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The taunt

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 end.

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 cults.
*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?

The flaunt

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>







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