WARNING: Super Long Rant…proceed under caution.
I was graduated from high school with a solid C average…mostly due to the fact that I was a lazy motherfucker and refused to do homework. The teachers taught, I learned, end of story. Soon after, and directly after an altercation with my dad’s car (speeding) and another car (parked) and a liberal dousing of gin and beer…I left home with 22 dollars in my pocket, a backpack with a few clothing items, tent and sleeping bag. If I had fulfilled my potential I know my dad would’ve paid for college (like my bro) but I was full of Kerouac, Bukowski, Asimov and Clarke and could see no “near” good in a university.
The “altercation” served as the bottle of champagne across the bow of my life and I went on the road looking for meaning and repentance. Over the course of a year or so (my $22 having run out within a few days) I did odd jobs for food or shelter or both, never staying very long in any one place. I got food poisoning from tainted BBQ I pulled out of a garbage can at a rest stop in Wyoming, shitting and puking all night under a bush near the vending machines I had no money for.
I shoveled manure in Kansas, repaired roofs in North Dakota, put up and took down fences in Texas and Nebraska and worked the night shift at various diners across the country. I slept in my tent, usually (unless it REALLY rained), and in that case I tried to find a highway overpass or abandoned barns or buildings. Occasionally some kind soul let me sleep inside their house or in their parked van. Like I said, I did this kind of itinerant living for almost a year until ending up in Boulder, CO, and eventually the Navy…where I got my ass kicked and ultimately understood the value of my time, energy and eventual expertise that I could trade to an employer for a better life.
Not once, not even for the fleetest of seconds during that entire time on the road—or since actually—did I believe that my predicament was anyone’s responsibility but my own. Not once did I think to turn to the government to bail me out. Not once did I think that some evil millionaire or billionaire was responsible for actively undermining me and stealing food out of my mouth. Not once—even when I was not very sure at all that I would live through the night—did I ever, EVER consider that anyone else on this planet was at fault for where I was.
So when I hear people talk about democratic socialism, and evil billionaires and the need for the federal government to step and support people in all the ways that take away the intrinsic value of succeeding at hard goals, that take away the value of becoming the best possible human that they can be…I just have to think to myself “fuck you”. I did it. Millions of others have done it. You’re not special, you’re not different.
I say fuck you but in fact I’m not necessarily saying it to you, I’m saying fuck you to your parents, your schools, your colleges and universities. I’m saying it to your state and federal governments who somehow slid all the way to the left based on unions and big money donors (promising votes) as long as their organizations were protected by regulations and laws that enforced their monopolies.
I’m saying fuck you to the fact that somehow, this modern day life has broken your spirit and you do not believe that you yourself are singularly responsible for your own prosperity and happiness. I’m saying fuck you to a world where you inherently see yourself as a dependent, beholden on the largess of a vast, faceless crowd of bureaucrats, hundreds if not thousands of miles from you.
People who couldn’t identify you if you were pissing on their leg.
I’m saying fuck you to a universe that will never love you back because you’ve never learned to love yourself. Because it is only through learning your intrinsic value—to yourself (this is NOT in monetary terms)—that you can understand your value to others and thus truly know their value to you…
…and thereby love yourself without mitigation or condition.
Believe. Go. Do.