When going on long trips, you often see livestock tied to small wooden posts, the rope tightly tied around one of their ankles. Here’s a big, testosterone-filled brute of a bull tied down by one ankle, standing in a grass-eaten patch, standing on this barren island of its own stinking manure. Here’s a little, nimble goat straining its neck to grab a mouthful of a little bit of grass that’s just out of reach, contorting its body in a painful tangle of stretched tendons and muscle, that ankle just always holding it back. I can’t help but wonder whether after hundreds of years of this behaviour, if evolution lets up and gives these poor livestock a break. Well not really so much a break as a dislocate. I mean, imagine if evolution was to elevate at such a rate that it would be natural to see the dislocated ankles of hungry cows awkwardly tied onto those small wooden posts while the cows are all stretched out lazily chewing on nearby grass pointing a metaphorical middle finger to their owners.
I wonder if I can warp all this nonsense into an analogy for human beings in the current predicament of spending drone days in the hive of the office. Let me try.
An office tie to us is what that tether is to a cow. It’s something holding us back from obtaining our greater potential. I realize food has to be put on the table but I also believe that with the rise to prominence of contemporary pop culture, creativity is dying a slow, painfully writhing, all too cancerous death. We’ve become resigned to sitting back and waiting for that next plunge in the evolutionary system to give us that psychological push instead of striving for more by ourselves. Necessity breeds creativity and innovation. But we’ve lost that urge for progress now because we’ve become comfortable in our little social and professional circles. And once you’re in the tornado of a circle, there’s no stopping. What we don’t realize is that we’re all just foot soldiers in a bigger economical war played out by mechanical arms we’ll never actually get to see and even if we do realize that fact, we’ve become far too lazy to do anything about it. What’s lacking are wholly creative and radical ideas such as the pigs and chicken one above. Although that kind of borders on animal cruelty so I would never really go ahead with it. Besides, I would rather torture humans than animals any day.
Here’s the truth. Consumerism has us all too fat and worn out from eating greasy fast food to chase the fast train to life. Trashy magazines have us too concerned with looking for beauty in others to actually take the time to find the beauty that lies within ourselves. News on television has us too scared to take on the Beast. Soap operas have us too engrossed in their disproportionate realities for us to focus much on strengthening our own. Interactive media has us watching books and reading movies. Our superficiality knows no bounds nor does our sense to appease our egos. Even as I write this, I am the token hypocrite. Ask yourself, am I writing this for you or for me?
To break capitalism and consumerism, we have to start at the bottom. That entails quitting your jobs. That entails withdrawing all your money from the banks and sipping beer in tieless shirts as we watch from the damaged rooftops of corporate buildings while the economy falls into a mass-induced oblivion of our time. Then what? We start trading apples again? Create order from the chaos again?
So what next, oh great superficial, self-obsessed, sardonic gods of our time? Remember, even that cow is striving because of necessity, not because of greed.