generation y give a shit?

there's nothing more depressing than getting up to go to work when it's still dark outside, and then getting off work... and it's still dark outside. during the winter, if you work a 9-5 job, chances are, you missed the day. in my case, it's even worse because i work 10 hour days, so it wasn't until last saturday that i could finally still see daylight when i got off work. the streets were bathed with this eerie, sundown glow where everything was golden, from the buildings to the streets to the cars. it's then that it occurred to me more than ever, that working in a cubicle for 10 hours a day isn't right.

humans weren't meant to live this way.

it's no wonder that a generation of people, my generation, those on the tail end of so-called generation x, a generation possibly even more vacuous and directionless than those who were firmly at the heart of generation x in the 1990's, are basically going nuts. we're freaking out, having mid-life crisis before we're thirty. some of us even still live with our parents, while others return to school in a vain attempt to escape our failures in the working world. it's a mad, mad world out there, and we don't want any part of it. it's just easier to stay at home, play xbox and masturbate.

of course i'm generalizing here, but you get my drift: live to work, work to live. but where's the living? somewhere along the line that part of the equation got lost. it's more like live to work, work to exist. to eat. but existence isn't living. existence is just taking up space.

and what is there to look forward to? an existence of botox injections and organic consumption? is that what our claim to fame is going to be? to be proud that we eat organic food when in reality the types of toxins in every day life, in your home, in the atmosphere, in your clothes sort of negates anything you do? sure, that person who works out all the time and always eats organic foods may be in better shape than you, but does it mean they'll live longer than you because you eat genetically modified foods (the vast majority of foods these days)? hardly. trust me... in the end, the worms aren't going to care what you put into your body. dead meat is dead meat. and does it mean they're less toxic than you? if they live in a major urban centre, they're walking toxic bags of flesh just like you. the good thing, is our bodies have adapted and despite all of that, we still live longer than we used to.

sixty years ago, that generation beat hitler. the boomers after that lived through the cold war and beat the soviet union. the bulk of generation x... well, they sort of existed and are now only reaping most of the benefits of what the boomers paved the way for. plus, they had that movie, reality bites. you know, the one where ethan hawke is a bum and ben stiller was just starting to annoy the shit out of everyone. that movie basically sums up that generation perfectly: overrated. but us? those at the tail end of generation x... those 'twixters' or 'boomer-rang kids' who still live with our parents, or who are still trying to find our way and discover who we are when we're in our late twenties... what is our claim to fame?

is it to defeat terrorism? right. if you believe that we'll defeat terrorism the way were going about it now, you've got delusions, because i'll tell you right now, you don't defeat terrorism with bombs and bullets. yes, you kill flesh and blood terrorists that way, but you don't solve the problem. you kill one terrorist, another three pop up on their place. the only real way to solve it is to chip away at the root causes of terrorism, being social and civil inequalities as just one of many institutional reasons. this is a man-made problem, and one that can be fixed - or more realistically, maintained - just not how we're currently doing it.

what about the environment? are we poised to make the ultimate paradigm shift of this and any other generation when it comes to consumption and the relationship with the earth? it doesn't matter how you look at it, but we only have one earth. whether you believe in global warming or not, we only have one home. and despite what science fiction writers may like to propose, the future of inhabiting other planets is a pipe dream. if we can barely land a rover on mars, the chances of us relocating the human population to another planet is nowhere near remotely possible right now.

so we need to fix what we have. but the problem is, are you sacrificing enough? certainly, sold my car in favor of the bus. i rollerblade to the grocery store, i consume far less than i have in the past by purchasing only what i need, i recycle, i changed all the lights in my apartment to energy efficient ones... but i could probably do more. none of what i have done has hampered my lifestyle any. and there's where the fear is with trying to be environmental... people don't want to give up their lifestyles. but the truth is, if we're going to change things, we need to really sacrifice. that means that buying a fuel efficient car is not something to be proud of if in reality, you can take the bus or bike to work and you just don't want to.

this problem is obviously bigger than the individual. it's something where the excuse of just not wanting to or not feeling like it isn't going to cut it anymore. so our generation has a shot at changing things, or setting a new precedent in the way we think about how we live and consume in our lives. if nothing else, riding a bike to work should help you lose weight, and we all know how much of a concern weight is in our society. look at it this way: you and your granola crunching, organic food loving neighbor will ultimately face the same fate in the end. at least if you're trying to be environmental and riding that bike to work, you'll not only help reduce the dependence on foreign oil, (which helps fight terrorism) but you'll also leave a good looking corpse. and really, that's all that matters to us, isn't it? to just look good doing whatever it is that we're doing.

it may not be as glorifying as taking down the kaiser or knocking off hitler... but at least it's something. it sure beats simply existing.

here is the latest clip of bill maher and the gang discussing global warming and the act of sacrifice: