on the end of that bonus check? What do you think will happen when your wife gets that letter in which I rat you out for all the shit I know you've done in your life?
I made my living by being the 'Indispensable Man'; they guy who knows everything, especially where all the bodies were buried, who does everything, has his hand in everything, but really doesn't give a shit unless there's extra zeros involved, who can stick that in your face, or beat you over the head with it the way you used to beat him.
It worked for a good, long while, too. Until one September morning where the depth of the depravity finally reached new lows; a 757 was forcibly embedded within the North Tower, and every suit in the building was consumed not by the idea or horrors of the incredible human tragedy being played out in Lower Manhattan, but whether or not such a disaster meant the financial markets wouldn't be open for business that day. They did open, incidentally. Trading actually took place. A lot of it. It happened, in small part, because I was one of the people who made sure it could. That was my job; it was the means by which I survived in that particular jungle.
And a week later, you see yourself within a promotional video in which your company's line-up of Financial Superstars brags that while the tallest buildings in New York may now be smoldering ruins, 3,000 people are dead, a trillion dollars of mostly-paper assets were wiped off the boards, and the country was now going to war, by God, Smith-Barney -- a Division of Citigroup -- turned a goddamned profit on 9/11! In fact,they were the only brokerage house to do so on that day. Why, that's a fabulous selling point; the world may be going to shit, people may be getting murdered in the streets, but dammit, we'll still make you hard, cold cash.
It made me physically ill to watch that. I guess not all of the decency in me had completely evaporated.
I don't know you would feel, but I couldn't live with myself after that. I felt absolutely filthy. And that's where it all started. There's much, much more to tell, but you get the general idea; when you've been surrounded by complete assholes all of your life, it's only a matter of time before your head explodes. At every point in Life, it seems, there was always someone born between 1945 and 1960 who stole, cheated, lied, oppressed, frustrated and disppointed, at the focal point of every personal crisis.
Who were my rotten parents? Baby Boomers. Who were the people who shit on the values of my grandparents? Baby Boomers. Who were the people who disappointed, lied, cheated, stole? Baby Boomers. Who were the people who turned me into a heartless, mercenary prick? Baby Boomers. Who planted the flag of financial victory on a pile of corpses? Why, they were Baby Boomers, too. Imagine that?
And now in 21st century America, it's the same people who have presided over the figuratively-smoldering ruins of a once-great nation. They run everything, you know, and they've run everything right into the ground, too. It's the generation of "if it feels good, do it", or "tune in, turn on, drop out', of "Greed is Good", of "I didn't inhale" or "Compassionate Conservatism" and "I voted-for-it-before-I-voted-against-it". The generation where every problem is the result of someone being a "victim" of someone else. Where conspiracy theory and petty partisan politics informs the public discourse, where the battlecries of a Stoned Generation -- equality, fairness, justice --still echo, but never take any concrete form or appear to be one fucking inch closer toreality. It was all lip service and posturing. It's a generation which has created a world where everyone is entitled to everything, but no one is ever expected to actually earn anything, and if you do earn it, someone else has the right to take it from you. A world where the rule is "do as I say, not as I do", and where getting away with the absolute worst of abuses is often either a badge of distinction, or a sign of how much smarter you are than everyone else.
It's a world run by people who fight wars to "bring freedom" to others who have no idea what that means, no matter how many lives or how much of (other-people's) blood and treasure it takes. It's a place where color still matters, regardless of how much legislation you pass, because it's a wound that can never be allowed to heal (otherwise, you couldn't troll votes and campaign donations, Dummy!). It's a place where people become gazillionaires by running three-decade-long Ponzi schemes with no legal oversight, and by creating bright, shiny, visually-exciting virtual worlds wherein nothing of consequence is ever achieved. Here, in our current state of affairs, the way to the top is by manipulating people; rich vs. poor, black vs. white, manual laborer vs. office worker, tax generator vs. tax consumer, man vs. woman. None of this, incidentally, is new; the history of mankind is replete with examples of all of this stupidity, it's just that the Baby Boomers who have it developed it into a fine art, gotten stupendously wealthy off it, caused so much grief and heartache along the way, and then expect to be rewarded for the absolute desolation they have created in perpetuity by a shrinking tax base (another consequence of their actions? a lower birthrate!), which is harried, worked, propagandized, categorized, dictated to, and indebted to inhuman levels by a system of government absolutely crammed to the rafters with the very people who will soon benefit the most -- i.e. Baby Boomers. Or so they think.
I don't like you people. I don't want to be like you. You're evil. For the majority of you, a natural death is more than you deserve. And guess what? There's literally millions more of me out here, and we're determined to ensure that you get exactly what you deserve, and not a penny more. Not even as much as an extra aspirin, roll of toilet paper, or five minutes of our time. Why? Because you've left us with nothing; no anchors, morally or spiritually, no ethics -- just ask five people at random to define that word for you, and you'll be surprised that no one can anymore -- no code of conduct that hasn't been torn to tatters by your hypocrisy, no system of justice or government that hasn't been tainted by your foul stench. Remember when your parents used to say to you "I hope one day you have children who do to you what you do to me?" -- and you laughed at them?
Guess who's laughing now? You'll soon be retiring in massive numbers with greatly-depleted assets. Think those Tea Partiers in the street are concerned with 'government spending' as a matter of principle? Take a closer look, and you'll see all the 40-somethings out there, and on some level, I can promise you, there's a great mass of them who recognize the enormous blood-sucking-probiscus the Hippie Generation is about to put on their wallets, and all that talk of 'curbing govenrment spending' is really just a subconcious euphemism for 'starve those selfish pricks to death!'. On some level, all that Tea Party jazz isn't so much about taxes, as much as it is Generational Warfare.
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, "Never have so Many owed so much to so Few...", and quite soon, that will become a kind of reality in America with regards to the huge swarms of retiring Baby Boomers who want nothing but free Healthcare and ever-growing Social Security checks, convinced that they deserve it all. Only in a few years, it will become "Never have so Many Depended Upon So Few".The parallels are these: Churchill's Few were fighting for Survival, and the New Few who are expected to pay for, and then shut up about, being screwed by the most-selfish Generation of Many in human history, are in a similar battle for their own survival. Churchill's Few were men willing to sacrifice on behalf of others; Our Few won't sacrifice for anyone...our Parents, Teachers, Bosses, Politicians, all taught us we that didn't have to, as that was always someone else's job.
You sowed the wind, and I dearly hope you reap the whirlwind, Assholes. If you're really lucky, maybe some 40-something will have enough compassion for you to invent a low-salt cat food that's far more palatable and easier to eat without Medicare-supplied dentures really, really soon.
And you should be fucking thankful for even that much.