Thursday, February 26, 2015

America the Insecure

Recently my girlfriend and I have been talking about taking a trip to Germany this summer and of course, with our somewhat limited finances, we have been looking for ways to save money one of which being to stay with her friends. When I asked what we were waiting to book tickets for, my gf said "they haven't written me back yet. They're in Thailand or something." That sparked a conversation about how it seems like people in other parts of the world travel way more than Americans. I asked how they can afford to travel so much and apparently these friends (along with most of the rest of the world) live way more simply than we do.

America as a society needs to consume. We feel insignificant deep down, maybe because everyone still is butt hurt from being the "weird new country that no one understands", but whatever it is, America has to feel special. Most of that is displayed by meddling in the rest of the world's affairs or buying shit. We don't travel the world because our consumption always equals or excels our income leaving nothing left to venture out with. But why see other things when you can stay in your own little suburban castle and stroke your own ego? 

With all this fresh on my mind, we watched the documentary Tiny about micro-homes tonight. The tiny home movement is homes usually smaller than 250 square feet. It's based on giving up the extravagance for only what is needed living a simpler life. Numerous individuals were interviewed about tiny homes (owners, designers, etc) and I had the thought "these people all look like lunatics". There was something about them that felt off but I couldn't place it. Then I realized that despite their quirks and appearance, they seemed quite happy and it struck me - maybe that's just how fucking blind and insecure we are as Americans - freedom and happiness look like insanity because we are so bereft of them in our every day lives. Maybe there is a little bit of quirkiness to these people but it's probably because trying to break free of the system beats you down. Other people don't like to be confronted with folks that don't fit in the mold because it's a mirror to their own fears and imperfections. Living with that judgement takes it's toll - we try to break the ones breaking free and drag them back to our level. That being said, they still seemed happier than most people I see driving fancy cars, flashing the laser whitened smile.

It's time to wake up and shed the bullshit of trying to prove ourselves to ourselves by proving to everyone else how fantastic we are. 

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