“An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy stuff we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man; no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club.
Sometimes I feel like a tranquillised person. Like a very safe member of a very shallow world. The book, Brave New World, begins with,
“a harsh thin light glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some draped lay figure… but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of a laboratory.”
All polished up, all wiped down, shining in the morning sun, but entirely lacking in life and warmth, like a disinfected corpse. Sometimes that seems to me to be what suburbia is like.
Around here, life is seen as something that you do. Life is seen as a process that you are wrapped up in.
But, rather, isn’t life more like a dynamic river, coursing past a mystic bank in a magic land? Isn’t life terrible, utterly despondent, a screaming holocaust of nightmares? And isn’t life ecstasy, new birth, restoration, celebration, romance and resurrection? Isn’t it pure black, and pure white? Isn’t it a contrast, a fascination, a captivation? Not a sterile process, or a succession of to-do lists, but a supernova.
And so isn’t the greatest insult to make life grey? Is not the worst slavery to live a repetitive existence, in an unthinking march, through the daily chores, of a post-purpose world?
Isn’t this materialism nothing less than surrender?
So I think we need to escape a little bit. I think we need to fight a little rebellion. And if you can’t do it with your body, still do it with your mind. Still fight with Peter Pan. Still stand on black mountains under blue skies. Still chase the wind through the tall grass. Still be a child of free will.
“I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons, knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree.”
Because life is not meaningless, it is the grand narrative.