Panic over decimals in the unemployment rate. Feeling superior to homeless people on the train. Insurmountable college debt. All for what? Taking a million smoke breaks to avoid doing any work? Extra-long lunches for the same reason? We watch people become legitimately famous the Courtney Stodden way, then go to some fucking office to rot away. Why do you think some of the best art is about the never-ending droll of existence? It's enough to make you do drugs every weekend so you can momentarily forget just how much of your life is dedicated to amassing someone else's fortune. And yet we return day after day, in a futile attempt to amass our own.
And damn, if you keep grinding, sure, the money does get better. You can go from an unpaid internship to barely being able to cover your rent with a month’s worth of checks to having rent only take up, like, maybe 20% of one. And that's nice and you get to flourish and buy expensive denim and lease a luxury vehicle and take your girlfriend to $400 dinners and only half flinch when the check comes. But that's never really enough.
You stay at your job because you keep convincing yourself that the pay and the perks that come with it should satisfy you, and, even if they don't, how dare you be such an ungrateful bastard and complain about the fact that you lead a secure lifestyle with guaranteed income while millions of those less fortunate than you pine for an existence that remotely approaches yours. But as secure as this lifestyle may be, it's not natural. It wasn’t always this way for mankind.
We thrive on the hunt and the fight or flight mechanism that slowly erodes the longer we become chained to a desk. An acknowledgement of privilege doesn't eradicate our dissatisfaction. None of that can kill the primal pulse within us that aches for something more. Something greater. A purpose that can never be fulfilled in a swivel chair, staring at a monitor. You spent all of those fucking years in school to do more than this. And the people doing more are constantly shoved in your face. Young Thug doesn't give a fuck about societal constructs and now he's BFF with Birdman and an impending multimillionaire. Mark Zuckerberg said fuck the system and now he's the youngest billionaire ever because he invented some stupid site that you deleted your profile off of four years ago. You're as smart and talented and goddamn instinctive as any of those motherfuckers, but here you are, in the office, eating snacks, getting fat like the rest of the country, being boring, sucking and having the goddamn life sucked out of you.
Your parents did this very same bullshit so that you could have greater opportunities and go be on the cover of magazines or in commercials and say some shit about how awesome you are, but instead you just make those magazines and commercials and put other humans who are your equal up on a pedestal and then brag about your life that secretly sucks to a few thousand followers in order to validate yourself. But the reality is: You're not shit, and you know it. And it's confirmed every time you walk into that office for another awful day of helping someone who is the shit further distance themselves from plebeians like you.
What are you actually producing? What are you actually experiencing?
Every day you dream of throwing caution to the wind and saying fuck everything and making that movie or building that app or painting that canvas or whatever the fuck your dream is, but it's distorted by the fact that, like so many other motherfuckers following their "dreams," you might just be a talentless hack who is clogging up the thoroughfares of society and you better hold onto your job because people are paying you a lot of money to bullshit your way through meetings and pretend like you even know what the fuck it is you're talking about and ignore emails on the weekend and maybe that's not so fucking bad.
But in your heart you know the miserable truth. You call your mom to tell her that you just got some stupid promotion or whatever and it's so sad that you actually, in a non-meme driven sad boys way, want to cry because, wow, she fucking gave birth to you and is so proud that you're "happy" and surviving on your own, but, damn, you actually feel like shit and know that all of this is meaningless.
And, let's be real, that "promotion" is just another excuse for The Man to give you more work and more responsibilities over something that you already don't even remotely care one iota about. The additional money that comes with it is negligible. Its purpose is to simply keep you satiated in the cog. At best, even with a substantial raise, all you're really getting is more money to buy more expensive denim and more drugs and more $400 dinners for your girlfriend. Maybe you'll even go to Europe. Big fucking deal. What are you actually producing? What are you actually experiencing?
Right now all you can think about is people asking you how your fucking weekend was a thousand times on Monday. Or how you'd rather have the elevator close on your head and decapitate you in violent fashion in front of your co-workers because that would be more entertaining than making small talk with them on the elevator one more fucking time. Or squeezing into a fucking subway car like an animal with a bunch of other stupid animals going to their stupid jobs. All you really want is to give up this bullshit and, no matter how stupid your dreams may be, you're gonna follow them and starve if need be because you don't want to—and can't—look back in 10 years wondering where the fuck your life even went.
Then, it's the middle of the month and you check your online banking statement and see that fat ass direct deposit check and think, "Fuck, I could really use another one of those. The revolution can wait." And you go back to work.