What with the president endorsing the demonization and murder of journalists, Ivanka imitating Hillary Clinton’s email habits, and the average American’s belief that “Yemen” is an Asian noodle soup dish popular among college students, it’s clearer than ever that nothing matters anymore, and that the norms and values that once guided civilized society no longer apply.
For me, personally, this is a huge relief.
Throughout my entire life, my behavior has been unfairly (and now, it turns out, unnecessarily) restricted by certain societal “norms” and “values” about what I should and should not be allowed to do. It started early, with my parents constantly telling me no, I could not throw my food, and no, I could not put my hamster Harry in the microwave. Then it escalated, with bizarre rules about bedtime, and their illogical insistence that I stop wearing diapers and start using the bathroom. Even at the tender age of eight, I knew that diapers were a superior solution to the whole body-fluid evacuation problem, because they went everywhere I went, and bathrooms did not. Yet my parents—and yes, society—insisted that I start hunting around for stationary toilets every time I needed to tinkle, which is an obvious waste of time given modern advances in diaper-absorption technology.
Thankfully, I am now approaching the age when I can comfortably return to having a portable bathroom attached to my ass everywhere I go—and, thanks to Donald Trump, it will no longer matter when and where I use it. If I am having dinner with friends at a fancy restaurant, and they object to the smell, I can now say with shameless confidence, “I am America and you are not, so shut up.” Before, I would have had to leave the table to go use the restroom; now, I can sit in one place all night long and enjoy my meal, and if the people around me don’t like it, theycan leave the table—which, of course, leaves more food and wine for me.
Score one for discarded norms.
In school, too, I was forced to endure an insane regimen of classes and homework, all to turn me into a productive, tax-paying citizen. But now that everyone knows the path to riches is through inherited wealth, insider trading, and bankruptcy court—and that paying taxes is for chumps—all of that effort to “learn” things in school has been exposed for the ridiculous charade it was.
Sadly, for many years I believed the whole absurd notion that being “smart” was better than being stupid, and that smart people lead better, richer lives than stupid people, because smart people can “reflect” on the rich tapestry of their lives, whereas stupid people can do nothing but carpet their luxurious penthouses with costly tapestries that cannot think, but feel wonderful underfoot. Growing up, I was taught that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” when the truth is, the “examined life” isn’t worth anything either, especially if you examine it way too much, in which case there are only two possible outcomes: a Ph.D. or rehab. Even now, the herders of American democracy are instructing us all to become “lifelong learners,” when it is abundantly clear that education makes people poorer, especially if they take out loans to pay for it. Thankfully, now that I know the only reasonable thing to do with “intelligence” is to ignore it, I look forward to a life of blissful, unexamined ignorance—the kind of life I should have been living all along.
RULES + NORMS = BOREDOM
The problem with rules and norms is that they tend to make life a lot less fun. Take driving, for instance. The “rules of the road” in America dictate that people should drive in lanes where the rest of traffic is headed in the same general direction. But where is the fun in that? Where is the challenge? I can tell you from personal experience that it is much more rewarding to fire up a joint and drive in the opposite direction, dodging cars that are coming toward you—exercising your reflexes and sharpening your response time—than it is to drive at the same speed in the same direction as everyone else. It’s also more life-affirming. Most people are bored and exhausted when they get home from work. But when I get home from a hard day at the office, I am juiced from adrenaline and simply grateful to be alive. Nothing is more fun than cheating death, and nothing is quite as satisfying as forcing some Lexus-driving nincompoop to swerve into a ditch. I used to get tickets and “warnings” from the police for my unorthodox driving preferences, but now that the rules of the road no longer matter, I am free to drive wherever and however I please.
Another “norm” I will not miss is the whole idea of working and paying for stuff. For decades I have toiled to pay my mortgage and buy food for my family, when it turns out all I really had to do was inherit a few-hundred-million dollars and buy my own building. If you own your own building, you’re just a few fraudulent real-estate deals away from easy street. Throw in laundry service and a heated parking garage, and life gets even better. Toss in a few hookers, a casino, and a golf course, and boredom is a thing of the past. Add access to some nuclear launch codes and a shiny red button that’s just begging to be pushed, and the whole idea of working toward a better future begins to look pretty silly.
For decades, American adults have been saddled with the responsibility of upholding nonsensical norms and other misguided “values” that make life a lot less entertaining. For instance, one of the biggest fun-killers in the world is being a parent. From the day they’re born, children are needy, narcissistic little shit-bags who instantly make it all about them, robbing their otherwise fun-loving parents of the freedom and joy that comes with not having children around. Before nothing mattered, people who sexed and procreated were expected to at least make an effort to feed, clothe, and yell at their spawn. But now, the breeding classes are blessedly free to outsource those duties however they please, often to grandparents who haven’t gotten the message yet that their efforts are a laughably anachronistic throwback to a time when people cared about the welfare of children and the importance of “family.”
Alas, I am too old to take advantage of these newfangled freedoms, having already been duped into believing a bunch of 1980s nonsense about how “our children are the future.” Now that there is no future—or at least not one anybody is looking forward to—I envy the options young people have for dealing with the unfortunate consequences of unconscious and frequently inebriated coupling. Selling a newborn infant on the internet is easier than ever, for instance, and even the most obnoxious kids can fetch a decent price before the age of six, when they stop being so disarmingly cute.
In these and many other ways, life in a world where nothing matters is bound to improve. Without even realizing it, most Americans have unwittingly sacrificed their freedom to live in a world with flush toilets, clean water, abundant food, smooth roads, 24-hour pharmacies, and semi-reliable internet service. Has it been worth the trouble? No, of course not. Life was meant to be brutal and short, not long and leisurely. Thankfully, now that nothing matters anymore, we as a people can abandon all that elitist nonsense about “society” and “culture,” and return to a blissful state of nature, where a kill-or-be-killed struggle for survival makes everything a lot more interesting. The exciting spontaneity of unfettered anarchy is something every American can learn to enjoy, especially the explosions and screaming, which will make every day seem like Independence Day.
The fun won’t last, of course. The moment things in this country approach an amusing level of apocalyptic mayhem, a bunch of buzz-killing busybodies will start arguing that we need to restore “order” and rebuild a society where things “matter” again. Then the whole cycle will repeat itself. Just be glad you live in an era of disintegrating values and norms, because the alternative is a life of boring predictability, where everyone does the same thing every day, nothing ever happens, everything is “appropriate,” and intolerable periods of peace and harmony stretch on for months. If these people get their way, an entire hellscape of reasonable competence could break out and ruin everything.
DESTROY, REBUILD, REPEAT
If there’s one thing history has taught us, it’s that eras of extreme instability do not last. Wars come and go. Dictators get overthrown. Terrorists lose their nerve. People get tired of nonsense and start looking for “the truth” again. It’s all very disheartening. What most people don’t understand is that periods of public insanity should be savored, because the “adults” in the room will inevitably step in and shut the crazy fun times down. So enjoy it while it lasts, because—mark my words—the day will come when things start to matter again, and people dedicated to restoring order and civility will suddenly be everywhere, spreading their gospel of responsibility from sea to simmering sea.
It’s frightening, I know. And I don’t want any part of it. But inevitably, the IRS will get its act together and start garnishing my wages. Then some dedicated do-gooder is going to knock on my door and serve me a subpoena, which is going to land me in front of some high-and-mighty judge who is obsessed with “justice,” and who has no sense of humor whatsoever about the idea of “civil disobedience,” especially when it is coupled with charges of public drunkenness and the “irresponsible” discharge of a “deadly” firearm. After being declared guilty by a kangaroo court, I expect that my freedoms will be stripped and I will be forced to make restitution by attending all sorts of meetings wherein I must pretend to regret my indiscretions, or risk banishment to a prison for the criminally creative—those of us who tried to make the most of our opportunities during that blessed period when nothing mattered and everything seemed possible, but whose innovations and breakthroughs caught the attention of federal agents suddenly swollen with a newfound sense of purpose.
I do not look forward to any of this, which is why I don’t care nearly as much about the future as I do about the present. True, they say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it—but the great thing about not learning any history is that you don’t knowwhen you’re repeating it, so it all seems brand spanking new! Best to enjoy it now, while the feeling is fresh, before some know-it-all intellectual comes along with a sad story about the fall of Rome, or some party-pooping scientist points out that your beach house is going to be underwater in fifty years. The good news is that bad news like that only matters in a world where people care about the future. In the world we’re enjoying now, the most prudent thing to do is ignore it all and hope that nothing suddenly starts to matter again—because when it does, the news won’t be quite as fun anymore, and neither will your life, or what’s left of it.###