“A Sick Joke”

March 26, 2012

From Simon Grey:
Sometimes I wonder if American culture is nothing more than a sick joke.  It seems to me that everything Americans do, especially those in the middle class, is designed to signal status.  That seems to be the case with the modern school system and with homework in particular.  There is little value to assigning homework because it is so easy to cheat at it.  All that happens, as Scott Adams notes, is that everyone simply becomes stressed out over a triviality.
More to the point, the parents act like homework is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER and thus push their kids to complete it, even though everyone knows it’s nonsense.  Yet, in spite of knowing how little and unimportant homework is, parents push their children to do it, often with the encouraging rundown of how terrible life will be if you don’t do your homework.  “If you don’t do your homework, you’ll fail the class;* if you fail the class, you’ll fail school;** if you fail school, you won’t go to college;*** if you don’t go to college, you won’t get a good job;**** etc.”
The results of this constant guilt trip have begun to yield a diseased, rotting fruit.  “Relationship” no longer refers to the emotional connection one has with his fellow human beings.  Instead, it refers to how much wealth/status/income one has relative to one’s fellow human beings.  We are a materialist society, driven by our shiny things and the pursuit thereof.  And so, parents continually pressure their children to accomplish meaningless tasks in the hopes that doing so will eventually ensure their children’s ability to acquire meaningless material goods.
The punchline is that this is called the American dream.
* Translation:  you won’t be properly brainwashed.
** Translation:  you won’t get a piece of paper celebrating you’re pitiful intellectual accomplishments.
*** Translation:  You won’t be able to go to an overpriced indoctrination camp to get a piece of paper that tells prospective employer what a compliant little drone you’ll be.
**** Translation:  You won’t be able to sit in a cubicle all day filing meaningless reports and crunching imaginary numbers in order to earn enough money to satisfy the hedonistic and materialistic desires of the ugly hag you married, in order to support ungrateful brats that you don’t ever get (or, truthfully, want) to see.
No further comment needed.

Really.  This is tough.

Just sign your little girl’s life away.  That’d be a funny comedic touch if it weren’t literally true.

Visions are Greatness

January 18, 2012

Too often people settle for mediocrity.  Settle for the nice house, nice family, the nice life.  That’s fine.  But these same people are the ones who ridicule those who dream.  Those who dream “big,” “grand,” “extravagant” dreams.  Those with vision.

No one would ever believe that someone so ordinary as Sam Walton would be a self-made millionaire.  He was more than that.  Or even some ordinary man like Warren Buffet.

Maybe the American Dream is dead, or taking its last gasp, surrendering in the torturous fight.  Ordinary people believe greatness is reserved for people like Alexander the Great, or Winston Churchill, men born into privileged beginnings.  Forget Jesus.

Tell your son that when he goes to college he can study to become a financial analyst, a cog in the machine, and leave the world no better or worse because he lived.  Tell your daughter that she can be a teacher who only teaches what she has been told—she can be a medium of communication, hardly more valuable to society than a television.  Dream small.  Big dreams are for the naïve, the stupid, the children.

Depressing, isn’t it?  That’s where we are at: small dreamers.  Losing hope.  Fast.  Way too fast.

The greatest minds, the greatest men, had vision.  They believed with full sincerity that they were destined to change the world.  Or maybe they were appointed by the Almighty Himself to change the world.  They could look you in the eye and unblinkingly say, “I am changing the world.”  They had big dreams; they had vision.

Vision.  Alexander the Great envisioned a world controlled and influenced by the Greeks.  Jesus envisioned a world fundamentally changed by His teaching.  Churchill, even during his “wilderness years,” envisioned himself saving Britain—yes, even the world.

Don’t mock the dreamer.