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May 26, 2008 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Do you have Adultitis?

Kim and Jason is all about an idea. It's the crazy notion that there is more to life than the hectic busyness, cynical melancholy and overwhelming stress that is typical of most modern lives. Adultitis tricks us into missing out on the best parts of life and causes us to take ourselves WAY too seriously.

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. Our lives should be bursting with big dreams, oodles of passion, and an enthusiastic playfulness. Believe in curiosity, delight in the little things, and have faith that things always work out for the best. A life that embraces a childlike spirit is a life that is less stressful and way more fun. Take the Escape Plan challenges.
posted by netbros (113 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, I agree completely. I have not RTFA but I believe I already have a clear understanding of this line of thought. Many others have been telling us this for quite a while now - notably Tom Hodgkinson of The Idler, in his lovely little books How To Be Idle and How To Be Free. For the most part, Western capitalist culture is an entirely artificial and wholly uninviting phantasmagoria. We are told to throw off the proverbial shackles of such-and-such, embrace so-and-so, laugh in the face of adversity, clutch friends and family unto our breasts, enjoy simple pleasures, take long walks. I understand. I get it. I want in.

But I'd like to know how to get in whilst paying x-hundred dollars a week on rent. Move to a smaller place, further out? Sorry, no such places exist and how am I meant to clutch things to my breast in a room so fucking tiny I need to step out into the hallway to turn around? How am I supposed to skip and prance and la-la-la when I must rise at 5:30am, attend to my ablutions, consume This Week's Scientifically Approved Breakfast, commute through traffic denser than water, wait for an elevator, then bluster through into the office and avoid disapproving scowls from supervisors because I dared to stop and smell the roses on the way (these roses being a tall soy flat white with an extra shot)? Working in the city, where do I perambulate during my lunch? Through the relative solace of the botanical gardens, where they seem to be habitually chainsawing trees, using leaf-blowers, and pumping water from one place to another through Industrial-Revolution-decibel machines?

What happens when we have all given up our deadbeat jobs, moving figures around inside a computer, and moved into the country to raise some milking chickens and plow goats and breed maize? Nobody reads or looks at art or enjoys music any more so those of us with even remote talents in any of these areas are left up shit creek because while people might give us money to help us live if they had more free time in order to experience and appreciate those things we create, they themselves are struggling to stay afloat and just do not have the time or inclination. And if we get all buddy-buddy and buy one another's shit and pimp one another's platforms, a-la boingboing, well, it starts to look just a wee little bit too much like a self-justifying circle-jerk with no intrinsic or lasting value.

How do I throw off the chains when the chains are, paradoxically, the only things preventing me from sinking? I don't value my job particularly but I value the fact that it affords me an income, which permits me to do an ever-diminishing range of things that I enjoy doing, and certainly there are some of us blessed enough to secure a living by doing things they genuinely love, such as crafting furniture and blowing glass and blogging non-stop about the new generation of very-slightly-smaller-iPods. And I don't want to sound hard done by, because I am not, far from it. It's just that the world is unfortunately not that simple for most of us and this Slow Down Movement, or whatever you like to call it, while noble and indeed necessary, is beginning more and more to look like an arse pressed up against a windshield.

Sorry, this is all over the place. I admit I idled a little longer than the accustomed hour at lunchtime, enjoying a few olives, properly marinaded in Tanqueray and vermouth. And, oh, it was good.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:59 PM on May 26, 2008 [88 favorites]


Hey! Don't get personal.
Cool link, thanks.damm, dahilia, I feel you. here, here's an olive.
posted by dawson at 11:04 PM on May 26, 2008


Hey Dahlia, consider slowing down on the things that don't add any value. I moved from a 14-mile bumper-to-bumper commute on the busiest freeway in North America to a 4-mile commute on empty surface streets, yet still have a fulfilling job in my career of choice -- it just required some patience and planning to end up working and living so close together. And yet, it *completely* changed my life, not only because it gives me an extra hour and a half (minimum) every day, but also because I can be ready to go to work later, get to work earlier, and still pick up my ukulele and record a quick song or pick up breakfast sushi (what? what's wrong with breakfast sushi?) before I go. Oh, and if I decide I want to eat lunch at home while watching the cartoons I used to watch as a kid, I can do that too.

I never would have believed it until I did it, but that one live change really did transform my view of everything else I do or am involved in, and it enables so much happiness I can't even tell you. So consider trying to seek out and accomplish a single change, like eliminating something in your life (like my big commute) that is dragging you down and not directly getting you anything positive.

Or just eat more olives; sometimes that's enough.
posted by davejay at 11:17 PM on May 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


Olives are definitely the answer. Especially the pitted kind, if you put one on the end of each finger and wiggle them around while making "rawr" noises.
posted by amyms at 11:43 PM on May 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


I second the olives.
There are many studies showing that adultitis isn't really much of a problem, if you only eat enough olives.
posted by sour cream at 12:01 AM on May 27, 2008


Kim and Jason, Kay. Kay, Kim and Jason.

Play...er, um... negotiate nice now.
posted by dgaicun at 12:19 AM on May 27, 2008


dahlia, I think you can make a living doing what you want, but it won't be the same living you're making now. However, it may mean that as a glass blower you have to live way the screw out in east bumfuck, not have high speed internet, and generally live pretty sparsely.

I think people get a bit peeved (I'm among them) that you can't always do what you want and still have the trappings of their current lifestyle.
posted by maxwelton at 1:08 AM on May 27, 2008


You sound really, really frustrated, turgid dahlia.

The shittier and worse-paying your job, the more difficult it will be to stop and smell the roses, you certainly have a valid point. If the problem is money, maybe your roses should not come from Starbucks, which is fairly pricey. Learn to make your own coffee, then your roses will be ones you've grown yourself (if you don't mind my running with this metaphor), cheaper, and you'll get to stop and smell them once while making coffee and again while drinking it. You can probably do it in the time you normally take to buy your soy flat white. If not, tea can be a faster alternative, even loose-leaf. The same goes for making your own lunch and brown-bagging it. You might need to set aside a weekend day to make a few days' worth of food.

Cities are not the most relaxing places. Use earplugs, books, headphones, etc to block out the worst parts.

Stop watching TV. Tivo/record only one or two shows you really like and use the cognitive surplus time to do other things. Same goes for spending too much time on the internet.

The essential idea seems to be to stop keeping up with the Joneses. Think about what you value in life and use your resources for those things instead of chasing the dreams other people push on you. It doesn't mean you need to rush out into the woods and give everything up, it just encourages you to try new things (without necessarily spending money), challenge yourself, be kind to people, and stop listening to society's exhortations to keep running on that hamster wheel. If you're just trying to survive, a good way for you to start is to cut out expenses like Starbucks. You don't have to take the idea to its extreme... go as far as you like. Good luck.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 1:09 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


>Kim and Jason, Kay. Kay, Kim and Jason.

I don't think these are the same thing. Child-men are into escapism and delaying responsibilty, while Kim and Jason are more about people coming up with their own definition of adulthood and reigniting the imagination and exploration of youth.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 1:17 AM on May 27, 2008


You sound really, really frustrated, turgid dahlia.

Oh, I am, but as I was trying to hint in my spiel, I am completely 100% behind these ideas. I think they are absolutely fantastic and I subscribe to them without equivocation, except when I need to equivocate because oh fuck, the electricity bill needs paying and the cats need a checkup. I don't watch TV except for, as you suggest, some of my absolute favourite shows; I steer away from the vast majority of mass media; I don't buy into the idea that I need a better car or a bigger house or that I should be taking out a loan so I can get a jet ski to put it in my back yard and ride approximately once; I don't go for the latest fashions, I don't get expensive haircuts, I don't try to fit in. I do not want to be sitting hunched in front of a computer in some kind of soul-bludgeoning data brothel by the time I'm 35 just because it empowers me to have my teeth capped and buy a Lexus. I don't even want a car of any description.

My favourite pastimes are reading and writing (I claim no particular talent in either and can only dream fondly of the day where I am able to absorb and subsequently retain even 10% of what I ingest) and I am by nature extremely insular. I have a small circle of friends and none of us is "chasing" anything, if you know what I mean, except personal happiness and a vague sense that we're going to hit the dirt having done the right thing for a greater portion of our lives. But it's the nature of the life I have to life right now, at this exact moment (and many factors need factoring in - I shan't bore you with them), that, yes, frustrates the absolute hell out of me and when I go off on a rant like that, it is because I am upset, not angry. Where I am right now, I can't pause to smell the roses because they have been concreted over.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:35 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, stop picking on my fondness for gin-pickled olives!
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:36 AM on May 27, 2008


First world whiners irritate me. Cripes, your house could be blown up in a civil war, you could be starving, you could be working in an industrial job that puts you in pain and discomfort all day (and no being so fat and out of shape that sitting in a chair counts as pain and discomfort doesn't count -- excluding those with real back problems). You people have it better then 90% of the population, better then anyone in history.

Suck it up and stop being such babies.

(I mean obviously some people have it really bad, but for most people: grow up)
posted by delmoi at 2:14 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm not complaining, I'm just drunk.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:17 AM on May 27, 2008 [8 favorites]


delmoi: What does that make "whiners" who come from the Third World?
posted by divabat at 2:33 AM on May 27, 2008


I wholly embrace this philosophy of not accepting the dreams that others thrust upon me, and have therefore been forced not to accept this philosophy of not accepting the dreams that others thrust upon me.
posted by jefflowrey at 2:36 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Boo. This quiz is unfair. I hated kids even when I was a kid -- I shouldn't have that counted against me!

Wait, is it possible to be born with Adultitis? Aw jeez.
posted by giraffe at 3:45 AM on May 27, 2008


Delmoi: So because our civilizations managed (whether by virtue or by exploitation) to get to a relative level of stability, with a lack of war, and decent utilities and such, we're not allowed to analyze our problems or attempt to further advance? Besides, we ought to encourage movements that ask adults to re-evaluate their choice instead of consuming more-more-more.
posted by explosion at 4:10 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


AD CAMPAIGN (wrapped up in smug retro gooiness) MAKES US DOUBT OURSELVES (by preying on our fears of drudgery in the Age of Robot Leisure) AND GAINS TRACTION (as a new cultural signpost) BY SWINGING THE PENDULUM TO INFANTILISM (decaying empires suck--let's party like adolescents) BECAUSE OF THE WAR.
Thanks for letting me get that outta my system.
posted by Dizzy at 4:21 AM on May 27, 2008 [10 favorites]


My friends, beware the siren song of those who would coax your ship of life away from responsible channels. The passage of time is real, the aging of the flesh and brain is also real. All your worries about your "art" and how you should live your life become ridiculous as you swing into your 40s, 50s and beyond, and (in the words of Bruce Springsteen) you stop wondering what kind of person you're going to become, and realize that you are now the person you are.

At that point, I don't care who you are, and how aware you are of the shallowness of our social lives and ambitions, you will become suddenly aware -- with a terrible sinking feeling -- that only two things are really important right now: your health and financial security. At which point, you become really sorry you never went into investment banking, medicine, or the law, and that you didn't begin flossing when you were a teenager.

As a thirty year old, you're still zooming along in life, worrying about whether or not you are fulfilled. Then over the next decade and a half, your life becomes a slow-motion slam into the wall of aging. It's not just a physical or mental thing. It's encompasses you're whole state of being. In one sense, it's magnificent, in that you come to see the whole pattern of your life as if from a great height, and get great understanding at a point where it no longer does you any good.

At the same time, you come to understand why non-hipster society has arranged itself the way it has, with its emphasis on job, family, responsibility, and the need to make lots and lots of money. You see why people tell you to take good care of yourself in terms of health and wellness, and to avoid injuries when you are young. Life narrows with age. Your options disappear. Your sex hormones dry up, and you suddenly wonder why the hell you did 90 percent of what you did in your life up until then -- much of which no longer interests you. Social status becomes very important, as you come to realize the very serious social penalties of aging with low status.

There is, indeed, way more to life than hectic busyness, work, keeping up with the Joneses, jogging, etc. But my advice to the young is: Be adult. Be very adult. Make lots of money. Save it. Take exquisite care of your teeth, your precious legs, and heart. Eat a low fat diet. Don't get fat (there are grotesque penalties for fat older people). Don't drink. Don't do dangerous sports.

The concerns of youth vanish like a vapor. Adult Land is your ultimate destination, and you will have to play by its rules. Learn them now, while you have the freedom and flexibility to determine some fraction of your destiny, and prepare. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. But there are billions of people in this world, and the odds that you are exceptional are very slender.
posted by Faze at 5:15 AM on May 27, 2008 [154 favorites]


I haven't got adultitis; you've got psychological neoteny.

And amyms has very small fingers. Or very large olives.
posted by Phanx at 5:36 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm with Dizzy: What major corporation is this a front for?

Also, I think we have enough perpetual children in America right now, thank you. Fer instance, the POTUS.
posted by fungible at 5:41 AM on May 27, 2008


The essential idea seems to be to stop keeping up with the Joneses.

To me, it seems the essential idea of the Adultitis website and book and whatever else seems to be "If you've become adept at keeping up with the Joneses, then apply that competitive spirit to the concept of faux-juvenile semi-fun." The whole notion of 40 Challenges in 40 Days and voting for who did the best at slumming in Childishnessville for 30 minutes a day seems to be upwith-Jones-keeping with a fresh coat of paint. I mean, if you're really trying to get back a child-like appreciation and wonderment for all that surrounds you, you can start by cutting out the hand-wringing over whether you were able to "Do something to help someone you don't know" in a cool enough way to impress people across the internet.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:49 AM on May 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


From the intake:

If I was at a formal dinner and someone noticed some toilet paper stuck to my shoe, I'd:
-remove the toilet paper and suggest that whoever is in charge of keeping the restrooms clean should be fired.
-immediately leave the room and avoid that person for the rest of my life.
-subtly kick it off and act like it was no big deal.
-smile and say, 'I guess it never hurts to have some extra on hand.'


Maybe this is why people don't wear shoes in the house.
posted by cholly at 6:03 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


This FPP struck a chord with me as I recently quit my banking job.

Lots of reasons for doing so - I've been completing an MBA since 2005, but with more than full time work struggled to focus on the last remaining deliverable - my dissertation, my value system was always inconsistent compared to most other banking folks so I really didn't care for hanging out with them, my banking job had me traveling a lot - several years of 100K plus air miles flown - which always led to a certain feeling of I'm not from here no matter where I was, frequent thoughts of why am I doing this? arising during boring and even not so boring meetings, and what I really enjoy doing and wanted to do more of - teaching finance, helping folks to understand the markets - was all too frequently a small part of my day job.

My last banking job wasn't stressful at all even though I was running a global division of about 140 people with P&L in excess of €30 million.

I walked to work along The Thames in the mornings. I delegated lots of stuff so I could engage in strategic thinking, but that calm, that time to myself gave rise to doubts. Doubts about small decisions led to bigger questions about the broader direction of my career path, about not only what I'd end up doing in five or ten years time, but also the value I was adding to society as a whole. You see, that time the bank gave me to think certainly allowed me to think, but not just in the manner intended.

And what started as a nagging voice in the back of my mind, grew stronger to the point of an almost shrieking insistence that I shouldn't be devoting 70+ hours a week of my life to someone else, a corporate entity no less, unless I fully believed. While I found the money in banking good, I guess from a spiritual perspective my job was sorely lacking in something. At least what I was doing in banking - everyone's experience is, of course, different.

I've been fortunate in that I'd never gotten caught up in the banking lifestyle (earn high/spend higher), and have always live frugally. Even more blessed in that I found another finance type - Mrs Mutant - who has a similar value system.

We recently adopted two kittens, and, as strange as it might sound, I've found watching them grow up has created immense inertia in my being, and somehow has forced me to slow down. I bought a fixer upper flat in London in 2001, and over the past two months have done more to improve it than I managed in the seven years since my original purchase. I'm taking casual interests in Cinema and French Cooking to the next level, and I'm gonna finish my MBA dissertation too. I've always been fascinated with London Street Markets, and I've just gotten my Tower Hamlets Street Trading permit - should be fun.

I've been saying I'll take at least one year off work, and even though I hear from recruiters weekly I'm not so sure I'd like to return to banking, at least precisely what I was doing before. I've been teaching finance part time at the Masters level since 2003, and I'm considering expanding my hours at the University.

So while I understand and largely agree Faze's point, but I'd like to augment it somewhat by pointing out the importance of frugality and especially of acquiring one's own capital. As unpalatable as this might sound, money gives you options. We might be taking a year off, but that's from work - not life.

Anyone who has met me knows I don't take myself - or pretty much anything - too seriously.

Except maybe this year off. I'm seriously gonna emerge a better person on the other side of this hiatus.

Interesting set of links and post - many thanks.
posted by Mutant at 6:06 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow, Faze. That hit me. You have no idea. And, assuming you're from North America, you get up real early in the morning, geezer.

But seriously, I'm reading that over a few times tonight in my small rent-sucking Hong Kong apartment as I think about what I've given up for a few spins around the proverbial Shenzhen underground nightclubs and a glimpse of the harbour from an office on the 30th floor during a failed job interview. There are things I will take from this experience, the main one being knowing what it is like to fail, but the money I've thrown away here...
posted by sleslie at 6:10 AM on May 27, 2008


Humanity: a self-justifying circle-jerk with no intrinsic or lasting value
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:13 AM on May 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Not complaining, just drunk.
posted by Jilder at 6:20 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is it as fatal as entitilitis?
posted by grubi at 6:23 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Contrary to what you see in popular culture, a sense of "wonder" and an ability to smell the roses and enjoy love and family are easy to come by in this world. What's hard to come by is money. You gotta pry each penny out of this freakin' world by the sweat of your brow. At the same time, however, you may be very rich and very successful, but without good health, you will be very unhappy. So, really, one of the main determinants of happiness in middle and old age is to a large extent under your control. It is within your power to brush and floss every day, it's within your power to exercise regularly, and eat a diet that prevents heart disease and diabetes. Also, it's within your power to avoid alcohol and tobacco.
Other stupid things that it is in your power to avoid: gambling. Adultery. Accidental pregnancies and hasty marriages.
But money - man, that's the bitch. I always used to wonder why middle aged people were the way they were. I mean, couldn't they see all the wonder and beauty and possibilities in the world? But take it from me, the world starts contracting in your early forties, and starts irising down to a tiny little point through your 60s, 70s and 80s. As this happens, you will wish you had 1.) money, 2.) taken better care of yourself.
And if you are a healthy old person, you can snap your fingers in the faces of your wealthier contemporaries who are wheezing, and in constant pain from an old skiing injury.
posted by Faze at 6:26 AM on May 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


First world whiners irritate me. Cripes, your house could be blown up in a civil war, you could be starving...

Ah yes, I forgot the world in which we lived was such a dichotomy; you are either unhappy because you live in the third world and could be doing all those things, or you're happy because you live in a first world nation because you live in a first world nation and if you think you aren't happy well shut up you could be living in a third world nation and you're not so you must be happy so quit whining.

It's kinda like you think the only true happiness can be experienced in a place that doesn't have the level of infrastructure or technology as you're used to. Interesting logic/ethnocentrism.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:28 AM on May 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


A life that embraces a childlike spirit is a life that is less stressful and way more fun.

Actually, a life that "embraces a childlike spirit" is only really viable if someone else is paying for that life. Most of the rest of us either have jobs or are desperately trying to get them, because as much as we like long walks on the beach, we also like food and beds. More to the point, we also like providing for our children so that they can actually be children before they have to take care of their children.

I'm with dahlia and Faze: this protracted adolescence serves no one's interests. I'm also with Mutant, and three cheers for him for both making enough money to be able to afford a year off and having the self-discipline and sheer chutzpah to actually do it.
posted by valkyryn at 6:29 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bah, that last line should say "the only true unhappiness." Sorry, I woke up kinda early to drive my parents to the airport.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:30 AM on May 27, 2008


sleslie -- be of good cheer. There's a big world outside of the "sucker cities" of Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, London, etc. These are the cities that exact humongous financial dues and lifestyle hardships from millions of aspirants to fame, wealth and success, to support the pleasures of the very few of their citizens who actually do achieve fame, wealth and success. Find a nice medium sized city, in an unlikely place, where you will be valued as an individual. Be part of a community.
One thing I've noticed in watching several generations grow up, is that everyone eventually finds a place in the world. It's astonishing but true. It's as if it that place were waiting for them all along. Another interesting phenomenon is that everyone rises or falls to his or her own level. Some people are not happy unless they are in the gutter. Others have a natural bouyancy that carries them ever upward.
Other good news: You get a lot of chances in this world. It's not all over for you by the time your 26, 32, 38... Destinies turn on a dime, and all the cliches are true, including the one that tells you it's always darkest before the dawn...
posted by Faze at 6:43 AM on May 27, 2008 [13 favorites]


Geeze, I sound like Polonius. Somebody stab me through the curtain.
posted by Faze at 6:59 AM on May 27, 2008 [12 favorites]


I've just got the plain old itis.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2008


Actually, a life that "embraces a childlike spirit" is only really viable if someone else is paying for that life. Most of the rest of us either have jobs or are desperately trying to get them, because as much as we like long walks on the beach, we also like food and beds.

It is totally and completely possible for a person with a job, food and a bed to approach the world with a fresh sense of earnest excitement and uncynical enjoyment of the simplest of things. One can enjoy a walk on the beach after work, or on the weekend.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay, so everything takes money, and you'd do well to accumulate as much of it as reasonably possible. This is a given. But if you're not going to enjoy yourself while you're doing it, then you're missing the point. There's a line to be walked, and it sounds like Mutant is managing it marvelously. I still need to find a job that pays the bills without making me want to stab somebody.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2008


Yay Faze! In other news, have ya ever noticed that most of the people that just "throw it all away" to travel, or rent bamboo canoes to tourists in Goa, or follow their bliss, and then write a book/website about it, MADE A LOT OF MONEY via the traditional channels first? Just a pattern I've noticed.
posted by rhys at 7:40 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh geeze. Let the young be young, and let the old be old. Old ones who try to be young are wastefully chasing after something they can never recapture, heedless of the harm they inflict on themselves and on others as they abandon their responsibility. Youths who try to be old never get to find out what they actually want out of life, and end up turning into some of the most twisted and bitter seniors I've ever seen, full of unresolvable grudges and with plenty of social capital to use for spreading their pain. These walking temporal temper tantrums would be funny if they didn't ruin lives.

"Be young." "Be old." Both paths have their share of regrets, life always gets its due, and cockamamie age-faking strategies don't work. For chrissakes, why not just drop the bullshit and just be who we actually are?
posted by PsychoKick at 7:44 AM on May 27, 2008 [8 favorites]


On behalf of the early 20's hipsters: thank you for the sobering kick to the face, Faze.

Life may make a lawyer out of me yet.
posted by paradoxflow at 7:50 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


And if you are a healthy old person, you can snap your fingers in the faces of your wealthier contemporaries who are wheezing, and in constant pain from an old skiing injury.

Faze,
I was kinda enjoying your comment until I got to the line above.

Anyone who takes German-compound-noun pleasure in the "constant pain" of others is a sad old git in my book.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:52 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone who takes German-compound-noun pleasure in the "constant pain" of others is a sad old git in my book.

That's what happens when youth is wasted on being old.
posted by PsychoKick at 8:11 AM on May 27, 2008


Faze: You get a lot of chances in this world.

That's damn right. The biggest lie is "Opportunity only knocks once." Opportunity is knocking constantly. It's knocking right now! Can't you hear it? The saying should be "Opportunity knocks so constantly and deafeningly that hardly anyone even hears it."
posted by rusty at 8:14 AM on May 27, 2008 [17 favorites]


You people have it better then 90% of the population, better then anyone in history.

And all it took was completely fucking over 90% of the population.
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:27 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know what? Fuck retaining your childlike sense of wonder. You know why children have such strong imaginations? Because they're not allowed to do anything fun. You know why children are so good at inventing games? Because the real fun stuff in society is reserved for adults. When children play, what do they invariably pretend to be? Grown ups, because being a kid sucks.

I had corn dogs, chocolate cake and rum for breakfast yesterday. Then I went on a hike, and explored an abandoned mine shaft that I don't think I was supposed to enter. I didn't have to get anyone's permission or tell anyone where I was going. Later, I touched a girl with my penis, and nobody yelled at me or sent me to talk to the councilor about it. I watched a scary movie that had boobies and swears in it, and then I stayed up until 2 AM because I didn't feel like going to bed.

Childhood has nothing on adulthood. Being a grown-up is an awfully grand adventure.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:27 AM on May 27, 2008 [60 favorites]


Faze, yes. The ring of truth and well said.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:31 AM on May 27, 2008


Obvious viral ad for a comic strip. Enough with the fucking ads already.
posted by w0mbat at 8:34 AM on May 27, 2008


In other news, have ya ever noticed that most of the people that just "throw it all away" to travel, or rent bamboo canoes to tourists in Goa, or follow their bliss, and then write a book/website about it, MADE A LOT OF MONEY via the traditional channels first?

Well, not everyone, but that's a good way to go if you can. I rather liked the idea of traveling "when I was young enough to enjoy it" (wttw: you always will if you ever did), but now I'm making way less doing the same thing that people younger than me are earning more for because of years they've put in. There's no competitive aspect to me saying that, but know that while your friends who went the traditional route might find it satisfying to see you go off and traipse around the world, be aware that they're the ones whose houses you'll be begging time in when you try to find your feet.

Don't get me wrong. I value the time I spent partly because we don't all make it to 80 -- delay of gratification is great unless you die before the reward. So I think it's a balance between realizing that your time could be over tomorrow, or it could be over a long, long ways away in the future, and you'd best not put all your eggs in either basket.

Oh, also be aware that many interesting opportunities dry up when you're no longer in the "youth" category (this can mean up to 30 or sometimes a little beyond). International internships, all kinds of job and training assistance, and the most valuable commodity of all: apparent potential. You stop being evaluated for the kind of employee you could someday be and start being evaluated for the kind of employee you would be -- today. So feel free to kick around and try things, but be aware that if there's some idiotic cultural notion of "time spent flipping burgers" rattling around in your head when what you really could be doing, and would rather be doing, is work for some NGO in a semi-professional capacity, well at least explore your options and don't automatically take the sucker bet.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:38 AM on May 27, 2008


Sweet Christ, this thread is depressing.
posted by billypilgrim at 8:39 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


So, this adultitis... it involves inflammation of the adult? Cos that's what the suffix '-itis' means y'know.

Wow, that's.... I'm not sure if that's awesomely meta, or just dumb.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:42 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


once i turned 50 my adulthood has been swelling less often...
posted by quonsar at 8:48 AM on May 27, 2008


The world doesn't need more assholes acting like children.

Not participating in the rat race and refusing to be a consumer does not necessarily imply we have to run around like forest elves as the alternative.

BTW. I think it's interesting that people say "Don't keep up with the Joneses then say buy a TiVO to record your favorite shows to get you more time. ? Yeah. Another new gadget will complete your life.


MADE A LOT OF MONEY via the traditional channels first? Just a pattern I've noticed.

And thy invariably learn that it doesn't make them happy and that the time they spent chasing dollars is gone, burned up forever, they will never get it back and they can still be hit by a bus tomorrow.

It's best to understand that reality before you go about burning your time making money. That way you can try to make money doing something you love instead.
posted by tkchrist at 8:53 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Faze is a cynic and turgid dahlia is a whiner. old, fat, decrepit, piss-poor - none of that matters. attitude is all that matters. happiness is a declaration. death is a joke. laugh at it.
posted by quonsar at 8:54 AM on May 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


Wow. Well, according to the FPP, I don't have adultitis. That's good, right? But according to Faze, I'm a complete loser, since I haven't acquired any wealth, much health or, gee, huh, anything recognizable as a status symbol. I drink; I smoke; I work; I play; I write and paint and don't watch TV. I'm no doubt going to be a terrible burden on the state when I'm in my 80s, should the plans fail and I live that long. In the meantime, I must say I'm pretty happy. I have lots and lots of friends, dogs, two more or less grown kids who've turned out fairly well, a garden full of flowers to smell, a job that offers me not a whole lot of money but some creativity and a lot of slack time. My car is 10 years old; my house is rented; I neglected to do all that money gathering career time in my twenties and thirties and yet, you know, I'm really okay with it. I wouldn't want to trade these friends or these memories or all the time I've managed to blissfully fritter away over the years. Yes, it would be nice to have more money and yes, sometimes being poor is no fun at all. Still, given my life to do over again, I doubt I'd change all that much. Having just turned 45, I'm finding that I'm not really sorry I never went into investment banking, medicine, or the law, and didn't begin flossing when you were a teenager. It's okay to be a grasshopper, you know. We can't all be ants.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:57 AM on May 27, 2008 [16 favorites]


I didn't have to get anyone's permission or tell anyone where I was going . . . . Childhood has nothing on adulthood.

Amen to that. The fact that I can no longer get "in trouble" makes being a grownup fabulous.
posted by JanetLand at 9:01 AM on May 27, 2008


I think the thing that offends me the most about the Kim and Jason website is how they've conflated "childlike" with "harmless and twee." It's this sort of sickeningly exoticised adult fantasy of childhood; a magical place where no one is mean and everyone does silly things all the time. It's childhood packaged in a nonthreatening enough way to sell things.

Compare the "childishness" of Kim and Jason with that of, say, Bill Watterson. Watterson, I feel, gets it right; he combines a wonder for exploration with a sense of genuine Lord-of-The-Flies-style malice and terror running throughout. Childhood is great and all, but it's a weird fucking place. It's not the easily-digested giggling escape from drudgery that this site wants to sucker me into believing so that I'll buy their products.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:07 AM on May 27, 2008 [15 favorites]


I looked at this post earlier this evening and was surprised to see it still here. This site consists almost exclusively of self-promotional and merchandising material. Not my cup of tea.
There was some nice input from members here but I don't think it mitigated this 'essentially' marketing post (Ha! unless the discussion is important [I don't think so, (comment, yes)]).
*Note to self* - Must flag more (it may make a difference).
posted by tellurian at 9:17 AM on May 27, 2008


> The concerns of youth vanish like a vapor. Adult Land is your ultimate destination...

In other words, live for tomorrow, because today isn't really here.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:17 AM on May 27, 2008


BTW. I think it's interesting that people say "Don't keep up with the Joneses then say buy a TiVO to record your favorite shows to get you more time. ? Yeah. Another new gadget will complete your life.

I'll ignore the strawman and mostly agree. I have a TV, but it's not hooked up to anything. At the same time, some gadgets do pay for themselves. I won't work long hours to pay for a car I mostly don't need, but we rent occasionally, and suddenly it doesn't take me a whole evening to grocery shop. Coffee thread mentioning time to make coffee in the morning? Unless you find it meditative, they do come with timers.

And thy invariably learn that it doesn't make them happy and that the time they spent chasing dollars is gone, burned up forever, they will never get it back and they can still be hit by a bus tomorrow.

That really falls to personal integrity. I left the greater rat race and a lot of friends behind who said they would follow. But we all know about "golden handcuffs". Well... most of them did. After paying off their student loans and packing away some dough; in one case, fully paying off a house. Now we're all doing similar things, but they have a cushion to fall back on if things get tough, or they can choose to spend it and take that year off, or portion it out and just take really fucking amazing extended vacations. Yes, the friends who are still working those long hours have even more stuff, but it isn't an all-nothing dichotomy. The order in which you do things, though, makes a big, big difference.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:22 AM on May 27, 2008


I had corn dogs, chocolate cake and rum for breakfast yesterday. Then I went on a hike, and explored an abandoned mine shaft that I don't think I was supposed to enter. I didn't have to get anyone's permission or tell anyone where I was going. Later, I touched a girl with my penis, and nobody yelled at me or sent me to talk to the councilor about it. I watched a scary movie that had boobies and swears in it, and then I stayed up until 2 AM because I didn't feel like going to bed.

Speaking as someone who spent the holiday working yesterday despite having a horrific, horrific cold, because I have a stupid deadline, damn... Parasite Unseen, can I come hang out with you for a while?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:22 AM on May 27, 2008


Social status becomes very important, as you come to realize the very serious social penalties of aging with low status.

Also: fuck that. The definition of "low status" may vary wildly depending on who's doing the defining, but that aside; my "status" was fairly low as a child, my "status" as an adult is middling at best, and if my "status" isn't high enough to impress people I don't know and don't give a shit about when I'm a senior, why should I give a fuck?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:23 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


here's a big world outside of the "sucker cities" of Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, London, etc.

Wow, Faze, piggyback on other people's work much? Those "sucker cities" are what has driven western civilization for the last hundred years (or more in some cases) and are where we make the technology that lets you sit around on your ass and shoot the shit.

Sucker cities? New York? Tokyo? London? Jesus.
posted by Justinian at 9:31 AM on May 27, 2008


(ok, not literally make, like where the factories are but you know what I mean)
posted by Justinian at 9:31 AM on May 27, 2008


Childhood has nothing on adulthood. Being a grown-up is an awfully grand adventure.
Goddamn YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.
posted by scrump at 9:31 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


If I could favorite Greg Nogs's post a hundred times, I'd do it with glee.

Looking over these people's site, I see nothing but white UMC conservative Christians who (like most white UMC conservative Christians) tout that they have found the secret to happiness and for the right price (plus shipping), you can have it too!

Oh... but obviously they're *actually* altruistic: they donate a whopping 3% of all merchandise sales to children's charities (one of which has as part of it's mission converting poor people in the third world to Christianity)! It's for the kids! See! It's for the kids!

I also enjoy how they advocate getting away from the stresses of the grown-up world, but don't miss an opportunity to use specious arguments designed to stress out caring adults to sell stuff in their store.

Ahhhhh... I love the smell of exploitation in the morning.

Kim and Jason: We're white, attractive*, and middle class. We must be doing something right!

* In that "not so attractive as to be threatening" kind of a way
posted by vertigo25 at 9:40 AM on May 27, 2008


Card Cheat -- As you grow older, you are more and more at the mercy of others, "the kindness of strangers," if you like. The opinion of people you know and don't give a shit about suddenly becomes very important when you grow old in a society that considers age itself contemptible.
posted by Faze at 9:42 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


why should I give a fuck

Because there are situations where higher status equates to more physical and/or emotional comfort. In my experience. YMMV.
posted by everichon at 9:45 AM on May 27, 2008


The opinion of people you know and don't give a shit about suddenly becomes very important when you grow old in a society that considers age itself contemptible.

That's not what I said. I said I didn't care what people I don't know think of me. Friends, relatives, co-workers, concerned professionals (doctors, etc.)...that is of course a different story.

Because there are situations where higher status equates to more physical and/or emotional comfort.

If by "higher status" you mean "more money," I'll give you that; having money results in better health care, a spot in a quality nursing home, etc. Emotionally...well, I suppose there could be comfort in knowing you're leaving a nice inheritance for your kids or spouse, but other than that I'm not sure what you mean (unless you're talking about the peace of mind that comes from not having to worry about where your next meal or rent cheque is coming from).

My previous posts were a bit knee-jerk, sorry. The idea that adulthood should be about nothing aside from gathering nuts before the coming frost gets under my skin. Of course you should prepare for the future, you'd be a fool not to. But you'd be a fool to not live a little while you're at it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:05 AM on May 27, 2008


Those "sucker cities" are what has driven western civilization for the last hundred years

The suckers are the people who live there and pay outrageous costs in terms of housing and inconvenience, when they might live more happily and productively in a smaller place -- especially in our electronically connected world. Sucker cities turn the young people who migrate there into sterile drones, while depriving their pefectly decent hometowns of talent, families and energy that might actually help somebody.
posted by Faze at 10:15 AM on May 27, 2008


Also, don't forget that all your hippy foofiness-doings can turn into a prestigious job. I'm managing a big election campaign next year and working in a big cheese's office as a spin doctor this summer. I'm not a lawyer or a marketing consultant - I'm a political activist with 14 years experience. I thought I was eschewing the rat race, but here I am!
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:17 AM on May 27, 2008


This is a non-issue. Once peak oil hits the fan, we'll all be too busy bludgeoning each other to death over canned goods to worry about our inner children.
posted by you just lost the game at 10:21 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I moved to "the country" so as to do what the article suggests. Well, I now have a 50-hour/week high stress job, and I'm about to agree to an on-call schedule of 24/7/365. I hope to be able to leave that behind in a few years, but for now there are a few goals I have in mind which require money. The experience will allow me to pick and choose jobs later, and the money will allow me to start my own business (which is and will be a lot of work). My goal is to be able to do something for a living that won't drive me crazy. It has taken a while to get there, and even in the idyllic place I live, I'm still not there, yet.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:31 AM on May 27, 2008


Faze writes "The suckers are the people who live there and pay outrageous costs in terms of housing and inconvenience, when they might live more happily and productively in a smaller place -- especially in our electronically connected world."

Easy enough for you to say. Most companies won't do telecommuting until you've been there a while (I work in a tech field and still have to come into work at an ungodly hour, at least for me). Contract work will allow you more freedom, but the risks are much higher, depending on your field. If you're a hotshot programmer or established writer, those are good options. But a lot of jobs still require you to show up at the office/shop every day, and this isn't likely to change anytime soon.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:33 AM on May 27, 2008


> The suckers are the people who live there and pay outrageous costs in terms of housing...

People who live in far-flung locales where you can't walk or take public transit anywhere are going to have to start paying some outrageous costs of their own from now on.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:37 AM on May 27, 2008


You can place most norteamericanos on a continuum, ranging from "Type-A Nothing But Work Salaryperson" to "Freegan living on friends' sofas". I don't think anyone can usefully tell you where you need to be on that continuum, or how to decide your ideal position on it. This process is one of the (recurring) cruxes of adulthood, and it's all yours.

PS: The Zhuangzi beats the tar out of twee, cloying Kidult websites any day of the week. Rat-race as problem is older than dirt.
posted by everichon at 10:37 AM on May 27, 2008


Once, in my twenties, I was at a a club for New Year's. I was sitting across from a married couple in their fifties. They were aksing me what I did, where I lived, etc. The conversation in America is always about money. The husband later leans over to me and eventually says, "you can make money doing anything."

Ten years later I know that he was right. Although the trouble is to do so is you have to think about money all the time.

I also think the association of lawyers and doctors as money makers is a bit overplayed. There was recently an article in the New York Times on the slipping of the social status given to doctors, lawyers, and these days it is hovering near accountants and dentists. Additionally, they are sort of relegated to the state of their residency or where they have passed the bar. However, in software, particularly UNIX, you are able to move anywhere almost anytime.

I guess what I am saying is, if you want a good paying job where there isn't a drug test, and you can travel the world, try UNIX.
posted by plexi at 11:08 AM on May 27, 2008


The conversation in America New York is always about money.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:18 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


At the same time, you come to understand why non-hipster society has arranged itself the way it has, with its emphasis on job, family, responsibility, and the need to make lots and lots of money.

Often people need to make lots and lots of money because they accepted the societal responsibility re: money, which is to spend way too much of it so that you have to work your ass off.

Amen to that. The fact that I can no longer get "in trouble" makes being a grownup fabulous.

You're not having enough fun.

I think a good attitude towards money is to look at it the same as cleaning, showering, toothbrushing, taking a shit, etc. It's very important to keep yourself from living in or being filthy, and it's very important to keep yourself in enough money, but most people don't give the undue life-sucking weight to the former.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:26 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately - being an adult and what that means. I just turned 33 and am getting married in a few weeks. I completed a masters degree last year, and still have $30K worth of loans to pay. My (soon to be) wife and I both have good jobs, but we still rent and have one car between the two of us. We live in a town with good job prospects but want to be back on the west coast where we're from. In many ways I feel like I'm behind. In many ways I feel like I'm ahead and have done well.

I'm out the door at 7:30 and sometimes don't get back until 6. I am a serious distance runner and train late, and often don't have time to do other things I enjoy such as play guitar, take photos and such. But, I can do that on the weekends. I look forward to having children but fear that any time I have to do things I enjoy will be taken up by that additional responsibility.

In short I'm seeing what being an adult means. Growing old is daunting, but then again childhood for me was not something I idealize, adolescence was fraught with confusion and anxiety and my twenties, while fun, were also a time filled with loneliness, rollercoaster heartbreak in tumultuous relationships, and thin finances.

I have a good life, but it is filled with doubt. Thinking back, it has always been this way. My various circumstances have always, always been about tradeoffs which have their benefits and their drawbacks and haven't always correlated with happiness. Being single means being lonely a lot of the time, but it also brings freedom and excitement. Being with someone brings stability and all that offers (highly underrated) and familiarity and more rewarding relationships. Working a low-stress low-pay job means freedom from responsibility, but it also means lack of career and money.

I've always operated under the assumption that I'm really not going to be made happy by any one particular thing, because that will mean the balance will just shift some more. I've come to the conclusion, as have many others, that living a simple, considered and meaningful life is ultimately where that baseline of happiness will come. This can be done no matter what one's circumstance.

I will always have to work for whatever comes my way, but if I can do that in a way which integrates the things which are important to me in a more seamless, organic way then I can begin to eliminate what I consider to be the real drags in my life. If I can focus on being better at what I do and growing professionally in a direction which will make some change for the good in life, then sitting at a desk is not an end but rather a means. If I can avoid a boring, soul-sucking commute by riding my bike sometimes, or taking transit on principle, or living closer to work and spending more time at home, then I can take something positive away. If being a parent means a sacrifice of time, then I can look to being a great parent as a goal. Same with music, and photography - I will not lament the short amount of time I have to do these things, but instead challenge myself with what time I do have.

Being an adult gets boiled down to having the maturity to follow through with convictions, which in turn, for me, is the thing which keeps me going. I recognise that there will always be highly driven people in all facets of life, and this is what has caused our current lifestyles to be cramped. Humans are competitive, and they will do what it takes to get ahead - these 'slow' movements will always fail as a result. However, people are also just people and there's only so much energy and time in anyone's life. Balance will always be achieveable.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:13 PM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


As I've gotten older, I've discovered that I'm more and more likely to just go and do whatever is sitting in the back of my head. When I was young, I would procrastinate and avoid doing the things I didn't want to. Now, I realize that if it needs to get done, I might as well do it now, and stop thinking about it.

The flip side of this, is that when the urge to do something silly, like go for a walk in a thundershower, I'll do that as well. Why worry about the rain? Put on the headphones, grab a hat and a flashlight and just go.

The good news is that I spend a lot less time being stressed about the little stuff. The downside is that sometimes I realize that being cold and wet in the middle of a storm kind of sucks.
posted by quin at 1:31 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


happiness is a declaration. death is a joke. laugh at it.

Listen to this guy, he knows what he is talking about. Sometimes explaining the joke kills it, but there might be some of you here who will be helped by a more detailed exposition of these correct and excellent ideas.

There is a middle way!

There are a few simple things that can help you to be super-content and super-happy for the rest of your life (except for a short little bit right at the end, but I'll get to that later)...

1) Accept your mortality. Not just on a theoretical level, but with your heart, you have to come to terms with the fact that some day you will die, and after that day you won't be around anymore.

2) Once you've done that, leave it aside. Forget it, it's depressing to think too much about being dead and gone. There is really good news - you aren't dead right now! There will be a short time somewhere in the future when you'll be in the process of dying, but once you get past that the rest is effortless and painless. The future is never here, and right now it is time to BE ALIVE and HAVE FUN!

3) HAVE FUN! This includes the stuff that the serious old fuddy-duddy people tell you not to do. You might not make it to 85 following my advice, but you know what? Everybody dies, and some people manage to have a lot MORE FUN while they are here than others. It's not a contest to see who lives the longest.

Oh, one more thing. When was the last time you saw a dying person say "If only I spent more time working and flossing my teeth"? Don't listen to the old people, they are the ones that deluded themselves into thinking we are having a longevity contest. They didn't get the memo.

I feel good. Life is sweet. I feel better than James Brown. How do you feel?
More detailed information can be found on my Church website.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:38 PM on May 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


Although the trouble is to do so is you have to think about money all the time.


This is quite wrong. It's when you have a lousy job and NO money that you think about money all the time. When you have a career that earns you a lot of money, you are free of money worries, and what you worry about all the time is your work. Which is as it should be.
posted by Faze at 1:39 PM on May 27, 2008


deluded themselves into thinking we are having a longevity contest

You speak as though people who eat kielbasa and smoke and care not for tomorrow just cheerfully keel over one day, when they're 68.

Some do. But many older people I know linger, for years, with diabetes, with obesity, immobility, with countless other signs of chronic illness--large chunks of which could have been avoided had they known any better (many didn't) and/or given a shit.
posted by everichon at 1:55 PM on May 27, 2008


With simple living one can reduce both money and job worries.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:56 PM on May 27, 2008


When was the last time you saw a dying person say "If only I spent more time working and flossing my teeth"?

It's true that nobody says this as they're dying. But in the 20 years leading up to it, they sure do. And the idea behind taking care of your health isn't to add years to your life, it's to make sure that the years you DO have aren't spent in the dentist chair, on dialysis, in cardiac surgery rehab, hobbling around on a replacement joint, or living 30 years as a vegetable in a neuro ICU after you've had a stroke from all that kielbasa.
posted by Faze at 1:59 PM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I spent maybe 20 seconds at that site as I got sick of trying to read text in a 300 x 300 pixel box. That site needs a web designer who isn't creating content for 640x480 VGA monitors.
posted by tinkertown at 2:03 PM on May 27, 2008


With simple living one can reduce both money and job worries.

Exactly right. Moving from 6000 SQ FT to 2000 SQ FT, starting my own business, and checking out of the consuming corporate lifestyle is one the best decisions I have ever made. And I have MORE disposable income to spend on the shit that matters. Like three weeks in Paris or Italy.
posted by tkchrist at 2:19 PM on May 27, 2008


false dichotomies, hyper generalizations, smugness, morbidity, life insurance, earthquake resistant homes, fireproof pajamas, flossing with vegan kielbasa, poking your eye out, swimming after lunch and getting cramps, playing with fire, shark attacks, fallout shelters, the ozone layer, acid rain, mass suicide cults, toys with lead paint, wearing helmets for life, dancing safely, when animals go wrong, STD's, peak oil, genetically manufactured Frankenfood, is our children learning?, microbes, PTSD, going blind from masturbation: all in all, this is the perfect thread for Debbie Downer.
posted by ornate insect at 2:26 PM on May 27, 2008


I should add that I am not always immune to the siren call of kielbasa.
posted by everichon at 2:34 PM on May 27, 2008


everichon--you're tempting fate, my friend. At least wear the safety goggles when you eat it, preferably as far away from a volcano or reactor as is humanly possible.
posted by ornate insect at 2:37 PM on May 27, 2008


Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars,
compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good
health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed
interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your
friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a
three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics.
Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing
game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose
rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable
home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up
brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.
posted by matthewr at 3:13 PM on May 27, 2008


When you have a career that earns you a lot of money, you are free of money worries,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You don't know anyone with a money-spinning career, do you? Because from what I've seen, the more money you make, the more stressed out you get trying to manage it all.
posted by divabat at 3:59 PM on May 27, 2008


But many older people I know linger, for years, with diabetes, with obesity, immobility, with countless other signs of chronic illness--large chunks of which could have been avoided had they known any better (many didn't) and/or given a shit.

How do I slow down and enjoy life when I have to work harder to support everyone else's "free" healthcare?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:44 PM on May 27, 2008


It's when you have a lousy job and NO money that you think about money all the time. When you have a career that earns you a lot of money, you are free of money worries, and what you worry about all the time is your work.

vs.

the more money you make, the more stressed out you get trying to manage it all.

Well, about half of my friends have a heck of a lot of money by my standards. The other half definitely do not. The half that is always thinking/talking about the subject? I'll leave you to guess. But do continue to comfort yourself.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:55 PM on May 27, 2008


Make enough money that you don't have to seriously worry about it, but not so much that it becomes its own hassle. Simple.

This useful principal goes for everything else too. Eat enough kielbasa to enjoy it, but not so much that it gives you a cholesterol of 900 and a stroke at age 34. Drink enough to feel happily buzzed but not so much that you piss in your own closet. Run enough to stay in shape but not enough to blow out your knees.

It's not rocket science. Which you should do occasionally, but not make a serious habit of, by the way.
posted by rusty at 6:09 PM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Drink enough to feel happily buzzed but not so much that you piss in your own closet.

What about other peoples' closets? What about a foyer? A vestibule? I'd love to pee in a vestibule.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:13 PM on May 27, 2008


a nagging voice in the back of my mind, grew stronger to the point of an almost shrieking insistence that I shouldn't be devoting 70+ hours a week of my life to someone else

I'm pretty sure that was sanity talking to you.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:40 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Adult Land is your ultimate destination, and you will have to play by its rules

I couldn't be bothered to find out what they mean by "Adultitis", but this guy sure has it.
posted by yoHighness at 6:50 PM on May 27, 2008


It's not rocket science.

Rocket science isn't exactly brain surgery.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:15 PM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


turgid dahlia writes "Rocket science isn't exactly brain surgery."

Yeah, but brain surgery is no summer camp.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:25 PM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Summer camp is no picnic, I can tell you.
posted by everichon at 9:05 PM on May 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


One time, at a picnic, we played with bottle rockets.
posted by Bugg at 9:15 PM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bottle Rocket was no Rushmore.
posted by dgaicun at 9:20 PM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is this where I put a flute in my...?
posted by maxwelton at 9:21 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Happy Dave, that was my first thought too. "But 'itis' means something's inflamed! Maybe they could use 'adultosis' instead?"
posted by cadge at 9:25 PM on May 27, 2008


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You don't know anyone with a money-spinning career, do you? Because from what I've seen, the more money you make, the more stressed out you get trying to manage it all.

I don't know about that. The more money I make, the more I put in the bank and in investments, and forget about, and continue to live the simple, frugal lifestyle I've come to enjoy. No muss, no fuss, low stress. With the occasional beer and kielbasa, when I can get it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:11 PM on May 27, 2008


Rushmore was no Everest.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:18 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Everest was no Everest.
posted by tellurian at 11:43 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


stavros: but you then have to worry about which investment gives you better returns. And about economic downfalls. Spend now vs save for later. yadda yadda yadda.

And there's all the people who want to use you for your money in the guise of friendship - then mock you when you dare show a little bit of your wealth. From early on you learn that you can't trust people.
posted by divabat at 2:12 AM on May 28, 2008


Nope, none of the above, for me. *shrugs*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:30 AM on May 28, 2008


Well, I do get annoyed at the lack of availability of good beer and any kind of decent sausage at all, here in Korea, but that's about it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:31 AM on May 28, 2008


I leave Ukraine in a few hours, but this last kielbasa is for you, stav.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:31 AM on May 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Only reason it took me forty years to move out of the city is because it was home. Having done it, I can't ever see myself choosing to move back there to live.

Cities are noisy.
posted by flabdablet at 6:33 AM on June 3, 2008


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