Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Anarchist Luddite

Posted on February 08, 2016 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By Brian Gordon

Why are you going to school? If you’re like me, you don’t want to work crappy jobs for a while and are stoked to learn. Most of the classes I take don’t have “practical purpose,” out there in that make believe “real world.” But that’s alright with me, as I enjoy philosophy and talking about novels. My skills aren’t marketable and I’m not job hunting when I hang up my cap and gown. I’m going to live in the woods, in a yurt with my lady friend.

I suspect a lot of you are going to school in the hopes of finding a career. Is that what you really want, to be miserable like your parents? Like my man B.I.G. said, “Mo money, mo problems.” House payments, car payments, student loans. What a drag.

Living close to the bone and a life not dictated by white bread, drive-thru America, doesn’t translate into money. You’re paid in free time, which for me equals happiness. As corny as that sounds, I think it’s even more dangerous to live your life like an office drone: sleepwalking through life, with your freedom relegated to 48 hours on the weekend, where you piss back your wages on plastic crap you don’t need. You say to yourself it won’t happen to you, but the path you’re going – from high school, to college, to jobyou’ll be dead inside by age 30.

Here’s a non-radical idea: take classes you want. Not in the hopes of someday “monetizing” them but just because you like them. Some people come to college in the hopes of finding their “true passion” so they can spend a lifetime toiling at a job. Not everyone is going to realize themselves through work. We can’t all be acupuncturists or even history teachers. Why does receiving money for something validate it? There are scores of artists and musicians that never “make it” but yet they pluck away at their art because it has value to them. You should focus on what makes you happy rather than what makes you money.

We all have to eat but we don’t need to sell our souls to do it (and if you read my last column, there’s ways around paying for food.) We’re programmed to think money and in turn a lot of work, will make us happy. Depression runs rampant in this country because hopelessness thrives in dead end jobs, which is to say, most work. Humans aren’t built for streaks of 40 hour doldrums. I find I’m happiest walking in the woods with no worries, no money and no responsibilities. That’s true freedom.

America lets the chosen few make it to the top of the heap, and society holds up these examples so we may all try to claw ourselves to there some day. There’s seven billion of us in the world – quit kidding yourself that you’re middle class and going to make it to be rich if you just work hard. You’re working-poor. Accept your lot and stop playing their stupid game. The sooner you turn your back on the Ponzi scheme of the American Dreamscam, the sooner you can live exactly the life you want.

My buddy Louis dropped out of USM his senior year because he didn’t know why he was majoring in business. He traveled cross-country, living in his van and is now skiing mountains in Colorado and couldn’t be happier. He took a job doing construction to replenish his wallet but he’ll quit by the time it warms up and he hits the road again.

I’ve traveled to 25 countries with peanuts in my pocket, hitch-hiked rides in Romania and Laos, hiked the Himalayas in India, slept on beaches in Hawaii and lived in a squat in Ukraine for months, earning nothing and meeting tons of interesting people along the way. Being poor but without the noose of work around my neck has been the happiest times in my life. I live far below the poverty line and am still able to make everything I want happen.

Screw work before it screws you. Live for the day. Believe all those cliche dorm room posters, in fact buy more. Choose life over labor and get out and live damn it!

My apologies for all the quotes in this piece. Next week I’ll address language and how it’s grossly misused.

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