I’m not a time zone expert but I’m fairly certain it’s some form of Sunday night pretty much everywhere. All across the world (give or take an island or two) the sun is getting low, the stars are coming out, and another Sunday is coming to a close. You’ve had a couple days to just be a person, or you have kids which is a WHOLE different story- but still, it was the weekend and right about now it’s that time where most working adults realize that the inevitability of Monday is upon them. Some of you happy, well-adjusted grown-ups are invigorated and ready to meet the start of the week with on-tap enthusiasm and glee. None of you are reading this though, unless you are– in which case (sidenote) I’d love to find out what the well-adjusted think of my writing so feel free to comment if you’re one of those rarest of unicorns.
“Looks like someone’s got a case of the SHUT THE FUCK UP’s!”
Nope, the truth is, most of us are sitting in our houses, our apartments, or our “I’m only living with my parents to save up some $” situations and we’re not particularly elated at the prospect of another Monday. Some of us are getting some pretty bad anxiety right about now in fact, some of us are scared, and some of us are facing down some shit that makes all of the rest of our shit look like a fucking cakewalk. Some of us hate our jobs, some of us are losing our jobs, and some of us are trying to figure out how to start a business.
Some of us are parents, some of us WANT to be parents, and some of us are dealing with the fact that we CAN’T be parents. Some of us have sick children in hospitals and my heart bleeds for you, some of us are clawing our way out of abusive relationships and tomorrow just might be THE DAY we get the fuck out for good, and some of us are reaching 30-something and wondering just what the fuck we’re doing entirely.
Some of us are scarred from things long past, some of us are freshly wounded, and some of us just can’t take any more of this shit. Some of us are depressed beyond measure, some of us are cripplingly insecure, and some of us are hiding it all under a smile cause we don’t have a fuck of a lot of choice. We are adults and we get up, we get dressed, and we go to fuckin’ work.
I know this, because this is ME. This is YOU. This is EVERYONE. Outside of that small handful of seemingly-perfect American Psychos and Mean Girls, we’re all feeling the same thing right now. I know it because I’ve lived it, my wife has lived it, and everyone we know is living it too. Our money goes less far every year, our work/life balance is fucked, and we’re living in a frankly fucking terrifying world where uncertainty is as common as cocaine in a 1980’s boardroom. Fear rules everything, happiness is an afterthought, and nothing is ever enough, for anyone.
Fuck off Veruca, you don’t just GET a golden goose.
We’re all sitting here, right now, thinking about what we have to do tomorrow, where we have to go tomorrow, and how much fucking BULLSHIT we’re gonna have to deal with tomorrow too. Maybe you’re stuck in a dead-end job and trying like hell to find your way out. Maybe you’re no good at serving other people’s dreams and you’re desperately trying to build something of your own. Maybe you’re trying to overcome addiction, mental health issues, or any number of difficulties and you’re doing your best to just get through the day without falling apart.
I know this, again, because it is me. I have been all of these things, I AM all these things cause I’m still in it. You’re not reading the words of a “made man” sitting in his mansion typing out some bullshit while he counts the checks and laughs his way to the bank, I’m in the fuckin’ trenches just like you. We’re full-on working parents and I’m the one I mentioned above trying to carve his own path and build a business out of thin air. And a difficult one at that, cause there’s a million and a half writers out there trying to do the same exact thing. Some of them are shit, but a lot of them are great, and probably a lot greater than me most likely. That’s not fishing, it’s just the facts.
Kill your ego, it doesn’t like you anyway.
All I have is myself, and the knowledge that I feel like I deserve my time to be heard. That’s all you have too, this world is a desolate landscape of liars, thieves, and snakes around every corner and YOURSELF is the only thing you can truly hold on to. I’m talking about the things that make you YOU. Your integrity, your heart, your word. Your inner beauty, your quiet longing, your unfinished novel you’ve sworn to finish for the past 10 years. How you treat children, how you respect your elders, how you choose to leave the world every day. It’s who we are when we lay our heads down at night, THAT’S what we have. Nobody can take that away from you, they can try, but you have to fight.
So, what’s your deal? What’s got YOUR stomach in knots this Sunday night? Is it the job? The shitty boss? The awful fucking coworkers? The thought of ANOTHER fucking holiday potluck? Or, is it the drive? The long drive, the fucking traffic, the kid kicking your seat cause the drive is too long and you ran out of Cheez-Its 6 miles back? All of the above?
It’s all power, it’s what everything comes down to. I’m nearly constantly yammering on about “power”, because it’s a fucking illusion and it is something that eats away at us from the inside out, every day of our lives. The idea that people and situations have power over us, the idea that jobs have power over us, the idea that just about fucking EVERYTHING has power over us- it’s self-defeating and it has NO place in a happy and well-god damn-adjusted society. We let these fucking corporate pigs have power over us, we indenture ourselves to capitalism and give the almighty dollar power over us, and we give anyone with a bigger paycheck or bigger muscles or bigger square footage the power to make us feel “less-than” every waking minute of our lives.
Not fucking ME.
Nope, I don’t fucking do it anymore. I want to keep MY power, MY happiness, and MY destiny in MY fucking control. It ain’t always easy, and sometimes the world can sneak the fuck up on me, but I do my absolute best every day to keep my power in ME. The problem is, we’re all conditioned from childhood to be ruled, to submit to authority, and to settle for drastically less than happiness if it means 3,500 square feet in the right neighborhood with the right schools. We get up every day, go to jobs we don’t want to do, for money that seems to depreciate faster than that Range Rover you just had to have did when you drove it off the fucking lot.
We’re told to be obedient workers, productive members of society, and upstanding members of a society that threw happiness out the fucking window decades ago. It’s not even ABOUT being happy, it’s about making money to fuel the fucking machine. The system. The eternal nightmare we created and now live and die by. It is suffocating, it is ever-present, and it’s ruining us because we let it. Sure, we all need money, security, and all that jazz- but does it really mean we have to roll over like a fucking dog cause everyone says so? Fuck that, I’d rather you just fucking shoot me. If we would just STOP giving it away, the power would be all ours for the using. That’s what needs to happen to fix this shit, and we can do it dammit.
God damn right we can.
I’m not sitting here on a fucking soapbox, I’m sitting here screaming at the top of my metaphorical lungs cause I want YOU to know that YOU are not alone. Not by a long shot. You are not alone, you are stronger than you think you are, and this scumbag society doesn’t deserve to GET you like this. The Ghost Generation exists because I want you all, everyone who is reading these words, to understand that we’re all dealing with this shit, we are all hurting in our own way, and we can ALL find our way out of the dead soul of the old sun into the light of something brighter, and kinder.
It’s probably fucking CRAZY for me to be doing what I’m doing, I know that, and I’m OK with it. I’m almost 40 and a lot of things I’ve tried haven’t really worked out. Musician? I’m a great songwriter but what I enjoy writing is 10 minute long guitar symphonies like Tool and The Velvet Underground got in a fight with Tori Amos and Debussy at Prince’s house and the sound it makes is beautiful to ME- but it’s probably not for the masses. Being in a band? Shitty at that too, I either want too much control over the vision or I concurrently become party monster and end up acting like a B-grade Sid Vicious thus ruining the whole damn thing for everyone. Radio? That was a journey fraught with peril and I made a lot of rash and just plain fucking stupid decisions that brought that to a close earlier than it should have, but probably precisely when it needed to at the same time.
What does “well-adjusted” even look like? Fucking boring, that’s what.
Now, after quite a few years out there in NormalsVille, I’m realizing that I’m just not meant to fit in the corporate landscape of America. Shocking, I know. I’m just not fucking made for it, I stand against nearly everything “they” stand for, and I just can’t take much more of being a cog in the ever-churning misery machine of American capitalism. I have no interest in your products, I have no interest in your pridefulness, and I have no interest in toiling for a pittance while someone else takes the spoils. I want something that is MINE, that I AM in control of, and that allows me to shape MY OWN DESTINY the way I see fit. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t know every detail that will make it a success, but I know that I haven’t felt this electric in a LONG time and I plan to ride the wave til the motherfucker crashes cause that’s the ONLY way to fucking live, love, and get through this life. Find something that ignites that spark inside of you? Grab it, hold on tight, and fucking RUN with it. See where it goes, don’t be stupid, and take a fucking chance on something. Take a fucking chance on something before you run out of time- cause you will. We ALL do.
This is NOT a dress rehearsal.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that as long as something won’t immediately kill you, or cause imminent homelessness, you should fucking go for it without question, hesitation, or guilt. I don’t think we’re MEANT to sit under fluorescent lights all day, taking orders from other humans who are just as clueless as us, and performing mind-numbing tasks to serve an invisible bottom line we never manage to see or benefit from outside of the bread crumbs we catch on the way down. I think we’re meant to live like fucking meteors, flaming our way across the sky and exploding in a bright green flash of awesomeness. I think we are meant to love with a fire and passion that shit like fear and doubt are too weak to touch, and I think it doesn’t matter WHAT that looks like. I think we should be ourselves LOUDLY and not give a FUCK what anyone thinks about it. I think we should live in a world where the shit we tell our kids stands even a passing chance at becoming real. “You can be anything you want” should be a fucking attainable thing, if you show up and put in the work the sky should be the fucking limit.
You’re gonna be a STAAAH, kid.
Nobody is going to make your dreams come true, I don’t care who they are or what they claim. It’s on you, just like THIS is on me. If you have a little hustle in you, something that gets you jazzed, and a heart that isn’t made of black sludgy goo- you should reasonably be able to make some magic happen. This world doesn’t always want to allow it, but you gotta press on, and you gotta keep going. This world wants to keep us all in their fucking boxes, working to make money to buy their products, that’s ALL it is. Don’t give away your power by believing anything else, “they” don’t give a FUCK about you- so it’s gotta start with you. You have to be willing and able to hear a shitload of NO on the way to that far-off YES, you have to find the strength to put in the endless hours it takes to hone a craft, and you have have to dig deep inside yourself to find the parts you know you have but hide pretty damn well too. You don’t have to live in their boxes, and that freedom will look different to everyone, but you have to do the work.
“What are you gonna do, shop at the mall and eat at Wendy’s til the end of time?”- George Carlin
Hate that fuckin’ job? Start looking for another one. Period. Polish up that dusty resume, get a friend to help if you need to (payment in beer usually helps), and make some forward progress. You’ll find that your shitty situation takes on a whole new feeling when you’re taking steps to change it. It might not happen right away, but if you go after what you want (and what you fucking DESERVE) it will empower you in ways you didn’t think possible. Maybe you’re like me and you want to strike out on your own? It ain’t easy by a long shot, but it can be done. My worst enemy? My own fucking head. It’ll tell me shit like “Why does anyone need your perspective?” and “There’s a million other writers out there, what’s so fucking special about you?” and “You’re not the person that gets to do this, you’re total fucking shit!”. My internal dialogue is a murderous, disgusting bastard and I fight his ass every minute of every day. Truth is, I DO deserve this. I DO deserve my time to be heard. I DO deserve to take a stab at building a community of like-minded people who feel a little less shitty cause they know they’re not alone in this world. And, I’m willing to fight to make it happen, whatever it takes.
Fuck it Dude, let’s go bowling. (not really, you have work to do!)
That fight? It’s in fucking ALL of us, we’ve just been beaten into submission by this god awful consumer culture that keeps us working and working and working and working. That same culture that has YOU sitting there on your couch right now, dreading the new day before its even started. Cursing tomorrow’s sun before the moon his risen tonight. I get it, because I’m right there with you. You’re not alone by a million miles, cause like I said earlier- outside of that teeny-tiny fraction of us who front like we have it all figured out, we are ALL feeling the “holy fuck tomorrow is Monday” feeling and knowing that in itself is power. We have strength in numbers, we are armed with the truth, and we are awake where others are dead asleep. We know what fucking time it is and we’re sick of settling for less-than. It’s OUR fucking turn, and all we have to do is STOP LETTING PEOPLE SHIT ON US. That’s it, we just have to take charge, take some steps forward, and take our lives the fuck back from this red-state hamster wheel apocalypse we’re all trying to drink away every god damn night.
Whatever that may be for you, it is yours to manifest. New job, new business, starting a band, starting a podcast, writing a book, writing a play, writing a letter to someone you’ve been putting off for a few years, saying something you’re afraid to say, loving someone freely without fear, finding that fucking fire inside YOUR self and letting that shit burn baby burn. Life doesn’t have a fucking Hollywood ending, we’re all ground-bound for fuck’s sake, and it comes faster than we’ll ever realize til we get there, so we have to fucking LIVE. No regrets, no fucking apologies, no “yes sir, sorry sir”- life, on OUR fucking terms. Turn those Sunday blues into MONDAY FUNDAY, it’ll take time and it’ll take pain- but it’s there for us, we just gotta take it.
If I can NOT feel like shit on a daily basis, you stand a pretty fucking good shot yourself. I’m a mess.
One of my favorite movies of all time is a slightly under-the-radar gem from the 90’s called Pump up The Volume. Christian Slater played a shy, kinda bullied kid who started a pirate radio station to help other kids feel less alone. In the process, he uncovered a whole lot of messed up shit going on at the school he went to and it was all very teen-angsty and “damn the man” kind of stuff and it resonated with me like a fucking atomic bomb blast back then. It still holds up too, and the soundtrack was fucking excellent to boot (Concrete Blonde, Leonard Cohen, the Dead Milkmen, The Pixies, etc.-fucking fantastic). There were these scenes where they would cut to different kids in their various rooms, all tuned in to that same pirate radio station at the same time. All feeling alone, all dealing with their own traumas, and all feeling a little less alone because they knew they weren’t the only ones listening. I may not always have my fucking thoughts together, I may have the most toilety of toilet mouths, and I might go off on a million tangents before I make a fucking lick of sense- but I have one genuine hope and/or dream for this thing, The Ghost Generation, and it’s very simple. I just want to help YOU guys feel a little less alone, just like those scenes from that silly movie I love so much. To know that for even a small handful of seconds some of you are in YOUR rooms, or offices, or up on the fucking roof and you know that you’re not the only one reading and feeling the way you do- that’s what this is to me, that’s what I strive for with every post, and that’s why I’m riding this wave until it crashes like it owes me fucking money. This is my life, this is your life, and we deserve to make it look however we want it to look.
Please, if you’re feeling those Sunday blues right now just do this one thing for me. Sit back a second and close your eyes. take a couple deep breaths and really center yourself for a second. Now, what is it you see? What’s that thing that’s getting your heart rate going? What’s that thing you can JUST see out of the corner of your soul? What’s that vision you’ve had since you were 13? Got it? GOT IT?
Good, now your homework for this week is to hold on to that thing, and just take ONE step to make it happen. It doesn’t have to be a huge grandiose, “boom box on the shoulders” kinda thing- just make a call, read an article, mock up a logo- whatever. I PROMISE you’ll feel it in your bones, a seismic shift, forward motion- and those Sunday blues will start to be a little less loud. Your spirit will take control of the volume knob and you’ll see. I really hope you do, future you will thank you for it. Present you will be pretty fucking stoked too.
“But I won’t bleed for you, I’ve no need for you, death will be the day I concede to you.“-Propagandhi/“Who Will Help Me Bake This Bread?”
A brand new blog/website where this happily married, 30-something father of 2 little minions rants, raves, and speaks in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together!http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration