A few days ago, I met a plump woman on a traffic island in Marchmont. She told me about her two prize roosters, Elkie & Bournville. The former is due to perform in the Marchmont Poultry Slam this Friday, and the latter is more of a layabout, “like you students” she said.
Well. I took umbrage at this remark. Why do ‘grown-ups’ like portraying students as bone idle layabouts, too stoned on Rizzlas and pizza-bongs to so much as cough out a salutary hairball? And even worse, why do students indulge in this cliché, albeit with irony, but taking a genuine pride in thinking themselves immobile losers dripping with detached hipness?
This is an OUTRAGE! There are worse things to get riled up about, of course – the endless shirking of humanitarian laws by unscrupulous cunts hungry to taste western privilege; our slow descent into penury and suicide under the LibCon dictatorship; how our culture of conspicuous consumption has produced a generation of vacuous movie-quoting voids too obsessed with THINGS to form deep and meaningful spiritual unions with their fellow human beings.
However. I only have limited space on this blog. I’ll get to those later.
When I was first a student, I was profoundly miserable. Being the sort of sensitive emo type to find the deep sadness in the wilting of a petunia, the lost expression on an old man’s face, and so on, I took things very seriously indeed. Turning eighteen is NO LAUGHING MATTER. It is an exhausting transition period, when we shift from our cosseted naïve fantasia into the real world, with its snaking awfulness, its petulant horrors.
On top of this emotional whirligig, we are expected to be interested in our degrees. There isn’t TIME to be a lazy buffoon. If we sleep in to ten o’clock, it is because we are preparing ourselves to go OUT THERE, in that horrible shit-pit of a world, and do things with a modicum of success. The mistake here is confusing laziness with deep philosophical trauma. I explained this in great detail to the plump woman on the traffic island.
She apologised. She also added this illuminating point – perhaps workers are the true sloth of society. Perhaps those scowling philistines so quick to denigrate students are those sick with Sartrean nausea, their beings clenched with indecision and self-loathing. These people have grown embittered in their existential limbo – caught in the middle place between their obligation as British drones and people with hearts, passions, loves, hopes and dreams. You people are SICK with misery, and I PITY you.
At the moment, I am kept stable in my Napier MA, writing through the casual hellish nightmares that arise from being alive, and occasionally smiling at anyone who dares to send beams of light my way.
Be brave out there, and I will too.
P.S. I have totally pimped this mo'fo blog. If it ain't coup de la to your eyes, lemme know.