I walk down 66th and spot a quarter at my step.
Back in ’69, that’d buy you a pack of cigs, a carton of eggs, a loaf of bread, or two pounds of sugar.
The population of the USA was 202,677,000, and you could buy some sick wheels for only two grand.
In ’69, you’d average a wage of a buck sixty an hour, could see The Beatles live one last time, and get high at Woodstock.
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” became engraved in our brains and our textbooks, and we’d study them in our military jackets, typical hippie iron-on patches decorating us with birds, wild colors, and peace signs.
Jefferson Airplane and The Flying Burrito Brothers were bands you’d pay to see at festivals, and you’d bond with the fans over your common interests in music, not over Louis Vuitton handbags and which celebrity you want to fuck.
You see, I think I was born in the wrong time because
Even though the Manson family was plotting Tate’s demise,
I would have been able to appreciate the stars in the skies,
Let it die, blotted out with pollution of city lights and jet-planes
I’d have been diving into Bukowski’s newest pages, Lovecraft inspiring me to daydream and build castles in the air of Cthulhu.
We instagram our dishes, our shoes, and pets, never-ending newsfeed containing hundreds of selfies at awkward angles, sending best wishes to those we won’t put 100k on our car to see because we’re… ‘broke’.
We shout over console headsets
Because we can prove we’re the best
At moving our thumbs in perfect rhythm and just in time to shoot them dead
These 12 year olds will grow up in a virtual reality where violence is key, where Mommy and Daddy throw frozen boxes in the microwave for dinner
And we stare at tiny glowing screens to feel some sort of happiness because we’re ashamed of ourselves.
We’re too stressed and too overwhelmed and too, too, too…
with the reality we’re submersed in to face what’s in front of us,
So we medicate.
We medicate with technology, using what we can to consume our thoughts,
An escapism at best, an addiction at worst,
And we plead with each other and pretend to know the meanings of abuse and neglect and cowardice, but become silent when we’re the ones who need to slip away for a little bit and ignore the noise in the background.
The progression is frightening.
Take a look.
If you’ll see on this graph, we forgot how to laugh,
We can’t remember which path to take, what’s right from wrong,
where our morals should lie in our minds
and our hearts
Let’s tear this apart, I’ll break it down;
Here’s a math problem for you:
If Jane has fifty dollars, and she spends twenty on gas,
what does she have left?
Jane has two hungry kids who have to consume plastic-flavored noodles for dinner while she drinks a tall glass of water, feeling her stomach growl, and tells herself it’s okay.
Jane has creditors harassing her daily to pay her cards minimum due,
Multi-million dollar companies threatening to turn the power off
On a single mother who can’t afford daycare or to stay home, so
What’s the solution?
X+X still = 0
Can I please just go back in time?
Back when things were…quieter.
Back to when the pharmacist wasn’t feeding me maximum doses of Zoloft daily, throwing Clonazepam down my throat, expecting that a band-aid like this will fix my head. It won’t.
I still feel darkness. I still feel alone. I still feel sadness and emptiness.
I still have anxiety attacks so extreme that I’m puking in the toilet and can’t eat.
But the industry still gets its 15 Billion a year, selling quick-fixes in plastic orange bottles and blister-packs.
A 400% rise in anti-depressant use isn’t RIGHT.
If anything, it’s ALARMING.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t take your meds, I’m not some holistic-enforcing-hippie, telling you that you can just eat flower petals to cure your mental disorder (This isn’t Don’t Starve).
What I’m getting at is,
Can we just look around at the causes of this epidemic?
Can we shrink the world around us
Instead of shrinking ourselves to nothing?