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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Friday, September 15, 2006

"Growing up." Oh, really?

Why don't you grow up?

It's time to grow up.

It's about time you be serious and grow up.

What's listed above is a but a small sample of the messages I occasionally received from friends and acquaintances. The frequency of which has increased dramatically ever since Cloe was built. Which leads me to ask, what does it mean to "grow up"?

To these folks, it means getting married, having kids, and then spending the next 2 to 3 decades paying for it. I do not see how being saddled with baggage (in its entire range of meanings) qualifies as the mark of adulthood. If "growing up" means being stuck in a job just to pay for a situation of your own making, then I will have none of it.

I do not consider such advice as well-meaning. I do not even consider them deluded. I consider them malicious, for misery loves company. Why should I give up my precious mobility--geographical, economic, cultural, social and academic--just to please you? Pardon the French, but, Who the fuck do you think you are?

I can go anywhere I wish. Do anything I wish. Live anyhow I wish. If that freedom arouses unbearable envy in you, then, well, you made your bed, now sleep in it. If I decide to spend 10 years, like Professor Hammerud did, employing Derrida and Lacan to interrogate how "Pip" transmogrifies to "Handel" and then finally to "Philip" in Dickens' Great Expectations, I can do that. We are all agents of free choice, unless we choose not to. Be honorable enough to shoulder your own consequences and refrain from attempting to shunt your burden to others under the guise of friendship. A serpent among the flowers has more honor: it hunts because it must. In my not-so-humble opinion, slogging the next 2 decades off to pay for the consequences of one night's indulgence between sweaty sheets does not a man--or growing up--make. Billions of homo sapiens have rutted and bred, rutted and bred. You are nothing special. Get over yourself.

Lemmings. Lemmings. How strange that some are proud to be lemmings!

What do I hear most often from the breeders? Complaints about bills. Bills. Bills. Bills. They take on jobs not for the love of the work, but because they need to pay the bills. Suddenly, out of necessity, money becomes the most important part of their lives. It is no longer about self-fulfillment, self-development, but merely to keep afloat, keep the kids brats fed and clothed. Overnight, these people become zombies of Mammon. Well, excuse me if the applause you expect for your noble sacrifice is not forthcoming from me. Here are two syllables for free though: schmuck. Pardon me if I have no interest in joining your lifestyle just so that I can trade empathetic sentiments about the plight of Al Bundy with you over a beer.

To quote Professor Lin Haire-Sargeant,

Have you done with anathematizing me, sirrah? How much examination will your own life bear? Will your every action prove without blemish when exposed to the harsh light of conventional sanctity?

"Grow up"? When you were freaking out to Mommy about your first nocturnal emission, I was cycling up a 7641 ft (2329 m) mountain on a self-supported trip--in a foreign country where I do not speak the language. How's that for growing up?

Elevation 6593 ft (2010 m). Touring East Java with Michelle (Bridgestone MB-3), 1992.

Ordinarily, I would sign off with an image like this, but this time I think I have an even better idea: a series of pictures.

One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for awhile and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards. (Edward Abbey)

Crater rim.

Active crater.

Shut up and ride your bike. C'mon (Lance Armstrong).


Anonymous spec78 said...

Well said, I admire ur spirit.

B..But its a capitalist world and $$$ rules.

U 're not earning enough $$$$$
For those who ve the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
they can ve it all.

September 15, 2006 8:54 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

Thanks, spec78,

One of them even had the audacity to chastise me about my bike, declaring that it can pay for 1 year's tuition at the UC for his son. Well, excuse me, I had nothing to do with the creation of his son (for his wife's sake, he better hope so), so why should my decision on how I spend my money be affected by the presence of his son? This is most baffling.

Yes, to engage in capitalism in this world is unavoidable, but there is line where one desends into being a capitalist slave. Well, let's see what it comes to when they return to the earth. Are they going to be buried with a crucifix or a BMW owner's manual? Will it be a priest or the local Mercedes service representative presiding over their funeral service? :D

Judging by the number of hate messages I've received, it is hilarious how this post has gotten the goat of so many. I guess the number of unhappy lemmings out there are legion. Flame on, pathetic little trolls. As if your shallow little snipes of outrage, hate and anger (I hit it spot on, didn't I?) will ever be published here. As if flaming me changes the fact that you are a prisoner of your own actions.

If these inDUHviduals are as grown up as they trumpet themselves to be, why are they behaving in this manner? Sniping at my post behind the veil of anonymity? If that's grown up behavior, I'd hate to see how their kids behave. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

If these lemmings, sheeple, and inDUHviduals have discovered such contentment, such joy, and bless├Ęd meaning with their life choices, why do they react with such negativity when I posted the joyous news about my new bike? Why do they feel the need to rain on my parade? Why are they trolling my blog?

Where were they when I was down and pouring my heart out on my blog?
Where were all those anonymous messages of love and support?
But, oh, the moment I post something that brings me much joy, these worms come burrowing out of the woodwork.

Why the discrepancy?
Why does my happiness rile them so?
The answer is obvious: they are very unhappy people.

If their lives are so fulfilling, where do they find the time to engage in such unproductive behavior as trolling my blog?
I am certainly not paying them :D

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others
whenever they go.
(Oscar Wilde)

*sits back and watches their heads explode*

September 16, 2006 4:37 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

Last and final word on this matter
All replies will be deleted without being published or read

You know who you are,

I have never failed to rejoice with you (plural) upon receiving news of your joyous events, be it a first child, another child, a promotion, a new car, house, dog, cat, landing a great job, etc. It's been 1 month shy of 10 years since I bought a bike; I researched and agonized over every part selection for over a year, slowly acquiring each component before finally building her; and the first thing you guys do is piss all over my joy. Thanks. Really, thanks. I have a long memory and will be sure to return the favor when the time comes.

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6: 7-9)

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. (Exodus 21:23-27)

September 18, 2006 9:38 PM  
Anonymous spec78 said...

Heh, u got me wrong lah.
nobody said abt sacrificing anything.
There are people who manage to do it all. Career, family, exotic vacations, prius, carbon trek, sailboat...... etc.

Dun ask me how, ask the Bobos

u now why so many diss u ?
if u're some high income CFO/CEO/CTO, nobody will gif a damn even if u get a gold bathtub.
But u upset the neo-cons by balancing out ur budget. U chose to lead the "good-life" by subtracting the family and kids.

a SGrean bought a TTX. no hate comments. wonder why? jus mabbe the bay area people are too anti-bourgeois. mabbe u shld move to LA. There nobody blinks at bling-bling.

as to why so many trollers. Ha ! Ur blog rocks man !!!
It simply rocks K !!
Mountains and oceans and no-man vistas ....

Are they going to be buried with a crucifix or a BMW owner's manual? Will it be a priest or the local Mercedes service representative presiding over their funeral service?

I m Atheist. I dun gif a damn. Death means THE END.

Life is not abt the destination.
Life is all abt the JOURNEY. And I am in the driving seat, baby !
So shld u.
Ignore the cynics, detractors and naysayers. Live life as u wan it to be.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

September 18, 2006 9:46 PM  

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