Andrew Olson

             For these sixteen years of my life, I’ve slowly come to appreciate the extent of the middle-class bubble; blotting out with shining opacity the hardships of the less-well-to-do, the consequences of my own material affluence, what was being stolen not just from the faceless ‘them’, but from myself; in fact, everything else. It took so long just to see beyond that comfortable bubble.

            Above all, suburban life is the precipitation of isolation; suffering of constant lack of perspective, contrived standards, monochrome culture. It is the logical conclusion of the American Dream: endless rows of prefabricated houses where wilderness and community once stood, rented mansions and identical delusions of grandeur, self-justifying collective unconsciousness that forms the basis for the various degrees of stock-market, pseudo-individualistic, evangelical race-nationalist mentalities termed “normal” “politics”- milder versions, “liberal”; more honest ones, “conservative”.

            And yet, in the midst of all this, I still managed to take some important steps. As a child, I took on vegetarianism, connecting cruel slaughter to the manufactured carcass I was expected to consume every night at the prescribed time. Utter disgust and recognition of hypocrisy began the undoing of my conditioning. From there, I began to reject the more extraneous aspects of religion, opening the door for further questions regarding the validity and applicability of any sort of religion itself; soon, I would apply the same kind of reasoning to the capitalism and nationalism I had already deemed “necessary evils”, at best, for so many years.

            But I’m still not free. Not yet. And I know I never will be, not until everyone else is of this utter insanity we call a society. So until then, I not only reject, but resist the globalized establishment, linking arms and joining hoarse voices with all other resistors against any facet of its illegitimate existence; all apologies in advance for my privilege.

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