Imagine walking into a casino – with the usual poor lighting and hypnotic sounds of other people winning – and as you're walking through you see person after person hitting their jackpot, some small, some large. Their machines blink and sing and drop shiny coins. People smile.
You put a couple coins into a nearby machine and play a few spins, but nothing quite plays out and your return is minimal at best.
Not quite discouraged, you move to a different machine (maybe one with a different strategy) and try a few spins. Once again, the payoff is almost nothing.
Down to your last few coins, you try a third machine, one that somehow sticks out now that you're down to your last chance.
You put in your last coins and pull the lever. The spinners whirl around, their symbols a blur of colors. Suddenly, the first one clicks in “Lucky 7.” Then the next, Lucky 7 again. And again.
One by one the little cylinders stop on the Lucky 7, all across the line.
The machine remains silent. No celebratory revelry. No lights. No payout.
You stand there in shock.
Then, Kubler Ross sets in: Denial (this is not happening!), Anger (WHAT THE ACTUAL GODDAMN FUCK!!), Bargaining (“Can someone get over here and fix this?”), Depression (“I'll never be lucky again!”), Acceptance (“Maybe casinos aren't for me.”) and in some cases, Resolution (Burn down the casino.)
|There are no factories in Eden.|
For children of the suburbs, this metaphor rings deep and true.
Here are the reasons why:
Suburban children have strong social incentives as most of the suburban world is comprised of social interaction. This is because everything is already built in the burbs – there's no community barnraising, so to speak.
By design, the means of production are squirreled away nearer the poorer communities, who's members survive on utilitarian skills: recreational drug production, vehicle maintenance, and sex. The result is a disconnect: those raised in the suburbs may have magical ideas about how the world they live in is actually put together/functions, and may reasonably assume its a result of “who you know” rather than what you've produced for who you know. That's “The Secret” as understood by electrical contractor Benjamin Franklin.
Ask most suburbanites about their life goals and the word “Successful!” crashes forth with all the energy of “Totally gonna do it!” Their success formula goes like this: (Right Connections) + (Right Parties) + (Aspirational Sex Partners) x Positivity = Leisure Income.
They want to walk into that casino, hit a jackpot on the first machine, then retire to what they've always aspired to in the first place: pornography producers.
|This is a porn magazine.|
And if by “pornography” your brain thinks “sex” you should rethink how you've been marketed to market yourself. Ask anyone what they're going to do with their success money and there's only one response: “Travel.”
In the Facebook Age, this means selfies in other countries, a powerful social totem of class aspiration and imagined income potential. The porn you will produce is for yourself in that it will feature you as the subject doing things you will only do once but represent yourself has “having done.”
You will need to read those sentences ten times to let them sink in.
But what if you miss out on the jackpots and porn? What then? How does the ego cope with steady elimination of possible identities?
The Answer: by eliminating the need for multiple identities in the first place.
How? Learn to build or fix something.
That's all there is to it.
And stay out of the casinos.