Tastes like home fries

At the close of any year, it’s hard not to be contemplative. We arbitrarily divide time by journeys around the sun, so it’s only natural to try and find meaning in why we do so. How can I condense this collection of 365 days into lessons I can take forward? If the past 12 months haven’t meant anything, why did I bother living them? In a sprawling, gratuitous year like 2018, I’ve been scrambling to make meaning of the madness.

Let’s see how this goes.

It only dawned on me, as I walked to my now traditional Sunday dive bar brunch, that in The Year Of Our Lord 2018, I’ve actively pulled in my locus. I’ve been here for over five years now. It’s the second longest I’ve lived anywhere. Moving to Toronto was the biggest shift in my adult life, and whenever something goes wrong, it’s the first place I start to question “why?” It’s only for a split second, and says less about any desire to not be here, as it does to my need for context. I know that this was the best decision I could’ve made. Despite the URL, I have no doubts about where I am. I think though, that I’m constantly looking for signs that I’m heading somewhere. An understanding about where I am helps me better see where I’m going. This year, I’ve started actually seeing my neighbourhood. It’s always been there, even if mentally I’ve been elsewhere.

I was a little (quite) stoned one night and on the lookout for some kind of comfort food. I thought to the Chinese/Polynesian place I’d passed a million times and never entered. I went in and had a WEIRD experience. I’ve found myself going back time and time again (often sober) and really coming to appreciate the place. It’s thoroughly mediocre. I’m sure I could get much better food elsewhere. I could order without leaving the house, but I have no way of knowing if their food would be cooked with so much goddamn heart. It’s a cute little unassuming hole in the wall. There are seats, a desk, and a door going back into a kitchen. There’s a gangly teenager at the desk. The kitchen is nothing but a dude and his elderly mother. He’s the nicest bloke, apologetic about things beyond his control, always tossing in a free coke or remembering your name the next time you walk in. His mum always has a smile from ear to ear as she throws in dashes of her own spice mixes and sloshes oil around in a pan. They’re the type of people who work so hard and never complain. It’s nice to appreciate people like that, y’know? I want them to succeed, so I keep coming back, despite the plethora of alternate options. Also it’s uncomfortably cheap, and the portions are huge. Also that.

I’ve had a local coffee joint for a few years now. My girlfriend and I love making it part of our weekend ritual. If I’m ever working from home it’s a total treat to grab a mocha or flat white to take back home (or, more accurately, finish on the walk). The owners are apparently lovely, so the employees tend to stick around for a while. They’re all friendly, and great at what they do. It’s always nice to chat with the British beanie dude about his new indie folk obsessions or stand up comedy. It’s the kind of place in which I now know where they keep replacement cup lids. It’s this kind of place because I’ve wanted to help out and restock the lids before, I want to see them keep ticking along. This place being around grounds me in my area, it’s a connection to ritual, comfort. There are so many great options for coffee around this city, but none of them are this place. They might be technically “better”, but better is subjective, y’know?

I’m writing this from my aforementioned dive bar brunch. I’ve searched for years for a “local” a bar or pub in which I could feel totally welcome. A place where I could either be ignored or find connection, depending the mood. I may have found it, even if I rarely drink here. There’s a jumbo hound prone on the floor. A man walked in earlier, took one look at him and said “aren’t you friendly and large?” Right on man, right on. The vinyl just changed from reggae to Dylan. There’s a jar of candy canes near the door for people to help themselves. There’s a timeless air to this spot. In a way, I come here to exist outside time. I pull out my keyboard and soak it in. It’s just me, a plate of eggs and home fries, and whatever rabble walk through that door. It’s the kind of bar where the bartender will, without fear, casually throw out “I’m just disappearing for a few minutes. Don’t let the place burn down.” Who would want to? It’s all drifters here, and this place feels like home. It’s been ten minutes already. I hope she makes it back. I think we all need whatever it is this bar gives us.

Putting it all together, it paints a pretty clear picture. These places aren’t new, and I didn’t just arrive here. 2018 has been year of withdrawing, cocooning out of necessity. It’s been hard knowing what holds me up when I feel like I’ve been endlessly falling. I’ve retracted, and sought foundations I could call on. In my lowest ebbs, I’ve sorely needed sight of land. Finding stability within my radius has helped me understand, in some small way, where I am. In other, subtler ways, having these touchstones has taught me something else. I am here. In times where my tether to reality has been gossamer thin, the feeling of belonging has kept me anchored. It’s stopped me from drifting to places beyond return. It all sounds trite and maudlin, but it isn’t. I know where I am, and I love it.

In times where meaning frequently seems out of reach, that’s a lesson worth taking forward.

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Think I could get them to analyse each other?

I don’t really know how to start, so I just will. I feel like that’s the first step. I feel like what I’m gonna talk about, I’ve probably talked about before. Who can remember these things? I talk about a lot of stuff here. Anyway.

I had my first session back with my original therapist in a while. Why am I making the distinction? Because I’m in the bizarre mirror-world scenario of having two therapists at the moment. It’s not that I left one for another. I’m seeing them concurrently, kind of. See, maybe ten or so months ago I mentioned to my GP that I’d been off and on depressed and anxious. She let me know that Ontario does actually provide OHIP coverage for certain therapists, that the wait lists were long, but she could put me on one. I jumped at the chance, then forgot about it a week or so later. Perhaps six weeks ago, when I found myself at the bottom of a deep emotional trough, I realised it’d be a wise decision to go back to therapy. My original therapist happens to be very good, so she was booked solidly for 6 weeks. As in, no openings whatsoever. Having enough benefits coverage for two more sessions, I booked ahead. In the meantime the OHIP sponsored therapy came up and reminded me that was a thing I’d signed up for. So I went and did two sessions with a new therapist, knowing I’d be going back to my original one for two sessions.

It’s weird. It almost feels like I’m cheating, but I’ve made them aware of each other. So it’s kind of more like a poly relationship, but my metas won’t ever meet. I’m careful about what I mention about one to the other, because I don’t want to muddy the waters of treatment. But of course they’re curious, while at the same time applauding the actions and methods of the other. So it’s not like it’s unsupportive. Look, it’s fucking strange, okay? At the same time, it’s so hard building up a therapeutic relationship with someone new. Her style feels rigid and doesn’t gel succinctly with the way my brain does. Still, she definitely knows what she’s talking about and I have every confidence that her methods would be very helpful in the long run. I’m so lucky to have OHIP coverage, so I want to put the work in. My original therapist and I both agree it’s worth sticking with the OHIP therapy in lieu of my original therapist until the end of the treatment module, that it would benefit my mental health to do so.

At the same time, the fact that my original therapist is right is what makes this so difficult. We stepped into that room and got right into it. She knows me so fucking well. She understands how my mind works because we’ve done the foundational work. She gets my struggles and tailors her suggestions explicitly to how she knows I operate. She expertly pinpoints the right areas of my long, scattered rants. She calls me on my shit and doesn’t let me off the hook. It’s exactly what I need. And I feel raw right now because she’s right about everything. We hadn’t seen each other in so long that it was an info dump where we constantly tried to taper down into workable ideas, solutions and talking points. Still, there was so much I never even got to. It’s hard to know where to start, what to talk about, because there’s so much.

To be honest, I think that’s where I want to leave things for now, because it fits where this entry is. This stuff is too fresh and I haven’t worked out where I am with it. Expect that I’ll probably work through it over the next while. If that’s your thing, you know where to reach me. If not, well it was nice knowing ya.

Today, on a Very Special entry

Hey you there. Yes, you. I’m talking to you. Hey. Keep up the good work.

I don’t know what you do, but keep on doing it and doing it well. If what you do involves the suffering of others directly or indirectly, well, maybe work towards doing less of that, and doing that well. What can I say? I wanna work with you here, but this kinda needs to be a two way street. Look, I’m still on your team, but part of this whole personal cheerleader arrangement requires work on your part to make sure I’m spreading pep to a worthwhile area. Look inside of yourself. Are you heading in the direction of your dreams? If so, that’s great. Reach for the stars! If your dreams are at the expense of others, maybe look for some other, potentially less harmful stars to reach for. I’m not judging. To some extent we’re all a little lost. So this is less a patronising coffee mug slogan kind of thing and more of a “hey, I’m in the trenches too” coffee mug slogan kind of thing. Maybe it involves a cat hanging from a tree branch? If that helps, sure.

If you’re not heading in the direction of your dreams, I’m sorry, that sucks. I’m sure that hurts. Remember though, time is not linear and memories/imagination mean that we’re experiencing all time simultaneously. So really, you have everything you need already to become your realised self. You know what? On some level you already are. You just haven’t met them yet. But you will, and isn’t that exciting? I hope it is. All that potential brewing inside of you and you haven’t even seen it. If you’re not excited, I am for you, you talented motherfucker, you. I mean, goddamn. The places you’ll go. The people you’ll meet. I’d be jealous of I wasn’t in the same damn shoes you wear on your feet.

The thing is, it’s really okay to not be okay at all times. You get that, right? Sometimes things are really tough and that’s not just a you problem. Everybody has trouble dealing with things. The world is A Lot. Living is A Lot. Everything is both so unbearably complicated and disarmingly simple. On a long enough timeline (in which we all experience simultaneously, remember?) it’ll all gel and work out. I KNOW this sucks to hear, that it sounds like bullshit, but it’s not. It really isn’t. The human mind is uncannily resilient and can recontextualise anything. Whatever you experience will change in relation to your other experiences. So basically, the worse things get, the more they lift everything else. I’m not intending for this to solve everything, but it is something. Think about it. While things might not be at their best now and they may not improve immediately, whenever something good does happen, it’ll be that much better because it’s not something bad. Small consolation?

Maybe. I’m sure it’d be preferable for everything to be great all the time, but honestly, it wouldn’t. It’s shitty to face disappointment and hardship, 100%. You also wouldn’t grow without it. Dealing with hard times helps you adapt and become a more rounded, capable, you. Because of everything your part self went through, you’re still here. “Here” might not be exactly where you aimed for, but it’s also likely not where you were. I’d wager that for you to be where you are now, you had to change and grow. If we’re following this logic, for you to be where you want, it’s probably gonna involve change too. I’m sure that sounds scary and difficult, and it probably will be. At the same time, like everything you’ve gone through, you’ll one day be able to think about it in past tense. That’s not nearly as frightening, right? Do you catch what I’m saying? You’re gonna get there and everything that is now hard will feel a lot softer. You’ve got this, even if you don’t know it yet. But I do, so there.

Look, this may just be an improvised rant of a dude trying to fill time on his commute (and a personal obligation he senselessly made over five years ago to write for at least half an hour daily) but that doesn’t mean it’s void of truth. I’m sure, as messy as it is, that there are kernels of goodness scattered throughout that have your back. So keep it up, you’re on the right track, even if that track is veering towards a different path.

I mean, this whole page was blank 30 minutes ago. Potential is everywhere.

No steps forward, ten steps back

I just don’t know.

Many things, really. I don’t know what to write about right now. I’m sitting here like a stunned mullet after hearing the latest regressive transgression from the Ontario PC Party. They’ve decided to renounce gender theory province-wide. Why? I dunno, because they’re all withering white dudes who just want to return to the golden ages when they didn’t have to consider any other viewpoints than their own. I have no doubts (despite the title of this site) that they’d be pleased as punch to withdraw women’s right to vote, outlaw abortion, remove protections for any from of vulnerable people and cut minimum wage back to like $8 an hour. It seems right up their alley. This whole gender thing is right on the heels of their decision to remove rent control from any new rentals from this point onwards. Ostensibly they’re saying it’s gonna create more affordable housing, which makes sense right up until you think about it at all. As far as I know, their master scheme is that, without rent control limiting profits, it’ll incentivise developers to make more new properties, thus making available these properties for those in need. But, I mean, if limited profits were the factor preventing developers from making new properties, how are these properties going to become affordable? Clearly smarter people than me know the answer, because so many Ontarians gleefully voted them into power. What was it? Party for the people or something? What was it they were saying back in May? Oh that’s right. From the Ontario PC Party’s official website:

“I have criss-crossed the province, and from one corner to the other, the people of Ontario have told me they are struggling. I have listened to the people, and I won’t take rent control away from anyone. Period.” said Ford. “When it comes to rent control, we’re going to maintain the status quo.”

Welp. Seems like someone with gumption sticking to their guns.

I should be angry right now. I should be furious. I know I will be, but right this second I’m still stunned and dumbfounded by this whole anti-gender theory bullshit. This going to have repercussions for so many already marginalised folx. Generations of children growing up without being taught to respect and welcome those who don’t fall into the binary. Trans folx who’ve fought so hard to have their rights and freedoms recognised. Those in transition who will lose access to medications and resources. It’ll create infinite microaggressions for those who finally thought they could relax a bit. Of course this is going to stoke hateful rhetoric, leading to a rise in verbal and physical abuse for NB (non-binary) and trans folx. While this may seem like a “sky is falling” mentality, I feel like I’m probably not off the mark. There are already so many people who feel “threatened” and “oppressed” by the notion that people might not identify with their assigned gender at birth. Why? I honestly don’t know. Having more options doesn’t diminish or take away their own recourse to identity. Having gender neutral bathrooms does not impugn their rights. I get that progress is scary for some people who want nothing more than to be complacent, but there’s a level of menace behind anti-gender theory that’s downright frightening. ALREADY. Without repealing these protections, trans and NB folks are already harassed, beaten and killed for being different. Once you remove them, it only serves to reinforce its opponents’ beliefs that it’s fine to trample on vulnerable folx right to humanity.

AND FOR WHAT? So privileged pieces of shit can feel affirmed that they’re gonna keep their dominance over society? To try and stave off progress for as long as humanly possible? To hold on to whatever vestiges of smug self-satisfaction they can before inevitability evens the playing field as much as it can? To try in vain to retain an unearned and invalid sense of superiority? So they can laugh at people who are already suffering? Cool man, cool.

There will be suicides because of this. People who have been barely holding it together will sadly no longer feel welcome in this life. I hope the PC party is proud, ’cause there’s gonna be blood on their hands.

Okay, now I’m angry.

Was that enough of an info dump for you? Well now you know how I feel

I just had my first session with a new therapist.

This doesn’t mean I’m replacing my beloved current therapist, it’s just another potential option. My therapist is The Best. She’s incredibly perceptive and her style is very complementary to my way of processing. If I could see her on the regular I would. But I can’t. Or rather, I could but it would cost me a lot. She’s not cheap. So while my benefits can currently afford 3 of her sessions per year (which frankly isn’t enough to deal with a lot of things), I don’t want to not have those sessions. I do want to jump further into therapy as a means of finding ways to cope with unhelpful thoughts and patterns. I got a call a few weeks back saying that I’d finally come off the waiting list for an OHIP sponsored therapist. Today was the first of potentially a few sessions.

Introduction sessions with therapists feel kind of weird. There’s protocol and bookkeeping that needs to happen. They’ll tell you of the boundaries in place. Confidentiality is assured, except in a few key circumstances. Primarily this revolves around you being a potential threat to yourself or others. If you have suicidal thoughts that your therapist deems sufficient as a precursor to taking action, they can notify authorities and have you escorted to emergency to gauge whether you’re at risk. If children under your care are potentially at risk, therapists can also alert authorities. If you’re unsafe to drive in any capacity, whether that’s admitting to a habit of drink or drugged driving, being off certain necessary medications (like epilepsy medication. Which is fine to come off, but in that case you should not be driving), etc. If you could harm yourself or others, that is a valid concern. With that out of a way, the session turns over to you.

A therapist is only as good as what they can divine from what they’ve heard. The more they know about you, the wealth of information they can utilise to find ways to help. So they ask questions. It’s kind of like a first date, but a shitty one-sided first date where you’re monopolising the conversation. They keep asking questions, but you don’t get to interject. They’re also jotting down all of your answers too. It’s sort of checklist-y, but with good reason. It’s the most efficient method to get a base of understanding. An intro often happens over a couple of sessions where the therapist will dive into your background and mood.

Today was background. She asked about my upbringing, family structure past and present. She asked about relationships. Was I in one? For how long? At which stage? That kinda thing. She asked about my history of education and employment. What had I done to get to where I was? History of therapy and treating mental illness? Personal struggles? Drinking and drug use? How often? In what quantities? Did I have close friendships and a support network? Was I physically healthy? How did I think cognitive behavioural therapy would work for me? What were my expectations of our sessions?

You’d be surprised how long it can all take. There’s a little probing here and there, perhaps clarifying or asking for further information on something you’ve said. Going back to the first date notion, what the introductory sessions are used for is to see if the relationship of care would be a synergistic fit. Some people’s issues and personality don’t mesh well with particular methods of therapy. You want to find someone whose style complements your own. It’s the most effective way of ensuring the sessions are time spent wisely. If something doesn’t feel quite right, chances are it’s not. Intuition works pretty well with this sort of stuff. If you’re actively looking for therapy, please shop around and find someone who’ll be able to tailor their skills to your issues. Therapy is amazing. It can be life changing when it works. That said, “work” is the important word. It’s a lot on both sides, but it’s so goddamn worth it.

Let’s see how “date two” goes…

Oh fuck. This is a Drake song, isn’t it?

I’m Upset.

I got another job rejection. I know it’s not personal, but I’m taking it personally. I know it’s not about me, but it feels like it’s about me, y’know? It feels like if it wasn’t me, I wouldn’t have this problem. I don’t think logic has any place in where I am right now. Logic would say that 200+ people apply for every position I apply for and only one person can be the right person. Logic would say that disappointment is inevitable for n-1 people where n=the number of people who applied. Logic would say this this is another singular disappointment in a series of singular disappointments. It doesn’t feel like a singular disappointment. It feels like a cumulative pile of failure in which I haven’t been the right person for anyone. That every time I’m not enough. Not experienced enough or talented enough or smart enough or capable enough. It feels like I’m coming up on several years of feeling at the very least low key bone deep miserable at all times and just kind of holding it together. This time feels different.

Logic has told me time and time again not to get attached, but I do. When I get an interview and the interview feels warm and responsive I get attached. I start thinking about what it could be like to meet new people in an all new department/workplace. To grow my skills and gain satisfaction in having done something well. To see progress and development in my own aptitude and confidence. To show myself that I am capable and bring value to the world with my output. When inevitably this doesn’t happen, I once again doubt all of the above. Logic tells me that I have value all of my own and I do bring something to the world in how I connect to others. It’s been a while since any of this felt logical.

I’m not logical right now. I’m Upset. “Capital U” Upset. I feel like I’m at a point of nothing. I’m 31 and I’m drifting, with no idea of what the future holds and zero assurance it’ll hold anything. I feel like any skills I had were honed almost ten years ago and my relevance has just been fading year by year. I know a fucking job doesn’t mean anything but it means something to me. I know the way I pay my rent doesn’t define me but I want it to, at least a little. Emotional as I am I know that even a dream job is still a job that sucks like any other job. I’m not asking for a dream job. If there’s anything the past ten years have taught me it’s to dream smaller. I’m just asking to do work that I can feel proud of, that makes people feel happy or understood in some way. That makes me feel like I’ve given something of myself. To feel like I’m connecting at least a little with others. I’ve long since known that money isn’t a motivator for me, but meaning is and I’m running on empty. I don’t know what I’m doing or why. I don’t know why I’m still trying. I’m scared that soon enough I’ll just stop caring and I don’t know what happens then.

Oh, I’ve had affirmations. That it’ll be my time next time. That something is right around the corner. That this wasn’t to be, but not to worry because something will come. That I am experienced enough and talented enough and smart enough and capable enough. Affirmations are great and all, but they don’t mean a thing unless I believe them and I don’t know that I do anymore.

I don’t know what the point of this is beyond venting, but I’m venting. Things feel pretty shit right now. They have for a while, but just that little bit more at the moment. I *know* that other people are struggling with worse problems, but I also know that doesn’t invalidate any of mine. I *know* that on a long enough timeline this won’t matter, but feeling shitty and worthless for years on end seems like a timeline that’s been long enough already. I’m so tired. I’m so tired of getting my hopes up and getting let down. I’m so tired of getting another deftly worded email that essentially tells me to go fuck myself. I’m so tired of putting energy out and feeling like I’m wasting my life. I’m so tired of swallowing my own disappointment day by day. I’m so tired of people telling me that things will just work out and both of smiling like either of us actually believe it.

I just kinda want to stop existing for a while.

And I know this too will fade. That everyone else feels this way a lot of the time. That we all feel shitty and worthless and like we’re not enough. That we feel like we’re just beating our heads against something, tasting our own blood and shrugging. That treading water is technically surviving, but it’s not a life. That there’s a piece missing that’ll make everything click, but its absense feels like a hole within ourselves. I know we all feel like this, but I’d kind of like to just not for once.

So for today, at least, I’m Upset.

It could be worse, people could be influenced by me

I feel old all the time. It happens with age, y’know?

Superfluous statements out of the way, a better way of qualifying it is that I feel increasingly out of touch with certain parts of society. I’ve been thinking of that absurd Gymshark line up over the weekend and having trouble working through my mental and emotional responses to it. I wonder if they’re indicative of being too judgemental or discounting large subsections of society unfairly. This is garble. I’ll try to do better.

I don’t Instagram. At a stretch you could say that I did briefly when I ran the Air Bud Pawdcast social media account. Really though, I posted and didn’t bother to look further into the platform. I’m not much of an image based person. I like reading and audio a ton, but there wasn’t a ton of appeal at looking at photos. This is no admonishment of anyone who uses the service, it’s just not for me and that’s fine.

I feel deeply unsettled by the rise of Attractive People Fame. Don’t get me wrong, attractive people have prospered since the beginning of society. This in itself is nothing new. It’s not like I woke up in 2018 and suddenly discovered that celebrities were pretty. Attractive People Fame takes this to another echelon. With the rise of the Kardashian Clan and the words “social media influencer”, being famous in itself has become a career trajectory in a whole new fashion. I’m not breaking ground saying this. There are a lot of people making money for being popular and attractive. There are corporate tie ins and sponsorships. These people a) being alive and b) using products has become a very visible avenue of advertising. I’m not trying to stand on a rickety pedestal and say this isn’t work. I know that a lot of effort goes into scheduling posts, cultivating an audience, reshooting and retouching photos until they’re perfect. It’s a real job with a ton of hours and thought. This isn’t my issue.

Cult of personality has become a career in a whole new way. Yet again, I don’t see that in itself as an indication of crumbling societal values. Take me as an example: I follow a lot of Dan Harmon’s stuff. I was a big fan of his show Community and began listening to his podcast Harmontown way back in The Year Of Our Lord (aren’t they all?) 2012. I’ve paid actual dollars to go to live podcast recordings. I bought a limited release book that his ex-wife put out of his Tumblr writings collated. I met him and got him to sign my book. I’ve interacted with other Harmontown fans in the online community. I’ve met some of these people out in public; When I was visiting Portland and sought out fellow Harmenians because I thought we might have similar interests. It’s not blind adoration. I don’t personally see Harmon as an aspirational figure in all manners. He has issues and views I don’t agree with. I do, however, think that he’s an incredibly good writer, is hilarious, talented and unbelievably sharp. I like a lot of what he does and the kinds of guests/friends he brings onto the show.

It might be a personal bugbear, but I have a ton of difficulty reckoning with Attractive People Fame. This might be rich coming after the past paragraph, but Attractive People Fame and its societal influence feels different to me. I don’t listen to Harmontown and ache to be those people. I’m not out there buying the products they shill to keep the lights on. I’ve met Harmon and other show members a couple of times, but it’s not why I follow the show. It’s entertainment, and the way its errant observations bring joy to my life can’t be understated. My mind sees Attractive People Fame and it worries me. Why? Because it seems irredeemably predatory.

Attractive People Fame is enormous in younger demographics. Teens and tweens following a collection of Influencers and their daily lives. I’m talking Instagram Models, Fitspo people, etc etc. It’s an industry that’s driven by aspiration porn. It’s telling these impressionable kids that this could be them. They could be hot, rich and successful by imitating these people. They see glimpses of these Attractive People at their best. They see all the rewards, but not the hardships.

They don’t see the 50 takes required to get that perfect shot. They don’t see the intentional angling of the model’s thumb right below the label. They don’t see the meticulous diet complete with calorie counting and a-z macronutrient content worked out. They don’t see the personal stresses and anguishes behind the scene. They don’t see the marketing team creating spreadsheets of release schedules. They don’t see the sales people hunting out sponsorship opportunities. They don’t see the Attractive People being told exactly how to cultivate their Brand. They don’t see what it’s like for your personality to be A Brand and how all consuming and dehumanising that is. They don’t see the hundreds of thousands of kids who don’t make it and spend their lives chasing a dream that’s so far out of their reach. They don’t see that no matter how many products they buy to emulate their role models, 99.9% of these kids will never be their heroes, never be friends with them. They’re a revenue stream to an industry which is so much larger and more brutally cynical than the heroes they look up to.

I see kids eschewing valuable life skills and experiences in order to aspire for something they don’t realise is entirely beyond their reach. I see kids developing eating disorders or dangerous health initiatives in order to have these perfect bodies. I see kids desperate to be noticed and adored without an understanding of the pacts that come with fame. I see a level of superficiality qualified as a goal that opposes true human connection and understanding. I see values shifted to an extent that growth really will suffer. I see a future with a much larger quotient of adults who will eschew compassion for Their Brand.

I already saw a 5-8 hour line comprised of thousands of individuals, waiting to be let into a warehouse with 19 different clothing items so they could take photos with Attractive People leading lives they themselves will never come close to. I’m not scared of who these kids will be, I’m worried for the people they could miss out on becoming.

Which is what I’m sure a generation said when MTV created VJs.