GENERATION WHINE: THE SLOW DEATH OF UNITY & ENJOYMENT/CANTO #11

Does anyone just fucking ENJOY anything anymore? Seriously, I need to know the answer. I need to know that there is a world out there in which people still actively LIKE shit. Not just clicking “Like” on a fucking social media post, I’m talking about real-world HAPPINESS FROM A THING. Problem is, I know the answer already, otherwise I wouldn’t have any real reason to be writing this. The answer, of course, is a big fat NO and I think we should all be a lot more concerned about this than we seem to be.

It’s true guys, think about it. Now that everything has a comments section attached to it, everything in the free fucking world is also now open to criticism. Now more than ever, instead of appreciating things like art, music, movies, books, video games, etc., we dedicate actual time out of our lives to complaining publicly about those things. Time which, by the way, runs the fuck out- we’re born, we live a little while, and we die. With full knowledge of this we dedicate our precious time in this mortal coil to sitting on our asses calling people names, downing on their creations, and bullying fucking children. Some of these assholes even RELISH in their shittiness, kings and queens of the trolls they are. It’s pathetic, and we’re gonna keep doing it too.

Everything in this life is now brought to existence with a target on its back, every creation a potential victim of vicious abuse. Every person, every work of art, every thought inside a head can be ripped apart, torn asunder, and dissected in the name of a quippy fucking asshole comment posted into the ether somewhere. Want some examples? Sure thing, I’ll oblige!

No Tr0oMetal666, YOU’RE the asshole.

You can see this shit anywhere you look on the internet, and a shining example lives on the fractured fringes of the music scene. Metal? One of the worst offenders. If you spend half a minute on any website dedicated to the wonderful art form of heavy fucking metal you’re gonna see trolldom of the highest order. Everyone is “more metal” than the next guy. Every obscure Finnish post-doom-core band is more “true” than everyone else. Comment after comment after comment. So we’ve now become a culture that instead of cultivating unity has become obsessed with tearing everyone down who doesn’t fit your idea of what’s “true”? Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s cause that’s some Inquisition level bullshit and it’s the kind of mentality that poisons more than it heals.

Here’s a fucking news flash edgelords: Art is fucking subjective, and metal started life as shit like Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy, decidedly UN-metal by your pristine fucking super-metal standards so how about wiping off that corpse paint and calming the fuck down. Don’t agree with me? I don’t give a shit, cause I don’t have anything to prove. I love lots of music, most of the music I write sounds like Tool outtakes channeled through The Velvet Underground so I’m not trying to out-metal you, cause I super don’t care. To me? The heaviest music isn’t what screams the loudest but what kills you with the calm too. In fact as I’m typing this today I’m listening to the new Norma Jean album and they’re a shining example of just that. Heavy as fuck, but atmospheric and (gasp!) melodic and groovy too. No blast beats or served heads needed. Their tour manager thanks them I’m sure.

It’s everywhere though, whether it be the punk scene, indie rock, whatever the fuck everything is called these days- our ability to be instant critics has taken away our capacity to JUST FUCKING ENJOY. It makes me sad.

The gaming community? Same shit, different basement. I adore the art form of video games, especially the indie scene cause it is ravenously creative and super tough to thrive in, so anyone who prospers in the medium has my respect and attention. The average “gamer”? I swear to Satan everyone seems more concerned with frames-per-second and loading times than they are with how any of the fucking things PLAY. Constant bitching and bickering over what sucks about the art form you’re supposed to love, and a lot of us are grown god damn adults! I have two kids, a wife, a fuckin’ day job, and this wonderful website- do you think for one fucking second I’m gonna waste my time complaining on the internet about shit I ought to just be experiencing? Nope. And that’s not what this is so SHUT IT. I wanna play ALL the rad games, and if some of them aren’t great I’ll move on to the next one and vote with my time and/or wallet. People- we would be SO MUCH HAPPIER if we stepped back a decade or two and just stopped with this shit. YOu’re not gonna take my advice though, are you?

You’re not legit until somebody hates you.

I’m always joking that you’re doing something right when the hate mail comes in, kind of like the old adage of “all press is good press”. That shit isn’t entirely true in 2019 though, just ask Louis C.K. or any one of these dick-showing fuckheads- but my point is this, these days it is hard as shit to get people to notice what you’re doing so if people are taking the time to complain about you it might actually mean you’re on the right track. Hell, you could even argue that a flurry of asinine comments and hate-posts are a more valid litmus test of artistic validity than outright love these days. It’s fucking sad that this is even a conversation we’re having, cause my “born in the 80’s” ass NEVER thought life would look like this. When I was growing up, if you didn’t like something you might talk a little shit (“Collective Soul is fucking lame, dude” or “Fucking Helmet was better before Betty”, whatever.) but then you’d move on with your life. You had more important shit to do like recording Beavis & Butthead on your mom’s VCR, or skating to the mall to loiter god damn it! Priorities indeed.

The shit that is a part of our daily collective conscious would have been the most ridiculous shit in the world to 15 year-old me, cause even as a bullied kid in a shitty midwestern cesspool I knew that life was for LIVING, and art was to be RAVENOUSLY consumed with abandon. Remember abandon? Remember giving yourself over to an album? Smoking a joint and listening to new shit for the first time and REALLY listening to it? When was the last time you played a video game for more than 10 minutes before you got distracted by the next thing coming out behind it? Fuck even I do that shit! Does the fact that I’m writing an entire fucking article about it not sound your mental alarm bells?

While you were sleeping…..

All of this distraction, all of this trolling, all of this negativity does nothing but DIVIDE us. Music, art, video games- this shit is supposed to be for the weirdos. We’re supposed to be “all for one, one for all” here right? I thought these were the fucking safe places but even in my bubble it’s a wasteland. We’re dividing ourselves and the byproduct of it? It makes it a hell of a lot easier for the fucking bastards in office to divide us even more, cause we’re too busy fucking bitching amongst ourselves to feel the shaft of the upper 1% slipping in deeper by the minute. If we’re all down here fighting amongst ourselves it opens us up to end up with…I don’t know, maybe orange fucking lunatics who are hell bent on destroying everything in the name of their ego? Yeah, it does. When we, as a people, are not enjoying life, enjoying the things that bring light into the world, we are allowing the darkness to get a little stronger. Me? I want to put good out into the world. I want to make people feel less isolated, less scared, less overwhelmed. I want to create, enjoy the creations of others, and help out wherever I can.

Why do we let ourselves become so primal and petty? It might be easier to be a dick than to make the effort to be nice, but does it fucking FEEL good? Do the trolls of this world, the mega-haters, lay down at the end of the day and say “you know, I feel really good about what I contributed to the conversation today!”? No fuckin’ way. I know it, because any time I’ve allowed myself to walk on the low road I’ve felt gross. When I take the high road, it might be a little more work but I can stand by it and know I was true to myself. I’ll say this shit OVER and over and over again, life is short. We don’t have much time on this earth, so we should be filling that time with love, art, and passion. We should be doing everything we can to make this world look like we want it to, and as time goes on it feels like we’re squandering our potential more and more every day.

“Just how it is” never fixed shit.

Let’s change it, let’s break the cycle. Next time you feel like shitposting an album, or a new game release, maybe take a step back and go do something you DO enjoy instead. Take that split second to say “Does the world need to hear this shit?” before you start posting away, cause guess what? The world does NOT need to hear your shit, cause the world (and yourself) has better shit to do and VASTLY larger shit to be concerned with. Chill the fuck out and let something be awesome today. Now, do it right fucking now. Crank your favorite song, play a rad new game, grab a book you’ve never heard, write your fucking congress-person- whatever it is, just do something that you might find some joy in cause it’ll spread. We have a fighting chance somewhere in there of being less divided amongst our respective subcultures and worlds but we have to stop beating everything down first. You can do it, I believe in you even though you’re an asshole.

“Something kinda sad about the way that things have come to be. Desensitized to everything, what became of subtlety?”- Tool/”Stinkfist”

AJH

A brand new blog/website where this happily married, 30-something father of 2 little minions rants, raves, and reviews video games. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com

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