The somber surreality of life is staved off by dreaming of a future in a perfectly framed portrait, but that future never arrives. Investing in get-rich-gimmicks while living paycheck-to-paycheck to counter the sea of financial obligations leaves little time for planning. Overnight, one day becomes ten years because the indistinguishable days are blurred by the routine of gratification now and stagnant progression.
Time stands still because our existence is an endless rerun of live performances, and the plot hasn’t changed in decades. Day after day, we play the same character, in the same story, with the same ending. A few leading actors proactively demand the government supports their role, and the audience reacts to the dystopian aftermath. The story of life is narrated by someone else, and the storyline is devised to suit their happily-ever-after.
Cultural conformity is creating loneliness by simultaneously discouraging individualism and collectivism. The oppressed population is dulled by the regularity of life and stale environment yet threatened by alternative lifestyles. Although intentionally deceived by false promises, imprisonment is self-inflicted. A mass movement would restore freedom, but millions surrender to reacting to the outcomes of the proactive decisions made by a small minority because enduring captivity feels safer than fighting it.
Relinquishing self-determination for instant gratification isn’t a fair trade, but it’s better than nothing. The bits of cheer provide some reprieve in a life of monotonous servitude, and there’s always the lottery or Bitcoin or…some hopeful escape from the lifeless existence, but wealth only buys security. Money can’t shelter us from the deep, harrowing sorrow embedded within the foundations of our system. Misery is inevitable and unavoidable in a structure built on the misfortune of others.
There are 27 categories of human emotions, but we’re dominated by boredom, sadness, anxiety, and fear. When we’re always waiting to react, subduing the other 23 is essential because we have to be prepared for the next upheaval. Life is lived on the edge, time is spent on guard, and self-satisfaction is achieved through materials displayed as trophies for public recognition. When the shiny thrill wears off, a new sparkly stimulant is purchased. Happiness, joy, romance, sexual desire, and adoration are easy to replace.
Time isn’t holding up, time isn’t after us — David Byrne
When the delusions are too heavy to uphold and reality invades the space, instant gratification dissolves the agonizing thoughts. Acknowledging the unnatural constructs of society and the destruction to our habitat are too much to bear. Disassociation, denial, desensitization, rationalization, and escapism is life. Apathy is the key to survival in a world filled with suffering, and empathy makes us vulnerable.
When we aren’t living, everything feels the same and existence doesn’t feel real, but survival is instinctual. We naturally adapt to an unnatural life. Avoiding reality numbed our emotions, but it didn’t kill us. Within us, life is screaming to be let out. At first, hearing and listening to the repressed voice is distressing, but the silence and nothingness are worse.
Constant distractions devour time, and life is hollow when the only purpose is to consume. The crafty marketing schemes to elicit an emotional response are obvious scams, but they make us feel, and that’s all we really want — to feel. Depressed and miserable, we keep searching for something, but the search is a waste of time. Made to believe happiness and satisfaction are objects we could own if we try hard enough is a worthless pursuit for fool’s gold. Life’s value is not a figure, but it was given one, and now, it’s not worth anything.