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The American Compulsion for Everything

January 23, 2010

Americans have many compulsions from spending too much, doing too many drugs, wasting money on education that will not ultimately benefit them, buying houses that cost three times the price after usury financing, etc but one of the ones that caught my eye recently is our obsession with maximizing the number of experiences we have, positive or negative, before we die. Americans want to do so much that they cannot possibly do it all. It goes without saying that no one can or ever will do it all because that number of things is infinite. Some are able to pare down what they want to do to some finite figure but it still amounts to doing nearly the impossible. We want to get a PhD. We want to design our own 5000 square foot house. We want to visit the Grand Canyon. We want to go to Rio. We want to walk inside the White House. We want to have a threesome. We want to go on an African safari. We want to bungee jump. We want to be on tv. The list never ends. It is one of óur greatest sources of despair, unhappiness and depression.

No sane person should want to experience everything. That would statistically mean that half of your experiences would be bad. Remember that little voice in your head that tells you when you’re about to do something stupid? Americans have either disabled it somehow or found a way to complete ignore it. We say that we only live once forgetting that we also only die once. Such asinine behavior is the stuff of Jackass. Where else would people intentionally endanger their lives so they could say they did it? We have been chemically dumbed down and don’t realize it because……well……we’ve been chemically dumbed down. Even the media doesn’t hide the fact that Americans are basically idiots with the third grade educations by the time we graduate high school. But one thing you can say about Americans is we love attention. It’s because most of us don’t get any meaningful interaction with others in our daily lives so we try to increase the number of experiences hoping to palliate the pain. Theré’s something about being American that makes us want to be noticed isn’t there? We’re special aren’t we? People all over the world should take notice or even bow down to us because we do what we want, when we want, for as long as we want and to whomever we want. We even do the right thing on occasion if it benefits us.

This is all of course intimately tied into the familial destabilization of society and our media culture which reshapes our personalities in their own image. Once family is gone then you really don’t have anyone left that loves you just for you regardless of how stupid and irresponsible you may be. Sure you may have your so-called “friends” and you may even have 10,000 of them on Facebook but no one is going to give you a kidney or a piece of their liver if your life depended on it. Even blood donations are way down now in America. People want to be paid for their blood now not completely unlike Israel’s harvesting of human organs from the earthquake victims on Haiti. Anything for a buck eh? The more the merrier!!!  Bigger is better!!! Faster means you can experience more in a shorter period of time. What a media induced load of shit.

Wanting to experience everything is akin to experiencing nothing. If you never slow down to take the time to savor anything there can be little pleasure beyond the shallow, superficial and sensual obtained from it in those fleeting moments which is largely the shallow rush of adrenalin which has come to replace deeper connection in America. That particularly goes for human relationships. I am often puzzled when I hear people say that “I like meeting people.” as if it’s some sort of hobby. Personally I like meeting quality people. Life is about quality not quantity. It always has been and always will be. We have too many choices in America but that is about to come to end now that China owns us. We can feel the economic boa constrictor tightening around even as I write this. Yet as we continue the steep slide into relative obscurity we still cling to the fantastic notion that we can and will have it all and that means having more of everything at any costs. If you are not on the bandwagon or down with the program then you are simply branded a loser. “How dare you try to enjoy life in the manner it was intended?” is the look I receive. Americans have never understood the meaning of life and never will, not before it’s over. Technology may have transformed the world but it has yet to transform our basic nature. Evolution is slow.

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