Saturday, July 31, 2010

Symptoms of Depression and the Economic Recession

Depression is a common illness affecting an increasing and alarming number of Americans. This plague is striking many of our neighbors at a younger age, and despite living in a land of affluence and opportunity, many are coming to a daunting realization: being a plumber is only fun in Super Mario Brothers, not reality.

The current state of America's economy can be easily generalized and canned like Campbell's soup as symptoms of privilege, entitlement, and excess. That's probably wrong but as an American going on his gut, can I ever really be wrong? No. Fat fucking chance. We've got the liberals, these new school motherfuckers, and the conservatives, who've got all the capital and want more.

"It's not hard to make a lot of money if all you want out of life is to make a lot of money." — Citizen Kane

Let's start with conservatives. The rich want to conserve their money, and they want more, and generally don't care about things like foresight or understanding human nature. Who can blame them? So they don't fancy taking a bus, or would prefer taking a jet to a runway that's actually close to their destination, or are fans of shooting out ceramic art inside their hollow mansions. As Underground Kingz said, "It's all about survival, G." We want to survive, and being a selfish prick and hording money means that when aliens invade, you're more prone to afford a spot on the shuttle to space. This explains why Mel Gibson is an eccentric who merely seems insane and is so convincing in Signs.

Liberals are just what the name implies: free. They want things for free. They believe everyone should be free, except conservatives and corporations. They believe stealing a wallet, a loaf of bread, or downloading music is understandable, but when theft is orchestrated on a large scale, it's immoral. The left doesn't realize they have quite a lot in common with the right. Liberals have lesbians, conservatives have their decadent Eyes Wide Shut orgies. Conservatives have their power and greed, liberals chant after rappers who speak of getting that paper by any means necessary. They're both involved and playing equally destructive parts in government by simplifying complex problems into "me vs. you, black vs. white" bullshit. They're both battling ignorance and indifference.

Like now, when people suffer, we all do. But the same goes for when we triumph. So, when we all stop being pricks, we'll all benefit. Sure, the rich man should realize the private jet is not a necessity, as should the middle class man realize owning a boat is not a necessity, but a luxury, as should the starving boy save a half sandwich for the boy who's hungrier. Does change have to start from the top and trickle down? I think it would work better from the bottom up. Fixing ourselves will fix government, but I'm not sure that works the other way.

My optimism has freed me from the shackles of our suburban depression, that's suffering at the hands of war, greed, ignorance, apathy, and Twilight ticket sales. More complain about the bad things than cherish the good things. Yes, America can improve, but we've created a decent society where we can throw money at seven sorts of whore as they gyrate on cold steel poles. We can gather with our friends and gleefully whine about the cancers our poor health choices caused us. We can revel in the fucking marvels of laser tag and self checkout lanes, enjoy the beauty of architecture, curiously study the flaws in industry, get addicted to heroin, fall in love, live in a sewer, save the planet. Whatever the fuck does it for you.

A good therapist is a good friend, and that's how I got well. My shrink lifted me from the depths of despair and was a well-educated and empathic woman. Granted, she was merely an overweight escort named Tabitha. I paid top dollar to cry my eyes out next to her inside cheap motels, but the fact of the matter is, nothing will change your life like compassion from your fellow woman or man. So now I'm trying to reach out to those lost souls in need. If not you specifically, someone you know. In these hard times, many of us can use a helping hand, and all of us can use hope.

Here are the common symptoms of depression:

  1. Fridge full of Mr. Pibb Xtra
  2. Laughing while crying
  3. Loss of imaginary girlfriend
  4. Feeling the pain of insentient "beings"
  5. Visiting Dollar Tree
  6. Mixing cereal with brandy

If this is you or someone you know, chances are you're already knitting a noose out of licorice and delusional enough to believe it'll kill you. Reach out. Offer help. Open up and be honest to someone. Chances are they're cruel and they'll abuse you and make things more miserable, but at worst you'll always be able leave to Walmart at 4AM with the goal of buying two donuts, or become jaded and indifferent enough you recite Clive Owen lines to random broads at truck stops, and hope one finally falls for, "What does your cunt taste like?"

I'm content and on cloud nine, as easily concluded by the lucidity, depth, and coherency — stapler, stapler, comb, hairspray, piggy bank, stapler — of my blog. I do have a male friend, however, who calls himself "Willow" and suffers from perpetual sadness. He weeps and writes PETA after consuming Swedish Fish and animal crackers at this point. He is happiest when getting a good deal on liquid ink pens.

I can give anyone the same advice I gave Willow. Life is simple. Our egos and desires make it complex. It's not that hard, and it can be rooted down to any cliche. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or dissect and explore them. Or juggle them. Or throw them at people. Or at worst complain about how lemons are sucky and boring. But, by god, it ain't that hard to find something to like with lemons or life.

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