Thursday, December 13, 2007

There is no man behind the curtain

I’ve been an adult for a while now, long enough to know for sure that we should abolish the word "adult" from the language altogether. There is no such thing as the enlightened state of mature, rational, responsible thinking we presume to call "adulthood." Whenever I hear an "adult" tell a child or a teenager to "grow up" because that child is behaving badly or, worse still, expressing idealistic ideas or opinions, I cringe with the knowledge that an evil myth is being perpetuated by someone who probably voted for Bush, drives an SUV because the TV told them to and thinks Red Lobster serves great seafood. I know it will come as no surprise to any of my readers when I declare that the world is populated by, and under the ostensible control of, a whole bunch of lying, delusional, impressionable teenage-type personalities, a.k.a. all of us. You probably even agree with me.

You need look no further than our consumer culture to verify this. I refer you back to the SUV, specifically the SUV versus the minivan. Did anyone ever buy a minivan because it looks cool? No. Did anyone ever buy an SUV for any other reason than it looks cool? Yes, a few people in Montana purchased SUVs because they like the idea of four-wheel-drive in the winter, but the rest of us bought them because they’re cool, and the only reason they’re cool is because our peers told us so and bought one themselves. Just like that awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack you had in fifth grade. Okay, so vigilante katana blade-wielding reptilian martial artists are a pretty cool idea, but you still just wanted to impress your friends.

Adults are just kids with more money, susceptible to the same pressures and lapses in judgment they were as children. Watch Saturday-morning television sometime. You’ll be amazed at all the commercials you don’t see in the evenings for things like Bubble Tape, Tyco RC Terrainiac Vehicles, and the Disney Princess Royal Cash Register (seriously!) You’ll remember how dumb you must have been to fall for such ridiculous pitches until you think about the ads that sell Ronco rotisserie ovens and McRibs to adults by the millions.

None of this is really a problem (beyond the obvious consumer excesses and ensuing physical and spiritual byproducts) until you consider the fact that we all, knowing full well that we never actually grew up and became responsible, all-knowing seers of truth, think that someone else did and they’re taking care of things. Basically, no one is in charge, and the people we think are in charge don’t know any more than the rest of us. That’s really scary because I don’t know shit.

What is even scarier is how little those who do have a little more say in things than the rest of us actually know. Will there ever be a more short-sighted, arrogant, and bone-headed decision by a world power than the current White House administration’s refusal to accede to the carbon emission standards put forth by the other nations of the world? We should all be embarrassed to call them our leaders. I am.

Gimme a break. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good rant.


Noelle said...

I know a hell of a lot of people who justify their SUV purchase with days like today, where my boss just got me home quite safely in a mini Cooper in 5 inches of snow.

Also, the Kyoto protocol is depressing, because even if we did take the good faith measure of signing it, it doesn't do enough. We'd have to get every car off of every road to begin to reverse the damage, let alone curtail it. I'm depressed about this, yo.

Mickey said...


Courtney said...

You were due for a good rant. You know what would make me feel better about the whole SUV thing? If people would just admit that they have one because they want it, not because they need it. Let's all just be honest instead of trying to rationalize things in our lives. It wouldn't help the emissions, but it would make me feel slightly better.

Meaghan said...

I completely agree with this. I hate when people talk to children like they don't understand a damn thing, and I hate people who get SUVs just because they have a child. I guess you can't fit a 15-pound baby in the back of a sedan, eh? Your rants are much more justified. I feel like when I write one of these things, I'm just bitching.

Allie said...

You know, I've been going through a lot of disillusionment lately because of this -- for a long time I thought all these other people in the world knew better than me because they were older and I was still a kid, but that's not the case anymore. It's weird to look around and see all these "grown ups" and realize they are the same age as you. Do you think anyone ever really feels like a grown up? We bought a house and I thought 'now I'll feel like a grown up,' but I didn't. Got married, same thing. Turned 30. Same thing. I don't think it'll ever happen.

Julie said...

Ummm. I've got to say... Great rant and all and totally valid points but from the very first time I went shopping with the friend-with-a-baby I totally understood why people buy minivans. Sooooo much easier to get the childers in and out. And the SUV is a natural cool kid progression: form following function.

TravelingEm said...

Nothing I like better than a good stream of consciousness post. And wow! Holy shit. Nice to see you :) Any chance you'll be in ATL for the holidays? I'm heading back on Friday and it'd be great to catch up! Email me first.last at aas dot ru

Mickey said...

Julie- As Jacob would say, the minivan was meant to be the foil to the SUV in this comparison. Minivan=wise choice
SUV=sideways baseball cap

Jacob said...

Personally, after 7 months with Evan in my Prius, I've yet to see the need for a bigger car. I've seen the need for a smaller stroller once or twice, but we hardly ever use that.

Chris said...

Here, here, Mickey. That was a good rant.

A: You know I agree about people's general naivete in terms of consumerism, i.e. buying whatever the ads tell us to buy.

B: I think you're spot-on about our leaders really not being any smarter than the rest of us. It is rather scary.

C: Are there really still ads for Bubble Tape? I assumed that company was out of business by now and some no-name corporation had bought up the leftover 10-year supply of the stuff sitting in some warehouse, waiting to be sold off.