Tag Archives: Fantasy

Millennials, Strive for that Perfect Selfie because You will Never get out of Debt and You Will Never own Your Own Home Responsibly

“The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

*

The headline you just read is what I think to myself when I realize I shouldn’t spend money and should save for my future interests, especially when my contemporaries scroll social media and see how others are living large and in charge and strive to be just like them.

(Firstly, social media is an affirmation to spend more money, and waste more time.  Do you have it in you?)

I am pretty sure the people around me are concerned about my one point of obsession, my now goal: paying off all of my debt. My motivation being: Because I am a slave to debtors, credit card companies own me, my student loans own me, I really don’t exist freely…  What keeps me going in this direction:  Good reasons.

Good reasons:  Some day I will own my own house, responsibly–not through some insane mortgage.  Some day I will be out of debt, entirely: zero debt.  Some day I won’t have to work every day to pay my bills, no worries.  I will retire with dignity.  And again, those around me will benefit from my now goals, from my relatively insane efforts, from sacrifices I make.

These sacrifices are easier than the alternative for me, of living in debt for the rest of my life, chipping away at what I one minimum payment, all that high interest at a time.  That is stupid.  That is something that could use distractions!

It’s hard and easy for me to imagine that there is a world out there stranded glaring into their phones at millions of other people acting out their fantasies–Millennials et al., taking photos, images of a luxury lifestyle that is nothing more than made up. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

Imagine if we could get paid for that time spent glaring at other people’s dreams… We’d all be as rich as Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump.

I really shouldn’t care about the setting or the background or how long it took for another person to get that perfect photo, the perfect selfie, and all those likes, although it worries me. I care, imagine.  That is my philanthropy for the day: caring.

(Your debt is that train in the “perfect selfie” video above, maybe doing the same to you as you read.  Stay off of those tracks that lead you, or the future you, into imminent danger.)

The first thing I think about when I see pictures of people doing AMAZING things is, how much debt does that person actually have, credit cards, student loans, etc.? I know, it’s none of my business, but for science…  Then I wonder, does all that debt add up to contrived happiness, the happiness in that picture, imagines on a screen, unfocused a distracted ephemera of fleeting feeling… Does it come from that?

(A hobby of imagining your existence is entirely different from what it is?  Doing this doesn’t cause change, it avoids it.)

And we compare ourselves to those counterfeit images, those freewheeling fantasies, those nice narrative and salacious story lines… Am I as good as that other person’s selfie?  No, no, I am not… Should I be spending more money, should I be buying into this false pretense?  Do I give a shit?

Then I vanish from social media and that apathetic society that we all pay to join in some way or another. I vanish because we all should and walk back into the deep woods to find our inner animal selves, or into a deep sleep.  Beasts called gentlemen in suits and ties pretending to be anything other than ourselves.

(When we die our Facebook us’s keep on living.  Is that me?  For example, my father died four years ago in June and he unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years after that.  He is virtually still alive, however he is physically dead.  I don’t know if he sleeps anymore.  I cannot visit his grave because my reality does not understand this sort of paradox.  Social media creates dead and living zombies right now.  Imagine.)

So, yes, back to the beginning, you will never get out of debt or own your own home, responsibly–without insane lenders and bad deals, if you keep this up.  That is what I tell myself and then avoiding those distractions becomes very easy for me. You as in me.

Forget your likes, upvotes, retweets, highlights from whatever years ago, virtual memories, Facebook lives, and other people’s selfies, they evoke no artistic value whatsoever (or maybe they do: this mini-essay tho.).  Think about what you owe that credit card company, what you owe in student loans? Try to smile now, make that art, Picasso. Get that photo sing.  Real good job.  Create those American Dreams.

Advertisements

R + L = J; The Best Spoiler Ever

I read about this theory a few days ago in class, after eavesdropping on some of my peers.  They told me to just ignore what they said about “r + l = j”.  I did the opposite, I was intrigued, I researched the topic and found it highly engaging.  As I pulled up the link I gasped at the ideas presented.  Perhaps you will as well.  Enjoy!  Spoiler Alert!

I am for Jon Snow.

What do we “know” about Adrian Peterson?

GTY_adrian_peterson_jt_140914_16x9_992

ABC News: Minnesota Vikings Reverse Course, Suspend Adrian Peterson

In the early hours of the morning there was a surprise which took place in Viking’s Territory, or possibly New Jersey- wherever Zygi Wilf claimed as his at the time. Part of that surprise was Adrian Peterson, not surprisingly, being taken off of the Viking’s roster for Sunday’s game. The more surprising bit of information came from a mega organization making quick decisions, reversing said decision, on account of fiscal security, and what seems nothing more.

I wonder, is the child okay? Where is the child now? I hear AP is off the team, sponsors are dropping like flies, but little mention of anything else, except… there is more to come.

We sit here today, with our fantasy teams in disarray. My fantasy lifeblood has run out. This musical chairs game (with players) has me scrolling webpages for something more, for something better. Why do I do this? Because money makes me, even though I have little (well, all Minnesota taxpayer’s have stake in the new Viking’s stadium) invested in the actual game. This is a story about child abuse, due process, and motives of discussion, not a star player or his situation, mostly.

What has become apparent is we “know” what we believe we “know”, not what is objectively true. This is called interpretation. See: Post-Structuralism; and the Modern Episteme. We interpret from “reliable media sources” what we think we “know”. What we really “know” to be true about this matter is: child abuse is unacceptable and wrong, we are not judge or jury or executioner, American citizens are innocent until proven guilty, and we personally don’t “know” Adrian Peterson as a person at all. Sure, we cheer for him on Sundays to win for our “favorite” team (which every partially-sane politician in Minnesota seeking office has regurgitated in the last week, to ad nauseam), but we don’t “know” him know him.

We can all rest easy “knowing” that we won’t actually be embarrassed for what another person does, even if they are from Minnesota i.e. Michelle Bachmann. We can rest easy because we actually don’t “know” what happened, and WE won’t be guilty of said crimes- if it actually occurred in the first place; which it may or may not have: it’s 50/50 so far, in fairness.

Furthermore, I am moderately embarrassed about the latter person, who says the most hateful things of the president and his organization. I guess I am sort of not embarrassed; she doesn’t owe me anything, and if I hear something stupid coming from her I can change the channel, same as with the former, likewise the actions of both parties. I can ignore those. I am not an escapist, just a selective-perceptionist.

What we “know” is that we all have choices. We can choose to label Peterson whatever we want, and Michelle Bachmann whatever we want, and more. Adrian Peterson can choose to make poor decisions. The beauty of being a human being is we have the power to choose, like professional athletes and politicians, everyone makes mistakes (I am not an Adrian Peterson apologist either). We can make up our minds. Unlike other cases that are ongoing now, Ray Rice, we have no video proof (we do have photos; photo-shop pending), we have no agency over the matter, and we have no lot in what becomes of him or her. We have nothing to choose on. We can all agree that abuse is wrong. But we can’t really do anything else until we “know” more. Perhaps events transpire. Child abuse is wrong, but so is labeling a person as guilty when they may or may not be.
I mean, who actually decides that, passes down the conviction, and does the sentencing? Does this media attention skew the fairness of the trial?

I was watching the Crucible last night and realized that if a crazy person, or crazy organizations, or massively crazy corporations, or insane groups of people says anything about anyone, and agrees on it, it is dangerous. We all “know” what happened to Winona Ryder at the end of that movie. Damn…

What this actually boils down to is my fantasy football team. This whole ordeal with Adrian Peterson was the Providence of God (I use this in the John Winthrop-esque way). I had never played fantasy football before, while Adrian had been a spotless star, with a promising career. This all changed after I drafted him onto my fantasy team, everything changed. The first Sunday he would play for me, he would move up the field with tepid charisma, something had affected his ability. I watched myself sink into last place in standings, everyone laughed. I thought what could this be? And then, mid-week, it came to me via one of my ten-thousand checks of the ESPN fantasy page, it was all over my cellphone, and had become the hot button topic on Facebook: Adrian was indicted on these alleged abuses. I rest my case. Does anyone know what alleged means? It means: “(of an incident or a person) said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.”

The aspect of football that proves scary in this case is the amount of money the owners and commissioners are willing to move and secure at any time, in any event; if shit goes bad for them personally. It’s not about the fans, but the money, the face value. They will forget their favorite players to save their financial situation; last week’s hero is today’s forgotten and exiled. Has anyone thought of the external cost of the NFL as a whole? Can we point fingers to how many concussed veteran athletes assaulted their loved ones due to trauma caused in career related injuries? I am not sure, I don’t know-

What I hear more about than anything in this case is lost sponsorships, not the kids, but the money. I think of Lance Armstrong finally admitting, well- not really, that he was doping… Gatorade dropped him, Livestrong dropped him. This is not unlike AP losing sponsors such as Nike (sort of), and the Viking’s losing Radisson Hotels, seriously. Pundits are asking- wondering, who will pay for naming rights to the new Viking’s stadium (besides the taxpayers that is), I am wondering are the kids all right? That is the highlight of this conversation: money. Who will pay the money? They want this person, labeled now a “child abuser” as far away from the Vikings franchise as possible. When we look back a month or so, or even a few days, where do we stand? How fickle are we to believe everything we hear?

What we do “know” is that we don’t “know” anything. These allegations could be frivolous and without warrant, they could be fact with proof positive. They could be fabricated by an ex-lover, put forth to ruin the goals and aspirations of certain people. The allegations could be true, AP could have abused his child(ren), and for that he deserves what is just; to be tried and sentenced. His children should have the right to a safe and secure living situation. However, if the charges are false, is it right that a person pay for a crime before he receives a sentence? If that be the case are his children worse off when their father loses his livelihood, and how firm will the NFL stand behind their star players after the fact?

There is no question abuse is wrong, child abuse, domestic abuse, etc.; abuse is wrong. Furthermore fabricating such abuse and speaking about it garrulously in the media is also wrong. Passing judgment on someone before they get their day in court is wrong. What if we are all wrong and it turns out this was just spin to get people talking about the NFL? This monster corporation, the NFL, wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t good at talking about itself, getting itself talked about, or in general talking about getting excited about itself. This idea excites me. What the players do on and off the field neither affect our daily lives (unless we let them), or change the outcome of our day. The only reason we are talking about these “professional athletes” is because they do physically extraordinary feats, the keyword in this sentence being physical. If their goal is to be physically abusive on the field, who says they aren’t more prone to become more physically abusive off? And how does one turn that aggression off? The NFL pretty much promotes that we eat, sleep, and breathe football. What is there to do?

Hands down the most compelling part of this event is the idea that child abuse is wrong, however, and it seems to be trumped by money and sponsorships in comparison. The stories I have read, with little detail, and utilization of vagaries gets me to about this point: What makes society quick to judge, and how useful is that in the end?