I live, I love, I photoshop, I am content.
It’s not about the Photoshop. It’s about sending a message.
“We are the middle children of history. Born too late to explore the world, born to early to explore the galaxy.”
“Born just in time to browse dank memes.”
1 Fantastic news for everyone born after 1988: salvation has a cut-off date. I’d like to be the first to announce that instead of 2015, we have entered Year Zero. It’s not just a new year. It’s a new century, a new system, and a new religion. Everything that’s happened before this year is meaningless.
2 Other people, older people, were responsible for all that bullshit. They didn’t understand what they were doing to the world—and more importantly, to us—and when they finally do us all a favor and die, so too will die their bullshit. Infallible as we are, it should not be too much of an issue to free ourselves from their example.
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“New Year, New You!” the mediocre wit repeats between mouthfuls of diet pills. As the hung-over marketers of the world slowly recover from their holiday binges, hearing these words serves as a spot of joy as the blinding sun and their own throbbing heads betray them. A tagline that customers internalize is nice, but a tagline that customers mimic as if they came up with it themselves is a genuine branding miracle.
Playing against type, I’m not opposed to New Year’s Resolutions as a concept, or even particularly annoyed by the social media downpour. I pride myself on consistency. I can’t rail against America’s constant celebration of mediocrity in one breath and condemn the only holiday tradition geared towards self-improvement in the next. That’s a formula for stress, and my blood pressure is already close enough to making my heart imitate a hand grenade. Sure, most resolutions fail with the grace of a sumo wrestler on Quaaludes, but that’s less the fault of the tradition and more the fault of the average American’s paper-thin willpower.
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Honesty is a disability. The honest are at a terminal disadvantage in their careers, love lives, and ability to get away with high-profile crimes. We all feel the urge to strangle the occasional vagrant, but only the compulsively honest are guaranteed to get caught. If diversity was essential to the Renaissance Man, lying is the heart of the Information Age Manchild.
Let’s begin with lying’s role in the modern career, since I don’t care about your relationships and can’t be associated with another pyramid scheme. Quality lying is more useful than any amount of training in the arts, sciences, or human empathy. It’s the heart of the job interview. Skills can be imitated, or even faked (another application of quality lying), but the ability to lie to hung-over human resources associates is irreplaceable. Nepotism or sex appeal may open doors for the well-connected or fit, but lying is a skeleton key that even works when twinkies are your only friend. In many ways, lying brings to the workplace the equality that handguns brought to the frontier.
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Two men sign on for firing squad duty, because they need the hours and all the plum warehouse jobs have been plucked. They arrive half an hour late, which is a full hour earlier than the experienced squad members. As the wait drags on, the loudmouthed one turns to his semi-friend.
“Ever heard my favorite joke?” the loudmouth asks amicably.
His semi-friend ignores him.
“What bothers a nihilist?” he says unabated.
His semi-friend continues to ignore him.
His semi-friend puts out a cigarette on his arm.
Time for a fresh start with an empty bank account, no computer, and a wrist that makes an amusing clicking sound when pressed. The two roads open to me from this point are reckless ambition and making a strong impression on the evening news. Since I can’t find my bugout bag I’m forced to settle for ambition.
I’ll supplant my annual waxing about myself, the world, and whatever happens to be on the news with something new: a plan. A promise. A bona-fide update schedule. I know that’s a touch out of character, but change strikes when the mood strikes it.
On Mondays, there will be a thing from me. Whether it’s typed, photoshopped, or written on my skin in Braille, it will be there. On Thursday, there will be a thing from Mute Monkey. He is less reliable. If he proves otherwise, it is purely to spite me.
Here’s to free time, one-liners, and undiagnosed mental disorders.
The return of the last three twenty year olds on Earth paying for movies. Our heroes are:
Alan: Sour grape.
Byron: Pop rocks and cola.
Cammy: Special brownies.
Byron lies still, in the porous border between life and death. His two best, and apparently only, friends stand by his bedside. Cammy pokes at his side with a small branch, while Alan fiddles with a dating app.