activism, life, writing
Comments 24

Everyone we know is brokenhearted

I think Joshua Ellis just made my blog obsolete with this amazing, somber, absolutely human post. Please, please read it. I also think, whenever I get down in the future, I will just go back and read this and spare everyone my take on contemporary sadness. Not that everyone’s pain isn’t valid, it is just so… the same. Without further ado, go read: Everyone I know is brokenhearted.

24 Comments

  1. It’s all awful and perfect at the same time. Bearing an open heart always costs. It’s all just a drama where we are so invested that we forget that it’s not real. A touch of melancholy is present but it adds flavour to life.

    • Beautifully said. It took me a while to appreciate sadness as just another part of life, and not as all-encompassing as it sometimes feels. But it’s totally ok to get angry at the injustice of the world as well – apathy is the most dangerous emotion.

      • It’s as Faulkner said there are things that we must refuse to bear in this world. Either we all make it or no one does

  2. I found it a great vent of often unspoken feelings of every generation following the yuppies. When you put icing on it you simply forget what is there. What is there is a great big mess of (as he would say) ‘shit’ that needs to be cleaned up not glossed over. He overspoke instead of under speaking or leaving unsaid. Well, by overspeaking some of the things it slightly made up for the things that are so terrible, ridiculous and disgusting that no words could come close.

    Lets get our eyes open, let our disgust and hopelessness of forward march come to its natural conclusions, and then lets rise up a new people free from the chains of all the trash lies and propaganda we were raised on. Great post!

    • I felt the same way! A little bit of fury is the first step to change. I think all the millennials should be more angry that we are basically reduced to obedient consumers and our entire lifestyle is one big market research for behemoth corporations. Thanks for the inspiring comment :)

  3. I’m so glad you blogged this link: as a journalist and teacher of Gen Y (future journalists) it certainly does sum up what a lot of the younger gen feel and think ~ and it’s a reality. I often spoke to my classes about it not being normal to grow up with our country (Australia) at war and it is not normal for planes to fly into buildings. Technology is not normal and social media is not a normal way of life ~ it is extremely recent. I find his post superbly written; succinct; and the voice for millions of people around the world. He sees through global powers and pinpoints … well the point. He also notices the effect of today’s technology / social media / global communication on everything from his breakfast emotions through to life in general. His blog is a big deal and these topics are enormous: civilisation is most definitely in crisis. Raising the veil on all the issues helps us constantly remember why we need to therefore return to origin; seed the beauty and believe in love again.

  4. Ummm…don’t hate me for saying this but I prefer your refreshing, witty and intelligent writing over this any day. The world is horrible, I agree. We’re a horrible race really. But I feel this guy just realized that being an adult basically sucks. My teenagers seem to be going through this now. It can be a depressing, paralyzing epiphany. I think that’s why I’m drawn to Buddhism (but as a recovering Catholic, haven’t signed up). I find it comforting to know that life is unsatisfying.

    • I appreciate the compliment :) I think your point of view is very mature (not in a bad way!) and probably the closest thing we as a species come to realism. There is no such thing as utopia, but I kind of like that every generation will fight for it in their youth and idealism. Pointing out why the present suck is the start of that exercise, and I connected with his rant deeply. Doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, or even logical. But it takes a little bit of fury to initiate change and heavens know this planet needs some of that, asap! Preferable in a sustainable, non-violent way, but we’ll see…

  5. Knowledge is nothing without action, and action nothing without knowledge. And neither are worth a damn without purpose.

    Have faith, we are changing this world for the better.

  6. I agree with everything Chris said.

    As the old saying goes, “misery loves company.” It sounds like Josh is in a very negative place, so that’s the kind of energy he’s attracting. I am mostly beyond being angry about the state of the world (yes, I still have anger about depressing/tragic/senseless issues everyday, but I also recognize that we can’t change what anyone else does or has done in the past — only what we do in this moment). What I get angry about is people like Josh spewing venom about how “the whole fucking world and everything in it sucks, and everything is meaningless.” It feels like a cop-out to me: a justification for complacency and bitterness. Perhaps that’s a stage we all have to go through, but I wouldn’t wish anyone to stay in it for long.

    Joey, I understand why this article spoke to you, and I share many of your frustrations (some of which Josh spoke about eloquently). But as Chris said, your blog will never be obsolete. You write with a great deal of intensity, but also with sensitivity and compassion. Keep trying to see the good in this world, and keep writing. I would far rather read what you have to say–and how you say it–than reading what I consider to be longwinded, judgmental, one-sided rants.

    Lastly, yes… a lot of today’s music and movies suck… but there’s also more great art than ever. It’s harder to find, like raindrops in a monsoon, but it’s there. It’s all about where you look, and the energy you emit.

    • I hope it wasn’t all bad! I hope you got something good out of it :) I just really enjoyed the way he included almost everything that is insane and out of balance in our society, yet somehow, we have convinced ourselves they are normal. Like eating meat for three meals a day because we have factory farming, and that killing children in the name of religion is to be met with any sort of tolerance. In 2014!

      It means SO MUCH to me that you encourage my writing. With today’s media being what it is I sometimes feel so wishy-washy with my never quite taking firm stance because to me the world is so multi-layered and I’d hate to be an absolutist about anything. But that seems to be all that sells these days, and I think that’s why artists like myself are so absolutely (!) exhausted of trying to find a space to be heard.

      But you’re not the first person to tell me to spend my energy wisely and it’s damn good advice :)

  7. I think there’s an evolution happening. Many people like me in Gen Y (I was born in ’83) are incredibly disillusioned. What’s unique about us is that we came of age during a Lost Decade that stretched from 9/11 through the Iraq War and a brutal recession caused by greed.

    I think in some ways we’re a stunted generation, but in others we’re only just starting to be able to do some of that coming of age that should’ve happened in that decade. We’re evolving the counter-culture we weren’t allowed to have, and I do think you’re starting to see that in music and movies.

    I like to think of our generation’s like the Count of Monte Cristo. If most generations kill the thing they love…what did we love? What to Gen Y is so precious we couldn’t let it go? Nothing. What we love has already been eliminated. What we were taught to idealize and fight for isn’t to be found anymore. How could we kill it?

    We came of age in a time of hate. Maybe we get to be that generation who kills the thing we hate, through art, through speech, through writing, music, movies, eventually politics…not today, not tomorrow, but I doubt it ever fully leaves our minds, and I doubt my generation will ever forget or forgive. That’s what I like to think.

  8. Wow… that was really depressing. And yes, definitely some good thoughts in there… and I agree with his end note. We need to tribe up – it’s a common note I see everywhere and I try to implement it in my life. Ultimately, he’s right, what do we have if we don’t have each other?

    • Maybe I’m crazy but I didn’t find it depressing! I also like to view problems from every angle, to see how they are connected and I’ve spent so much time doing that that maybe I’m immune to others explorations. It’s so encouraging to me, though, that most people who put in the time to analyze these things tend to come up with the same solution. We need strong, healthy and sustainable societies where people feel like they belong.

  9. It was depressing, but I’ve heard it all before. It’s not a revolutionary line of thinking… just another way to justify settling back down into uneasy complacency and putting your nose to the grindstone. We all know that something’s gotta give, and until we’re ready to lay down our life for the world that we want, or we start building it from inside our communities via direct action, nothing will change and diatribes like this will continue to be empty.

    Communists know exactly what’s gone wrong, and it’s interesting to me that he spends more time talking about his feelings about the change instead of the socio-political trajectory that, very deliberately and with incredible precision, got us to where we are now: neo-liberalism. Class consciousness and gumption are the only things that will bring about any real change now.

    • I agree with you a lot. And I think he was talking about it to some extent – he just didn’t use the -ism words. I think de-centralizing, focusing on communities and growing them strong, healthy and resilient will be the final solution. The world can still be connected virtually and through travel, but our energy crisis, pollution and waste management have to be solved locally. Argh, it seems so simple at times. Put everyone to work creating healthy and sustainable communities where they live, and eliminate unemployment, poverty, and give people access to healthy, clean food that they help grow themselves. But, right, there’s no money in that…

      • I had an anarchist art history prof once tell us about an Italian student who came to study at our school and was so fed up with the political paralysis that seems to plague americans much. I guess during a political discussion once she got up and started yelling about how, compared to Italians, we were a bunch of wimps, and that everyone she knew back home would be willing to die in the streets for freedom. Was kind of a big moment for me, but I’m sure the problem seems pretty simple to foreigners too: get out there and get our hands dirty. Get shot and arrested. But we seem to suffer from a kind of cultural anxiety that not many other countries seem to, or at least to this extent. You’re right, it seems so simple… but how do we go about getting started? :/

      • I totally agree that the American situation is unique. It’s just such a big country with such a diverse population, it’s crazy that it’s even running at all. Add in all the money, military and global power and you get a great, big mess. It’s no wonder to me that most Americans feel small and powerless.

        I can’t even begin to have any absolute solutions but I tend to start small when talking to people. Learn about food supply and the effect of advertising is usually the best and least offensive way of introducing people to a new way of thinking. Once you really see the destruction that the corporate state, and increasingly corporate world, has brought and you distance yourself from it as best as possible, that is a huge show of civil disobedience. It’s not everything, but for someone without any money it is a start. And so is our blogs, I think :)

  10. Wow that was a depressing, and lengthy, rant. He makes a few good points and goes on too long about other things. Certainly makes me feel better about my life. The loss of belief and optimism is a dangerous thing because, while I agree the world is bad in many of the ways the author indicates, his lack of hope and consciousness that he can make positive change is raising the white flag; succumbing to the slavery of defeat.

    Decent read though, hopefully he’s able to get back up on the horse, or kill himself. The middle ground is no place to live.

    And as long as you have a voice and someone willing to listen, your blog will never be obsolete.

    • Sorry in advance for the super long comment! I just felt like I had to explain why the article spoke to me so much :)

      Thank you for your insight and kind words on my blog. Maybe I’m crazy but I didn’t find his post depressing. I thought it was a nice, albeit negative, summary of how we got to where we are. When put into a global scope, it was inevitable that we ended up here in this corporate dictatorship. I don’t believe there was a giant conspiracy – just a bunch of people making what they thought were the best decisions at the time. Most of us would have probably made the same ones in their place.

      Which is why I appreciate when people take the time to write it all out. It’s only when we understand the problem we can begin to find solutions. People have been depressed throughout history and yes, there have always been conflict and violence, but we’ve finally reached a point in human history where conflict and suffering seem more ridiculous than inevitable. Almost 50% of all Americans are below the poverty line; more than 50% of Americans are on anti-depressants – why? Life here isn’t all that bad, at least not compared to actual conflict zones from where photos of those dead children reach us every day. Maybe being depressed is a luxury but it has to serve a purpose, if for nothing else but to remind us we are out of balance with our true nature.

      For me, writing and reading these “depressing” articles is a way to center my anger and despair, move beyond it, and start working towards fresh ideas that might make a difference. I call it sustainability for the lack of a better, all encompassing word because if we don’t stabilize the planet and come up with better consumption solutions, the violence and destruction we see today will pale compared to what the world will look like when we run out of clean water. So maybe I’m ‘crazy’ for living with these vivid images every day and not closing my eyes and mind to them just because I have the luxury to do so. A lot of people do, and that’s a valid choice; people are entitled to make it. But for some reason, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be much happier if all I cared about was fashion and looking like a Victorias Secret model. Fear and despair are calls to action for me, but it took a while to get here. And some day I fall back into that pit and I can’t get up again for a while, and sometimes I talk about death as though it would be a welcome chance to rest, but I also know life is short, death is inevitable, and the whole world could be so damn beautiful and that is worth fighting for every day, even if all I’ve got is a voice and a blog on the internet :)

      I don’t think the author expected his post to go viral and I want to commend him for his honest expression of emotions. In an age where we are all trying to look ‘cool’ online and have the smartest opinions, a show of honesty and human weakness is the first step to recognizing that we are all pretty much the same on the inside.

      • This is a nice perspective on this. Maybe I need to re-read Joshua’s post with a different lens. :)

      • Thanks for jumping in, Mark! I’m always so flattered by your kind words on my writing :)

        It’s always good to have opposing views and that’s something I need to remind myself of. I was learning about one of the pit-falls of the internet is confirmation bias because we tend to surround ourselves with like-minded people so much that our common view point becomes law, and then when we are faced with another group’s view point, it almost always turns into this all-out battle because each side is so convinced they are right. That’s what I’m seeing with Josh’s post happening right now on Facebook and Reddit. People are tearing his opinions to shreds because they don’t align with theirs, and then the insults come. It’s really scary to put yourself out there today. I’m so grateful people have been responding to my emotional posts with kindness. Every now and then I will get someone calling me a moron and my blog stupid and it hurts each time. Not because I’m always right, I don’t think that at all, but because I have never gone out of my way to say mean things to someone on the internet. It’s a great, big place. If I don’t agree with someone, I move along.

        That’s neither here or there, but it’s fascinating to see the kind of reactions his post is getting. You learn something new everyday :)

      • Your self-awareness, honesty, and perspective is refreshing and inspiring. I’m smitten by your words.

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