I've told you stories on my blog of times when I've suffered. The most prominent stories probably regarded the years and years that I spent working in an office, in a cubicle, in Hell, for a popular web company. They are a good business and I made good money there, but I suffered for it. It was a desperate inner-struggle everyday I had drive myself there and stare at the computer and be quiet with dark hounds with glowing red eyes and droopy jowls watching over my shoulder.
At the time, I considered the movie "Office Space" to be one of the funniest movies of all time. I still do. But what you laugh at most during that movie is the misery and absurdity these people endure just to bring home a paycheck. I would watch that movie and laugh. But it also hurt me inside. It hit too close to home. When I stopped laughing my face would distort.
I would complain to my wife, "It's so true. The suffering is real. It shouldn't be allowed. It's crazy that everyone knows how horrible it is but nobody stops it. I don't know if I can go to work tomorrow. Or ever again."
And my wife would try to calm me down and tell me not to think about it. She would try to convince me that my job was not so horrible as it actually was. More importantly, she would threaten me with the movie, Office Space, "You are not allowed to watch this movie anymore."
And anytime I would try to watch, she would try to stop me. "You're not allowed!" Because she didn't want me to get into that work funk.
That was years ago and I haven't seen her react that way to any other movie until recently.
I checked out the DVD of "Into The Wild" from our local library. If you don't know, the movie is based on a true story of a young man who finds no value in typical american culture or lifestyle. He's a nice kid from a relatively affluent family but he leaves everything behind and sets off to see the world on his own terms. He makes some friends and works on the plains for a little while. He canoes down the Colorado River down into Mexico. He makes friends in the desert and on the redwood coast of northern California. But his life ambition is to live in the wilds of Alaska.
We were probably less than 20 minutes into the movie before my wife turned to me and said "DONT. GET. ANY. IDEAS."
I hadn't said anything. I made no gesture. My wife is scared to death of the movie "Into The Wild" and sees it as the primary threat to her marraige. If the name comes up in conversation, she repeats, "Don't get any ideas."
I guess it's flattering that she sees me as that type of person. And the thought seemed to occur to her before it occured to me. And while I agree that I would make an amazing and outstanding drifter, I don't believe that a dust-in-the-wind philosophy is in my future.
Maybe my mother cured me of it before it became a problem. She fed my craving for the outdoors. It's even possible she created it. That kid grew up in a stifling city and went to stifling schools to the point where he felt like he needed to run away just to breathe. Myself, I grew up on the redwood coast and the Colorado/Green River. I'm sure I've gone places that few will ever go. I've met good people. I've been a part of beautiful things. I don't need to stare at a frozen tundra to discover the secrets of the universe.
So I feel like I have things in common with this person in the movie but I don't feel like I need to be him. And to be honest, living in the city is not my cup of tea. I tell my wife that I need a chance to miss people so I don't get into fist fights when people cut me off in traffic. I do feel like I need trees and mountains and rivers and oceans in my life.
Living in the city makes me feel like the main character from the movie "Gran Torino." And I shudder to think of the similarities I feel between myself and the grumpy old man. I guess it comes back to intolerance for this society. It does bother me to see so many people who make a living by standing around and BS-ing all day. It bothers me to see the attitudes of punk kids around our neighborhood. It bothers me to see grown men who don't seem to be capable of working because they only want to play video games all day long. And television is worse than real life. My son was quoting "Family Guy" the other day ("giggety-giggety"), which I'm sure is popular around school, and it made me want to tear someone's head off. And then I had to be a jerk and tell him that "giggety-giggety" isn't a "bad word" but that it is a part of "Family Guy" which represents everything that is wrong with entertainment.
It's okay if YOU like family guy, and I don't need to hear about it, but it offends me that such retarded crap is the epitome of comedy right now and that our kids are learning that such empty-headed, boring crap is GOOD.
There are so many better things to do with my life