Monday, January 03, 2011

"We're a great pair. I have no voice and you have no ear." - but 1998

"A policeman's job is only easy in a police state." - Ramon Miguel Vargas

I was recently watching an editorial video comparing the childhood heroes of our generation, our parent's generation, and their parents generation via the transformation of GI Joe. GI Joe transformed from a real live soldier who died in a war, to a realistic but fictional depiction of existing soldiers to an unattainable fantastic and unrealistic soldier of pure imagination. From being a role model that they could genuinely hope to be to a role model that could never be a real world goal. The editor, movie bob from The Escapist Magazine, postulated that the lost and misdirected feelings of his generation can be attributed to the heroes they were given as children being icons that were beyond their reach.

It's an interesting idea, but really, GI Joe of the 80s is just Teddy Ruxbin with guns. Generations before his have had equally unrealistic heroes of fiction, and the 80s was not devoid of role models of profound influence. Scientists, journalists, police, and firemen. Some of these figures have only existed as heroes for a very brief period of time. If I were to take a guess, I'd say that the sense of loss of direction probably more likely comes from the conflicting need of a generation left without purpose in a world of ambiguity after such a strangely morally defining war like World War II( a historical anomaly) trying to recapture that feeling of purpose, and a generation struggling to maintain focus and reason through times of political upheaval, being forced to conflict against a government that is ever less trustworthy through wars that feel increasingly misguided, leaving THEIR children without anything to believe in as they see two wildly polar opposites conflicting from childhood. That's just my guess, though.

It's time to embrace the truth that they all wanted the best for us, but they were lost and we felt lost because we were surrounded by them and raised by them, and their promises. It's time that we faced the reality that there is more to life than being a doctor and getting a "real job" and doing what we're told and doing it how we're told. We have to define what happiness means, and we have to appreciate that the world is not a land of infinite Disney style opportunity. The world is harsh, and competitive, and you have to make decisions between happiness and work and find the compromise that protects your future without denying yourself your present and you have to think about what you really want, and that's okay. We may have been made unrealistic promises, but it's time to say, "Okay, that's cool. You meant well. There's no point in dwelling on the past. I have a life to live and a future to build."

Embrace failure. Embrace that you don't have a flying car, and that it will never be economical to have one. Embrace the fact that everyone you know is deeply flawed. It is the way things have ALWAYS been, and everyone before you did fine anyway, and they usually did it without the lies that the world is like a Disney wonderland. You don't need to be delusional to appreciate life. In fact, it helps make it more bearable to not have a fictional reality of perfection by which all the world's real pain look grimy by comparison. Life is too brilliant and miraculous to hold it up to things that make it look like anything less than the brilliant gem that it is.
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