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Hey, you- yeah, you, kid. C’mere. I want to ask you a question. What did you learn in school? I mean really learn? What courses did you take that enhanced your intelligence, your observation skills, your ability to function in the real world? Can you write a coherent sentence and spell the words right? Can you read a book or paper and tell me what it was about and apply it to your life?

Did you learn any practical real-life stuff? Can you keep your finances straight? Avoid office gossip? Evaluate an idea and make it into a workable plan? Can you plan, set up and run something like a craft fair from the initial idea to the final distributing of money to the vendors? Can you shop for food, cook a meal from scratch, maintain a car, nurse someone who is ill, grow tomatoes, fix stuff that’s broken?

Come on- tell me: what did you really learn in college? Most of the moves in the Kama Sutra? How to cheat on tests and get the minimum amount of info needed to pass a ‘boring’ course? How to wheedle your professor into giving you a better grade? Where to buy term papers? How to look alert after partying all weekend? What drinks to drink? What car to drive? What clothes to wear? What music movies and TV shows are ‘cool’ and which ones are not? What the largest number of credit cards is that you can have at one time, and max out? How to ‘erase’ your bad debts so you can start the whole thing again?

Did you get your money’s worth? Will your education that you or your parents worked and saved so long to give you be valuable to you in the future, or will it be a waste of time?

Do you feel human yet? Have you suffered failure or defeat or exhaustion or humiliation? Do you feel like you were sucked into the maw of academia, stripped of any motivation of your own, fed a rote list of names, dates, theories, facts, and probably some fallacies, and shat out with a predetermined list of Ways to Be?

I hate to break it to you, but you were. Now you have to unlearn all that. Everything you know is wrong. It’s going to take a painful few years of rough going as you learn how the Real World works, but you’re not in college any more, kiddo. This is another planet. There might be people around who will read your sheepskin as proof that you can shell out big bucks to prove that you can fill in squares, but what is it really worth? They’ll look at that and say, hey, this kid has filled in the squares, let’s stick him into a cubicle! Is this what you want? Can you think for yourself- I mean really? Can you see the barracuda waiting out there ready to rip into your tender hatchling shell? Are you savvy enough to avoid its maw, or are you going to meekly or resignedly put on your corporate drag and slave away in that cubicle for the McMansion and the SUV and some day wonder what happened to your soul?

I am not a radical or a reactionary- they are just as misleading as the Suits are- worse, even, because they advocate anarchy and violence to get their points across. It isn't street protests or bombs that will get us human again- it’s ordinary people who think and quietly act. There are people who look at the sad state of our culture and realize that the Emperor is stark butt naked. People like me – and maybe even you, if I’ve kept your interest this far- who are practically invisible to Corporate culture, but whisper ‘psst’ into ears that are still capable of hearing, and brains which haven’t yet ossified into breeding apes who want a bigger banana tree. People who will show you that your North Dallas McMansion is uninhabitable, and that your car is your true home. People who will rip the blinders off your eyes and show you the soulless ugliness of rubber-stamped Strip Mall America, and demonstrate to you that the corporate vision of the ‘American Dream’ is really a trap and a nightmare to keep you enslaved to them. They’ll put the shackles on at a low introductory rate, but shoot it up to 23% if you’re 5 minutes late with a payment. And they’ll take away your home, your job, and maybe even your life if you try to go bankrupt on them. Sign on that dotted line, and you’ve sold your soul to the Devil. And you know what is said about the Devil and his due…

People like me will show you that corporate logos are 21st century slave brands. And that the ‘God’ whose foot our One Nation is under is Mammon, who is the Almighty Dollar. We’ll demonstrate that pop music is little more than carefully crafted noise, and is as far from real music as the shower singer is from the opera diva. We will make you cry. We will make you angry. We will make you think, see, and wake up to the real world, and show you that behind all this sham and fakery and barker racket of America ™; there still is an ancient and sacred land who will speak to those who can still listen, and show its beauties to those who still have eyes to see. Psst! Look at that butterfly- yeah, the one hovering around the discarded drink cup…

Look at that bloated demon Greed behind the curtain. He can’t even move, he’s so bloated with mega mergers and corporate takeovers. Look at him manipulate what people see, read, and hear. Watch him slowly suck the life out of people’s souls, and encourage them to breed more. Buy more. Want more.

Psst- kid: The world is still ours- it isn’t too late- yet. All this ‘American dream’ ™ stuff is an illusion. You’re dreaming if you think you can actually succeed in the world as it is. It can’t be done if you play by their rules. Time to wake up, and really live. I dare you.

2001 by Lorie A. Johnson

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