The Esteemers

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Jennifer Brigitte

Growing up American, we have an overwhelming sense of privilege, privy to the holocausts that occur all around us. We may never know what a genocide feels like. We may never see what a famine can do. We may never. America is a resilient imprisonment, steel bars surrounded by soldiers of Teflon. We have the choice of free will to consume, to protest, to pray, and to rest our pretty little heads where the chips may fall. We are social climbers from the moment someone dared us to move.

And then, “Bang! Bang!” The big bad wolves in corporate apparel shot us down with their paper planes. It’s as if London’s bridge collapsed on reality television.

“The millennial generation is split by one simple reality. Those who see 9/11 for what it was, an inside job to take control of the US. And the rest who are just sleeping ignorant robots. That’s about what it boils down to at the end of it all. Without 9/11 truth as the centerpiece for political discussion, you can never truly understand the politics both here within the United States nor our foreign policy. You can’t even scratch what is happening economically,” words spoken by Miami millennial Alfredo Quintana— a close confidant I encountered during the days we spearheaded the throes of disenfranchised youth in Occupy Miami.

As I write this piece, I realize we are the esteemers forced to prove a nation of critics that this millennial generation is far more potent than taking selfies and contouring makeup. 2PAC once rapped in All Eyez on Me, “I bet you got it twisted, you don’t know who to trust/ So many playas hating, Niggaz, tryin’ to sound like us/ Say they ready for the funk, but I don’t think they knowin’/ Straight to the depths of hell is where those cowards goin’.”

Every day is the same. Every day millennials like me face the slamming of the door. We face the madness of indifference and intolerance thrown at us. We face the blame of all the world’s problems. Let me remind you that’s not the case. Let me remind you that we haven’t lived long enough to have that much influence on the fearmongering send our way.

Because it’s not a new reality we live in. We just never faced it. The same ignoramus views on life, cultures, race, policies, wars, and interpersonal relationships have always been blurred by the brainless, soulless vacuum sold to us. It’s just now, it has become to something we cannot unsee. Thanks in part to the internet for the ubiquitous coverage it has sprawled across this American wasteland.

Mass shootings. Floods. War. Idiotic presidential candidates. Isis. Animal cruelty. Global warming. Racism. Police Shootings. Voter fraud. Fracking.

Our definition of America is just an inherent microcosm that separates us from the direct impact of a globally dominated enterprise. Our humanity deepens with the cause and effects its people’s decisions. I’m a millennial girl living in a Barbie world. Can it be, am I seeing this from an existential point of view? What happens when someone like me who holds no regard for what societies’ conformists think of how the world should be.

When I was a kid growing up in the 90’s, in the midst of MTV transitioning its broadcast from grunge rock prophets Nirvana to the ubiquitous manufacturing of Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, I was in elementary school. I was a scoundrel, even at this age. I defied authority and hated the mediocrity I was surrounded in. I played my part but I wasn’t very good at it. I’m a natural actor but even the facade of conformity made me crack under pressure. I wasn’t going to sway in the background as the token favorite got their chance bask in all her vomiting glory.

The Millennials are the majority of the people that will be reading this. It’s because I’m cut from their cloth. I breathe their air. And I suffer in their environmental society.

If I had a dollar for every time some maudlin sycophantic baby boomer or gen-Xer tell me how much my generation sucks, I would be on the Dow cleaning up the economy they so much destroyed in their laps of luxury and self-decadence. It is the spirit of our mothers and fathers who watched the world burn instead of rotating the power from those who employ them. It is their lack of esteem for themselves that made us the generation we are today.

Truth is, you think you want a piece where the inspiration is spirited and motivating and all you here is “You can do it.” No. Part of journalism is to tell you the truth. You can achieve whatever you want in life but being a part of something special doesn’t make you special. It makes you one of them. You need to realize that you’re the “special one.” Being popular in a herd of mechanical animals is none too appealing. To slither on the floor charming your way into likeability like some smarmy politician on the campaign trail is almost as criminal as a rapist telling his victim, “You know you like it. Look at how you dress.”

If you want to feel popular, get in line at Skid Row and score the latest drug. Or better yet, feel cool in your obvious anonymity as you check out your latest prescription from everybody’s favorite drug dealer, your pharmacist. Til then, I don’t feel safe on this planet anymore. Not when global warming has sung and danced louder than ever before at our doorsteps.  Or when lobbyist groups get laws turned in favor for big corporations, while we are denied the truth behind our food and medication. Or when we hide behind our technology screens and believe the bullshit blaring from mainstream media. Or when countries all over the world are suffering from western wars, and we deem these refugees terrorists. Or when freedom in the land of free does not exist because our government sold our rights away to the highest bidding corporations.

Novels such as, George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ were my biggest fear growing up, but now that it appears to be a reality. Where can a person run away from the very things she does not stand for? No country is safe enough, and unfortunately, space is not an option, at least not for now.

If I fight, I will be labeled a terrorist or anarchist, but if I stay silent than I am as much at fault as the people running the show.What I really want to know, is if people like living in the confinements of conformity? Do you like being a puppet in a game we have no say in? And do you especially like living a life believing a lie so you can retain some minuscule form of what’s left of the dying American Dream?

We are no longer living the American Dream, we are living in the American Dungeon. When the power of truth and omnipresence is the symbol of the Eye, one understands the meaning of complete control and power. To be at the subordination of the Eye is to be present in line for the downfall of man and into the bonds of slavery. Nationalism, for lack of a better word, is the symbol of a global imprisonment. To subjugate the masses under the principle of restriction and uniformity is to fall asleep on an American flag, away in a Siberian manager under the watchtower. Goodbye to the electric acid dreams and say hello to the Neon Bible. If life were a movie and the films goes back into the impenetrable darkness of the night, the end credits to this metamorphosis would read much like the immortal words to Frank Sinatra’s seminal tune, My Way: “The record shows, I took the blows, and did it my way”

Right now, you have to stop with all your bullshit stereotypes about millennials.  Every few decades, we hit the fan with too much excess and mandated debauchery, promoted by the same men who creates wars to further their plans for a mass deterioration of a new world order. In that time, we think we are invincible. We are irreplaceable creatures. Then reality strikes and we are hit with a devastating blow. In both cases in the 1920’s and the 1980’s, we had a decade of prosperity followed by a crushing blow and Depression. After the Jazz Era died, Black Tuesday unfolded and America was hit with Depression followed by World War II. In the 1980’s, everything was done in a big way. Just like the shoulder pads and hair fads, we partied hard and became consumed with the capitalist downfall of greed. Wall Street was where the movers and shakers made their Devil handshakes. The train did not lose steam in the 1990’s but by 2001 America’s empire was attacked. Our symbol of hope burned down in flames and now we are at war once again. The hollow reality is that nobody changes because of a traumatic event. We, as a whole, will continue to live in our shallow existence, just as long as we are exonerated from the consequences. The American Dream that heavily influenced the desperateness to succeed is daunting.

And this is your fault, Baby Boomers, and Gen-Xers. We are living in the aftermath of your disease. You blew up our future for a better world and then left us to fend for ourselves. Then you get angry that everything in our lives has to be televised for the world to see.

You say we have low self-esteem, that just once maybe we could be more upbeat. But personally, I don’t have low self-esteem. I simply have a low esteem of others.

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