An open letter from Dead Average
I’m walking to my college graduation ceremony through the main streets of downtown, and I feel a growing anxiety whirling in my chest.
I’m coming to terms with a depressing juxtaposition. Contrast me: a well-off white girl in my cap and gown, going in for my diploma as I pass by three homeless men suffering unemployment, begging for something to eat or a chance to not be discriminated for a job.
For months, I've been feeling so empty and dead inside, unable to comprehend the imbalance of our costly education system - which should spring forth a fountain of activism and knowledge but is either beset by kids chained to massive student loans, or is rotten with lackluster, lost, scared, misplaced kids trying to drink and party their confusion away.
I’ve been unable to find an escape; unable to completely dis-enroll or dis-contribute my membership to this consumer based conformist society - a society too comfortable in their personal bubble and too occupied with their personal bank accounts to create change or support something deep down they know is meaningful. A society junked up with nationalist propaganda, corporate branding, and product advertisements – all happy-inducing publicity to make you forget how ugly and ignorant and sad you are for being so null.
A society scared of death, scared of looking into their own souls or minds, begging to live longer in order to consume more and experience more wealth, gorging themselves with excessive food, sex and retail, throwing the scraps away in the dumps.
In an attempt to take an ax to my surroundings and in an attempt to partake in a modern “revolution,” I’ve been claiming myself as an anti-conformist with my “I hate all of you ignorant sheep” attitude, thrifted clothes, vegetarian diet, havoc-inducing graffiti tags, and teal hair dye... which, although counts for something, is being counter-weighted with hypocrisy as I continue being a frequent Starbucks customer, paying downtown Chicago loop rent with my dad’s money, being possessive of my 3 Apple computer products, and never owning any street cred for being poor, mentally ill, homeless, starving or dangerously sick in my life.
So I guess the deal is, I’m just like every other empty person I hate.
Which has made me feel so sick of myself I’ve been craving to sacrifice it all. Everything material I have is so worthless when it comes down to it. I’ve been ardently mustering to everyone I know, “I want to give it all up and live on the streets, I don’t care when I die or what I own or if I eat– it’s all pointless.”
But how does a 22 year-old naïve white girl hit the streets and fend for herself? And to what positive impact does it make when I would have to mooch off others in order to see another day?
In my search for fulfillment, activism, revolution, or meaning I’ve been wanting to interview or follow people who inspire me, people who have sacrificed it all and are doing something positive, making a statement against our empty society.
Join me as I learn.