THE THIRD PASTURE
The play land today is nothing more than
an apolitical wasteland of aimless youth. A youth that refuses.
Refuses to understand; understand the political and economic
forces driving them. Driving them towards professional and
social aspirations and goals. Goals not of their own. Not
of their own thinking, liking and making. Goals and targets
created to only garner unquestioning manpower. Mindless
nuts and bolts. Healthy, non-smoking bodies for the economic
well-being and consolidation of the status quo: The civil
service, the armed forces, the feudal masters, the industrialists,
the seths, the clergy. The “progress”, the grind, the race,
The youth today have no power. No memory or realization
of the power that was once a formidable reality. A power
that was once a central event in the scheme of many revolutions
and movements, social, political and creative— of political
upheavals, social change and creative eruptions that were
embraced with passionate abandon; of collective evolution
which was given new social, cultural means and energy.
Every generation has its heroes and villains; patriots and
traitors; idealists and cut-throat “realists”. Characters,
which help the generation populate the memory banks of the
events and happenings, celebrations and tragedies of a time
when they were young. Events that guide historians to figure
out the collective mindset of the times: What were the young
dreaming about? What were the elders scheming about? What
happened to all those dreams and schemes? Who won, who lost?
This generation today. What are they?
*A profitable target market for the capitalists.
*A numb, dumb audience for the “artists” and the media owned
by these capitalists, seths and corporations.
*Confused recruits and clients for warped evangelist religious
*Mindless fodder to thicken and fertilize theological, communal
and sectarian militancy.
One side is selling a digitalized future
of carnivorous consumption sprees and the other, a dead
past. Historically both are a cause of violent wars and
political intrigues. One encourages social decadence and
amoral gadget and status madness in the name of social freedom
and “freedom of choice”. The other glorifies cultural myopia
and unabashed moral hypocrisy in the name of divine guidance,
moralistic virtues and spiritual enlightenment. Both are
an unholy alliance. They are of the same mint and coin.
Different only in attire and rhetorical symbolism, but joined
for a similar purpose: the political exploitation of human-power,
emotions, material wants and spiritual cravings of a sleeping,
confused generation. Both are enemies of a youthful idealism.
Idealism rooted in a third pasture— another side where the
grass is greener. Care to take a walk?
Why are you always talking about ‘you’?
Why is it always “Me”? Why not talk about us? Of you and
everybody else which makes up your generation. The corporate
machine and the capitalist Big Brother (i.e. the market),
wants you to be narcissistic. It is then easy for it to
sell the many useless creams, lotions, jeans and potions,
colas and hyped commotions to the ‘me’ in ‘you’. The evangelist
circus wants this ‘me’ to want to desperately go to heaven
for a price, which can be a heavy donation or a ‘jihad’
for the sake of it. The ‘me’ then turns into a ‘me’ who
wants to go to heaven (because I have the required money,
or I have the will to blow up a thousand men, women &
children). This generation is narcissistic. Interested more
in personal action and personal change rather than political
change. They always want to “talk their demons out” by talking
openly about themselves. Their private lives become a glorified
public soap opera. The corporate cheerleaders and the evangelist
circus encourage this. Because this I-talk-about-me discourages
creativity, individualism, universal ideals (as opposed
to cosmetic globalization agendas), and in turn encourages
fad and fashion consciousness.
Politics and social causes are then taken up as fleeting
fads, and these along with art become commercialized entertainment
rather than heroic effort. The MBAs and the yuppies of this
generation follow blindly their corporate overlords. Overlords
of a system busy expanding a prosperous and numbed-by-perks
class of young executives and young capitalists. Materially
comfortable (and usually intellectually absent), instead
of helping the poor and the underprivileged, they are an
active part of a belief and system that marginalize and
even outcast them, saying they are no-good and don’t want
to work, even accuse them of jealousy and laziness.
Why? Of course, the poor, scrubby buggers fail to realize
that a free-market system and the corporate machine is the
wonderful embodiment of freedom. The “free” executive class
and their pious but equally Laissez-faire-friendly allies
are too busy doing well to do any good!
-- Nadeem Paracha NEXT>