We Need to Get a Life

| August 21, 2013


Words by Mija Kovacic

“We have to stop consuming our culture. We have to create culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time, where you are now, is the most immediate sector of your universe. And if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, you are disempowered. You are giving it all away to icons. Icons which are maintained by an electronic media, so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion. And what is real is you and your friends, your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, and your fears. And we are told no. We’re unimportant, we’re peripheral, get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that, and then you’re a player. You don’t even want to play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. Where is that at?”

– Terrence Mckenna

It’s 2013 and Gen Y is getting a lot of shit. Apparently, we’re glued to our phones, spend more time talking online than in person, and want all of life’s luxuries without necessarily putting in the hard work. Old people hate us, and young(er) people already think we’re dropkicks and they’ve hardly started school themselves. Truth be told, I hate it. Not the criticisms, though, because quite frankly, they’re kind of right. Four-minute songs now consist of five words (if that) being repeated over and over, and they make it to number one on the charts because this is the shit that we make popular. I don’t care though; the radio makes me angry, I just don’t even turn it on anymore. That’s not what this is about, though. I’m just trying to make a point.

We Need to Get a Life

Mentally list all the things you know about. say, the situation in Egypt. Tell me some of the policies (bar those relating to asylum seekers and immigration) of the political party that you support. In Australia. I swear if you start talking about Obama and how cool he is, just staple your mouth shut. Now, mentally list all the things you know about the Kardashians. No, fuck them Amanda Bynes. Realistically, our collective problem (congratulations if you’re a special little snowflake and this doesn’t apply to you), is that we’re an all-consuming, all-demanding superficial bunch of jerks. Our attention spans being shorter, and our fingers faster (typing, you sly dogs) aren’t necessarily bad things; that’s how our world has been shaped and we’ll be leading it soon, so it makes sense that we not only function this way, but excel at it, right? We have an entire world of chaos – good and bad – around us, and we’re limiting ourselves to the least important bit of surface of it. Genuinely ask yourself why you give a shit about anything gossip magazines say. Why do you waste money on fictional writing about people you don’t know when you can create it all yourself at 10 times the quality and depth and not sell your soul to someone to have it be acknowledged?

That’s the point of this all. Create. Sell. Imagine. Do. We often emerge ourselves in the subcultures that relate to us and our interests, and consume their media or figures, making us feel like we’re a part of something. Realistically, you’re not a part of anything. You’re reading other people’s books, listening to their music, admiring their paintings, and envying their success, and you think doing that means that you’re something special too? Nope. That’s our problem; we think being artsy means liking art, and being creative means hanging lanterns in your room because you saw it on Pinterest. So, the first hundred times you tried to create something, it was a massive flop and you cried on the kitchen floor? Who cares. Keep making shit things until they stop being shit and start becoming amazing. One day you’re going to open a book, or sit in a cinema, walk into a gallery, and whatever is in front of you will be an idea that flashed into your head for a moment that you let go of. The difference is the idea in front of you is missing one small thing that you always knew would be awesome but never bothered to go out and do, or has done something different and you’re left blown away, and you’re going to sit there punching yourself in the genitals. And then what? We should let people, places, and things inspire us, but we need to stop relying on the consumption of other people’s work to make ourselves feel complete. Gen Y are labelled as mindless robots, and I swear until we stop trying to make ‘the next Perks of Being a Wallflower’ or be the next Flume or whatever, while never lifting a finger, that’s all we’ll ever be.

Read newsnot trash. Follow artists for the purpose of inspiration, not emulation. And for every bit of culture you consume, create some. I double-dare you.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: FEATURED, Serious Section, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.