My Generation

I'm stumped. Confused. Paranoid. Overanalyzing. I just don't know what to do anymore, in more ways than one - actually, in more ways than I care to divulge. The new White Stripes album, Get Behind Me Satan, is not helping right now because I feel like Satan has really gotten behind me. I don't even really believe in him, and yet he has never been more on my team. Thanks a lot, Jack.

And in the meantime I'm trying to write a personal statement for this California Library Association fellowship. With two solicited letters of recommendation ready to go with my application materials, I thought the hard part ("Will you please write nice things about me so I can try to win some extra money for grad school? You don't have to mean it or anything. You don't even have to do it if you don't want to. I mean, why do I think I can win this anyway? What's wrong with me? Nevermind! What? Oh, you'll do it? Wow, thanks."), was over, but no. The personal statement is supposed to sell my career plans as a librarian in an inspiring valedictorian kind of way. As fast as I could think "fuck that," I started writing something that resembles a manic introductory meeting speech for Overzealous Free Speech Advocates Anonymous, which I might finish when I actually do form OFSAA, but for now I should probably just focus on getting a sober personal statement in by the deadline.

You know that Who song, "My Generation"? Sure you know it. But do you really know it? A hard-charging hybrid of call-and-response and heavy pre-punk blues, its lyrics come from the same bitter energy that irks authority without inciting a doomed revolution. "People try and put us down, just because we get around. The things they do look awful cold. I hope I die before I get old." The us vs. them imagery is both daunting and strikingly attractive, but it's lost on my generation. We're too lazy to get around. We're bored of being boring so we do all the same exciting, new, and different things. We do expensive drugs in designer clothes. We drink jacked up coffee with five shots of Red Bull. We watch WWF and Oprah as wastes of celluloid and millions of dollars blow up in flames for our passive enjoyment. We workaholic our way into careers we hate that we pretend to love. We starve ourselves to look better because we look better when we starve ourselves. We look down upon poverty, but we look up to celebrity. We don't watch or read the news because it's too depressing but we're on anti-depressants because of our own self-pity. We take comfort in material things because they protect us from identity theft, but we're all guilty of spending what we can't afford. We derive acceptance out of empty words, signifiers for the masses, cash coups for the signs, these unattainable catch phrases doomed to sit in detention outside my vocabulary while I hold a crack pipe ready to inhale the ridiculousness of the moment, struggling to come to terms with tomorrow. Yes, I'm generalizing again, perhaps a bit too judgmentally, but a girl in my present state of mind can afford to ramble on with the full intent of shamefully taking this post down after Pandora reveals her true feelings. I guess how I really feel about my generation can be summed up in the worst line of "My Generation": "Not trying to cause a big sensation. Just talking bout my generation." Tongue-in-cheek lyric or not, of course we're not trying to cause a big sensation. That would defeat the purpose of contentment. This line represents a total cop-out, a pussy of a reassurance, as if letting Big Brother know that it's okay to keep on watching us. We'll just keep talking, and you just keep on policing our thoughts. Sensations just don't happen in this society of restraint and comfort, so have a nice restrained and comfortable life without me.


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