1. Climate change. Never has so little been done about so much. It’s as though Noah got a 20-year heads up on the coming flood but oil companies and ideological crackpots prevented him from building an ark. The United States is the Big Kahuna in the world, and given its present and projected state of alternating pathological thumb-twiddling and malignant Stage Four finger-in-ass syndrome the smart money says it’s going to get chaotically wet and wild or insufferably dry and thirsty sooner than you think. And you’re likely to witness some very, very unpleasant things if you happen to suffer the misfortune of living a long life. Get out now while you’re cool and relatively comfortable.
2. Nothing is true. Nothing is real. Or else, everything is true and everything is real. Take your pick. Either way, a buzzillion websites, radio talk hosts, politicians and Fox News are crapping out bogus versions of truth, factuality and reality at an impressively diarrheal rate. In some depraved homage to the Soviets and the Nazis science is now politically up for grabs, as is virtually the entire storehouse of accumulated knowledge, historical, philosophical and mathematical, depending upon the venue you get it from. Unless you find the irrelevance of truth and factuality appealing, as well as Orwellian triumphalism and morality turned upside down this isn’t going to be a future for you. It’s pretty easy for evil to prevail in such a world, and every indication is that it will, along with tyrannical stupidity. It’s bad enough now. Spare yourself even another day of it.
3. Like Cheers, except everywhere in the modern world everybody knows your name, including but not limited to Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Overstock.com…hell, all the world’s corporations banks, retailers, financial institutions, advertising firms, some guy in Idaho, twelve year-old boys with computers in Malaysia, Serbia and Mongolia and the FBI. They can’t track you, they can’t find you and they can’t bother you if you’re dead. Or at least not as much.
4. Guns. Not to be used as an excuse for self-deliverance if not a citizen of the United States. This is America at its most irrational, a condition all but assured of staying that way. If evidence of obvious and direct causality, America’s unique and unsurpassable number of guns leading to America’s uniquely unsurpassable number of annual gun deaths can be rendered inadmissible in attempting to deter the latter, then this is a nation that has irrevocably lost its way and lost its mind. And it has. Living in a nation that accepts mass domestic slaughter because a misunderstood, purposely misconstrued amendment in the Constitution supposedly, but not really, says it should and because of the iconic role of the gun in American myth…mythology frankly too dumb and corny for a compelling pulp Western, is no way to go through life. Perhaps the only way to avoid getting your head blown off these days is to swallow a jar of Seconal.
5. Silicon Valley has your genitalia hidden in an undisclosed location. You try keeping up with the latest technology but you need a Getty-sized trust fund to do it. Using the iphone 4S after the 5 is out is tantamount to using a chamber pot or a square wheel. You still don’t understand how a radio, a television or a car works and microwaves, refrigerators and air-conditioners are like supernatural deities putting you in awe…and the mystique of the thermos bottle endures. Now they’re talking computer eyeglasses and wrist watches, roll up tablets and cellphones, TVs that you talk to and that listen, and one can see only a future of endless, insatiable, unaffordable technological green grass on the other side of the hill. The coffin is old school and has a remarkable record of reliability.
6. There’s too much to watch on television. Everything on TV is important now. You’ve got to watch ‘Girls’ and ‘House of Cards’ the new and old ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Homeland’ just in order to show your face in public. And then there’s all the old stuff you really like, and feel obligated to watch every time it’s on, and something always is. It sounds clever to say you don’t watch television or don’t even own one, but this sort of frontier mentality is highly offensive, besides which I’m suspicious that those who offer it either are lying or are insufferably dull with or without their televisions. In fairness, the Unabomber was pretty interesting. Still, this can only go in one direction, with more channels, more services, more streaming, more this, more that. Protest the trend by becoming the ultimate frustrated, overwrought and disenchanted viewer.
7. Obama is the best thing that has happened to the country in a long time, and while his accomplishments have been real and significant, he will in all likelihood make some very bad deals with Republicans. Obama has some deadly vulnerabilities for a politician: fairness, open-mindedness, decency, and an abiding determination to accomplish something on behalf of the American people. The fact that Obama throughout his life has been, and no doubt inherently is a higher achiever than most, even among those who ascend to the presidency means the thwarting by Republicans of his determination to always be accomplishing something may drive him to desperation or to desperate acts. Already he is offering up changes to Social Security and Medicare that if enacted will be monumental for many American citizens in the cruelest sense. Obama is sure to continue aspiring, but Republicans aren’t going to allow him to achieve anything unless he gives them ninety percent of what they want. Why not just swallow your gun now, and take off into the immortal beyond carrying with you the gratifying image of Obama pounding Mitt Romney like a soggy piece of veal.
8. American literature is really awful. It has become little more than pseudo sociology or bad sociology, the novelist as amanuensis for the zeitgeist in all its obviousness, banality and sensationalism, the writer as part-time tape recorder operator, part-time deft transcriptionist. On the other end, even in this day and age some writers still operate as though innovation can earn cachet, literary innovativeness writ large in other words, and I’m here to tell you it just ain’t gonna happen. Yes, Joyce left a trail of Joyceans, but the literary world is permanently out of eans to add to your name. Of course, none of this really applies to me since I have always preferred Russian, French and Scandinavian authors anyhow. But even if you’re like me, or simply don’t read at all, in this case you should kill yourself purely on the basis of principle.
9. I had intended number nine to be: The pubic domain is rotten and will probably stay that way. This would have been a delineation of some of the many ways the public domain has become coarse, venomous, shallow, cruel and all but unlivable. I intended to mention that a high percentage of the population is uninhibited and exhibitionist, confessional and interactive, and with everybody famous now more or less, and for no particular reason, it is maddening trying to decide where to deposit ones sycophancy and envy.
But I changed my mind. This is a conformist nation, with a populace of malleable, easily influenced and effortlessly herded citizens. Nothing moves merchandise like celebrity testimonials and the endorsements of the rich and famous, or even the infamous. So it’s enough of a selling point to state simply that suicide has the de-facto endorsement of the many talented, brilliant, accomplished, discriminating and virtuous people who’ve committed it. A lot of really cool people have killed themselves. So simply put, you should kill yourself because it comes highly recommended.
10. Sex. No matter how much you have, you always want more, and very badly. And it messes up your hair. Fuck it.