Friday, July 30, 2010

My generation.

When I was a kid I thought I was Generation X. I didn't really understand what it meant, I just knew it sounded cool and my cool uncle, eight years older than me, was Gen X so naturally, I was too. It wasn't until I actually mentioned our supposed mutual membership to my uncle in a moment of comradeship that I became aware of my misperception.

I'm not really sure even today what I am. Gen Y? Is there a Gen Z? What will they call my kids' generation? Will they just wrap around and go to Gen AA? These are questions I'd like answered before I procreate.

Whatever generation I am, what I really don't understand is the type of people I'm supposed to be identifying with at my age. I feel like they're 90% liberal. Which isn't really a problem for me, except when they get all militant about it--and many do--and act like anyone who doesn't vote Democrat has an IQ of 12 and webbed feet. I hate that. And like half of them, at least, are atheists. I can respect atheism in principle. What I can't respect is treating non-atheists like crap for not agreeing with your point of view. Or acting like someone believing in something you can't see is reason to recommend their abstinence for the sake of the children. People believe in things they can't see all the time. And yes, I understand that the difference is consistency in the predicted results of the consequences and behavior of experiments blah blah, doesn't matter. Have some respect for people you don't agree with. Practically nothing bothers me more than undeserved disrespect.

My generation also voted almost exclusively for Obama. That's fine, but now that all their misguided messianic hopes and dreams are crumbling before their eyes, they still have the nerve to pass the blame onto everyone but Obama. Nothing is his fault. He inherited every problem. He's a victim. Geez I get sick of hearing that. Own up, take some responsibility and for heaven's sake, force your president to take some responsibility.

This post wasn't to get into politics. That's actually entirely beside the point. The point is I feel like my generation is a bunch of self-congratulatory, smug jackasses who've been spoiled into thinking the world "should be" a certain way without examining how or why they came to such a conclusion or what it really means. And a little rational self-examination goes a long way. And I hate hipsters. F-ing hipsters, man.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I want to fly and run till it hurts.

It's as good a time as any.

There's a cat that lives at my apartment complex. It doesn't belong to anyone, it just hangs around outside. Even during the winter, it apparently refuses to take refuge in the homes of would-be caretakers. I respect its independence and give it a wide berth. In recent months, I would see neighbor girls trying to feed it or coax it through their doors, and I wondered why they wouldn't just leave it be. It was clearly doing just fine on its own. It sat under the overhang of the apartment stair fa├žade, occasionally scratching on the screen of the window of my bedroom in my basement apartment. It did, but now that it's warmer I don't see it, or hear it.

The other day I was contemplating, as I sometimes do, the extent to which I have not done certain things that I want or intend to do. For example, sometimes I wonder why, at 28 and being Mormon, I find myself insistently single. Why, my mother wants to know, haven't I gotten married? Other times I wonder why I haven't written a book yet. I know a lot of words, and I'm pretty good at putting them together in small groups when talking. Why no book? I wonder why, after ten years of playing, I'm not as good at the guitar as Eric Clapton. Okay well, that one's easy, he made a deal with the ghost of Robert Johnson.

I'm sitting there thinking, and I asked myself why I've never been to Australia. It's a normal question, one which every guy asks himself at one time or another. I tried to figure out what was stopping me. Clearly not familial responsibilities, as I mentioned I'm not married and all my illegitimate children can fly and don't need my help. Not money, not really. I mean, it costs money, but I did some math and figured out that I have more money than it would cost. Not time. I have enough time off saved up. Just. So I decided there was no reason not to go, and lack of obstacles is always a good enough reason to do something. I told my folks I was going to Australia. With who? I dunno. By yourself? Sure. Is that safe? It might be. When? Tomorrow, if I can. (I couldn't).

The next day I informed my co-workers I would be going to Australia within the next couple months, since flights were cheap because the weather sucks. I also told my cousin about it. I lamented the fact that he was married with two children and couldn't accompany me on my spontaneous vagrancy. He was likewise appropriately mournful. So appropriately, in fact, that that night he mentioned it to his wife. The timing couldn't have been better, as his wife was in a very wonderful mood. I imagine she asked a question like, if he weren't married, what would he do? Well, he'd go to Australia with Adam (that's me, I'm Adam). And that was that, and the two of us bought tickets and go in about three weeks.

And suddenly I realized two things: that it's a lot easier not to be married, and that I should get married for precisely that reason. But it's not that I'm hiding from it because it's difficult, no, that's not me. I'm terrified of the prospect of choosing the wrong person. That fear is legitimate because I've dated several of the wrong people and I've seen how quickly emotion twists from exhilaration to disgust and disdain and it's so, so ugly, and I have nightmares of spending eternity with a shapeless, shrieking harridan. That makes the decision difficult, because people can and do change, and often not for the better. Sometimes they don't change at all, they just reveal who they were all along. I'm not phobic about commitment. The thought of being tied down is frightening, sure, but if someone makes you happy then you're not sacrificing anything by doing what's necessary to make them happy and to be with them. And I realize that going to Australia is a poor substitute for the happiness that, I assume, you can feel in sharing yourself completely with someone you love.

But I'm still going.