woensdag 17 februari 2010

To continue on...

So a few days ago i started looking for quotes from the book "Into the Wild" by John Krakauer, based on Christopher McCandless's two year journey to Alaska which was part of my subject in my first blog.
Today i'd like to continue on from that blog with two quotes i found which really appealed to me, and caused me to think further about the society we currently live in.
And as usual, that leads to some thoughts which to me are influenced heavily by my 'heavy metal mentality', which i'll continue on later on in the blog.
So, on to the first quote...

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."

This spoke to me, and this may sound silly, but because it reminded me of some of my experiences in videogames.
And those videogames are MMORPG's. Now, an MMORPG may sound pretty cool on paper because you get to play together with a lot of different people, where you should be able to go on adventures together.
Instead, you need to reach a specific level for most 'dungeons', places you go with just your group where nobody else but your group can go with you.
And how do you reach that level? By grinding your way through countless monsters to earn experience, so you can finally level up and try something new.
Now there comes in the quote: "The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences".
See, when you grind through those monsters it doesnt take a lot of thinking. You know exactly what you can expect and what you are supposed to do.
Your mind stagnates untill you can finally do something new again, which would be a new dungeon to explore.
It's mindnumbing work. Why would you want to do that?

And it leads me to the next thought: This holds true for other things in life as well.
You start working, you work tirelessly to reach a new goal: better pay, new house, new car, whatever.
In order to do that in modern society, you need a carreer. A carreer, in my opinion, requires a lot of work putting in to it before you get anywhere.
You work every day for years of your life, experiencing nothing new, you just keep repeating the same work day after day after day untill you have gathered enough reputation to earn yourself a promotion.
It's mindnumbing just to think about it.
I'll have to quote Chris McCandless again, as he said to Ronald Franz: "I think a carreer is a 20th century invention, and I don't want one."
And now in comes my 'metal mentality'.
Why does it have to be this way? Why can't you do it in any other way? Society forced this on us, and we have to live with it, just like taxes.
And why do i call this a 'metal mentality'?

I call it a metal mentality because no other genre of music has such a big emphasis on kicking the nuts of stuff you don't like.
This also holds true for punk music and rock and roll.
These types of music allow one to 'stick it to the Man', to those who forced this way of living on us.
Metal shakes an angry fist at the Man, and it allows you to say: "This is what you are doing to us! Have a look at it! This is what you do to us, and I don't like it! I won't stand for it, and I will fight for what i believe is right!"
You can rub it in his face untill you can force a change, to be able to live the life YOU want to, without all the crap society forces on you.
You can question everything, and shake your angry fist at it.
Taxes, carreers, 40-hour workweeks, why? Why does it have to be this way?
Why can't we escape from it and live life in a more pleasant way then grind through it to finally be able to accomplish something?
Why can't we set all that crap aside and just be happy, and live without a care in the world?

And in closing, i'd like to quote Christopher McCandless one last time because this fully expresses what i would love to do myself one day:
"Two years he walks the earth.
No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild."
— Alexander Supertramp
May 1992

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