I’ve been to Portsmouth. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon. I’ve been to Houston and Tucson and the copper mines out west and the caves beneath the Appalachians. I haven’t been to Fairbanks but I know how to get there. America? I don’t even know what that is. I know the Lakota. I’m 1/256th Cherokee. I was practically born riding a Condor. I can speak French. I can speak ancient Greek. I pronounce ‘veni, vidi, vici’ with Ws. I hate it when people pose for photographs.
I read Marx in the vulgate. I did my dissertation on how the references to the Iliad in Rolling Stones’ lyrics speak to the Me Generation in greater depth than it did to their parents. I’m anti-establishment. I’m anti-Me. I’m anti-Statist, anti-capitalist, anti-anarchist freedom fighter. I have a voice. I loathe academic Marxism. I have a weapon in my throat. I listen to my teachers. I smoke NA Spirits. I think Drive is the most intelligent film made in the last twenty years. I frequently point at corners with my hand shaped like a gun and talk about my favorite bands (as a reference to a genuinely mediocre adaptation of the phenomenal book by Elis that is literally the embodiment of everything I disdain); when I do that, it’s because I’m impersonating a memetic paradigm and repositioning it in the ironic self-referential context of our post-metamodern world. I’m an artist. I, like my peers, think philosophy is dead. I’m ironically Abrahamic in denomination. I kill myself every Saturday night on stages of hipster coffee shops when I steal slam poetry contests and beatbox the whole time. I’m sincere. I’d love my parents, if I could ever know who they are when they aren’t looking at me. I’m the child of children. I’m the father of my dreams, of which I have none. I deal only with realities. The only language I speak is English. The only language I understand is violence. I fight guys outside of bars; it’s how I got this scar. I haven’t won a single battle in my entire life.
I frequently shout “London” at the top of my lungs from my apartment window (located in some suburb of Baltimore that I ironically call “shitty-New York” without quite knowing what I’m trying to say), and on nights where I’m feeling especially ironic, I follow it with several carriage returns with each letter of the name to follow. I feel nothing but contempt for my friends, but it’s wrapped in a lonesome chill that I use cigarettes for to defrost. I only listen to T-Swift. I laugh at all of John Oliver’s jokes. I frequently wonder what year it is currently. I think Japan is the last refuge of creativity. I’m still on the first page of writing my novel.
I think sex is intrinsically ironic. Every conversation I have with women involves slang, false personalities, misdirection, and self-abasement. I can’t understand someone unless they’re speaking ironically; quoting ironic the masterworks of our time helps, too. The only book I found difficult to read was the Bible. The only character I can’t relate to in modern fiction is the Judge. I think Harry Potter is the greatest literary achievement written by a currently living author, and also the worst set of books I’ve never read. I blame Obama for everything, but I thank him for it.
The celebrity I most identify with is Miley Cyrus. The celebrity I most want to sip coffee with on a rainy day in a bookstore coffee shop that I’m too patrician to frequent is Emma Watson. The only coffee I drink is Folgers, not because I like it, but because its flavor, especially when sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg, blended up with butter and coconut oil, and foamed up like a latte, evokes the implications of deeper substance while remaining watery, beige-white, and opaque, reminding me of myself and of contemporary attitudes regarding white privilege, systematic oppression, and inherent vice.
I’d have coffee with Hilary Clinton. I’d meet Donald Trump for lunch at a restaurant he’d want to buy. I’d petition Oxford to sell me the rights for the apostrophe.
Sometimes I listen to Elvis Costello while drinking a highland single-malt, more for the prestige of the experience than the authenticity. I’ve read David Foster Wallace and consider his work to be like Bret Easton Elis except even more ironic. I don’t know how to read. I get a lot of my opinions from the internet. I only listen to black metal for the cred; I’ve only heard one song off of Sunbather and I couldn’t follow what was going on. I find cognitive dissonance comforting. I consider Richard Dawkins to be a meme.
I’m not part of a generation. I’m part of a genetic movement from one group of people to another. I’m rebellious. I laugh at trannies and call women sluts. I desperately want to sleep with one someday, but I’m not sure which, although I’ve probably entertained the possibility of both at once. I wear pink clothing and pretend to support gay rights advocacy, even though I don’t really know what it means. The words ‘fag’ and ‘faggot’ account for probably about 40% of my everyday speech. Most of my friends are gay. None of them hit on me.
You know who I am. I’m that guy that sits next to you in class that carries big opinions but mostly spends his time eating cheetos while watching someone else play Call of Duty on youtube and making impotent wisecracks the whole time. I’m the chick that secretly likes Japanese girl cartoons but points and laughs the loudest when a cosplayer walks by on campus. I’m the person you probably had a crush on who never returned your calls and seemed too aloof to really understand your backwards methods of flirtation, but in reality, probably just didn’t want to get entangled in another bizarre emotional tryst that has no hope of adequate comprehension among people of our shared memetic heritage. My brain is behind at least eight proxies at any given time, and its IP address changes whenever I wake up from nap. Good luck trying to connect.
You’re probably just like me. If you aren’t, I should feel bad for you, but I’m incapable of acknowledging any feelings resembling empathy for another human being. I might tweet about your misfortune, or make one of those updates about a paragraph long trying to appeal to some bigger sense of importance by using vague terms and anonymous first-person plural pronouns, but I’ll forget about what the topic of the post was by the time I’ve seen the cat video someone put on someone else’s wall. And I probably don’t even know those people.
The media calls us the Me Generation. They’re only half-right.