excerpted from Arena Magazine, penned by Andrew Mueller

“It would be a worthwhile, and overdue, maneuver for people to disdain most things they’re encouraged to regard as fun, and experiment instead with such disregarded virtues as probity, courtesy and application. It might actually make them happy.

For the wretched reality of the hedonist, invariably, is the they’re attention-seekings dickheads who want everyone to believe they’re having an enviably fantastic time, in order to compensate for the loneliness and boredom eating them alive from the inside.

The solution is not the imposition of a regime of Cromwellian abstemiousness – however appealing that may seem as one trudges through the wreckage of a Friday night in any high street. It is, rather, a collective discovery of the fact that having things, be they flat-screen televisions or prolific sex lives, does not engender a fraction of the satisfaction of doing things, or making things. Anything great human beings have done has been an act of creation, not consumption.

Though few corporations would profit from encouraging people to write things, build things, learn things, think of things, accomplish things – or failing all that, to sit around quietly with friends and discuss stuff- the challenge of confronting the ennui we sublimate in idiotic distractions is worth rising to. Living for today only increases the likelihood of tomorrow being just as bloody awful.”

 

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