I had a long weekend but it is now over. My time in Gainesville with my cousin and friends was a blast, as I haven’t actually been partying too hard over the last month. This trip was a good way for me to drown in bourbon, Irish whiskey, tequila, Long Islands, Guinness, ginger beer and Pabst. I’ve been trying to be healthier in an attempt to lose weight and potentially live a somewhat longer life but even with my more health conscious attitude, my inner party monster still needs to be entertained and unleashed every now and again. What better time than with other party monsters that I genuinely cherish in a wild college town during graduation weekend? There was no point in taking any prisoners, as we ran roughshod over downtown Gainesville leaving no bottle unturned. A few days later, my stomach still hurts and my head is still swimming in a sea of 86 proof delirium – a special shout out goes to 1.75 liters of Old Crow Reserve.
To those who might find my more health conscious behavior a bit unsettling, there is no need to worry. It’s not called selling out when you do it because your liver hurts and you’ve been pissing blood. The blood part was not related to the booze but it was still a wake up call to straighten my shit out some what. Have no fear though, I will not go soft and become a shell of my former self like so many writers and artists who went clean only for their work to suffer and lose its appeal. Trent Reznor immediately comes to mind, although his Academy Award for a very boring and minimalist film score probably proves me wrong but only if you take the Academy seriously and turn a blind eye to their petty politics.
Anyway, my first night in Gainesville on this latest trip was intense. It started almost immediately with two Guinness Draughts and four Long Island iced teas while I watched my friends play pool. I didn’t participate in the contest because I was enjoying my own game of drown the writer in the dark and dingy corner of smoke and neon light. It is a one-player game but the odds are always steep and the challenge is never dull. Needless to say, I won the bout and went on to fight in other bouts in other venues for the remainder of the 48 hour tournament.
The weekend wasn’t all about completely succumbing to vices however. I mean, I never came across any other substances to entertain myself with and that’s fine, the booze was enough. I did get to spend a lot of the time talking politics and economics with the college kids, some of them a part of the Occupy Gainesville movement. Now while we didn’t see eye-to-eye on solutions, we did agree on the vast majority of the problems. My job, from my standpoint, was to try and get them to understand that you can’t just blame the banks for the madness. The government is just as responsible as is the Federal Reserve. Truth is, they were really receptive to a lot of the things I was saying. Now I had half a dozen conversations with a dozen or more people but for the most part, other than two or three close-minded joiners, they got what I was saying and left the conversations with the intent to look into their new perspective on these matters themselves. One of them even promised to pick up some of the books I wrote down for him on a napkin (titles by Ron Paul, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Milton Friedman and more modern authors Jeffrey Tucker and Stefan Molyneux – who has a ton of free e-books).
One interesting thing I discovered among talking to multiple college kids, is that their only real beef with Ron Paul is his pro-life stance. I told them that it is an issue I also disagree with Dr. Paul on. However, I told them that if you look at the rest of his platform and like it, writing him off over one issue is a bit careless. Especially since Dr. Paul thinks that it should be an issue left up to states and not the federal government regardless of his personal opinion on it. Most of these kids understood that but had a hard time envisioning a country were states’ rights were protected, at least on this issue. I explained that you cannot pick and choose issues and that the rule had to apply with everything. If you make one exception, you will make plenty more. They got and respected it but still had a bug in their ass about it and I get that. I then spoke to them about Gary Johnson who is basically a clone of Ron Paul policy-wise but is pro-choice instead of pro-life. Most of the people I talked to had not heard of Johnson and were actually pretty excited upon finding out his stance on the abortion issue. They also liked that Gary Johnson was not a Democrat or a Republican. I didn’t bring up all the issues they said they had with Obama however, as there were a lot more than what they had with Paul. Regardless of this, they will probably vote for Obama again even though they claim they are opposed to war, Gitmo and a plethora of other issues he has failed them on.
Now don’t get me wrong, not everyone was cordial. There were those few dumb bastards in the mix and fucking with them and sending them off in a self-conlficted rage was quite amusing. One kid was calling for anarchy and at the same time was calling for government to step in and regulate the banks more. Point is, this kid’s whole world-view was completely hypocritical. On one hand, this kid (and those like him) want to scream “Fuck the man!” and “Fuck the police!” while on the other hand want the government (the man and the police) to step in and regulate everything even more than they do now. I don’t understand how so many young people can’t seem to make a correlation between these two things? You want the government who is bought and paid for by the banks to regulate the banks? You can’t see how this is completely asinine, let alone how this is what has caused all these problems to begin with? Your solution to the problem is more of the problem itself? Does the meth addict break the cycle by taking more meth? No, the meth addict dies! Common sense is like a disease in the hipster socialist-anarchist psyche.
The ones who are so passionate in their ignorance don’t even care about the real crux of the problem. They want to continue to buy into their conflicted and hypocritical indoctrination and smash anyone who doesn’t swim in their sea of shit. On top of that, they don’t want to better themselves, they want to stay at the bottom so they can continue to bitch as they wallow in dirt and filth because if they were to try and actually get out of it, they’d be outed as a “sell out” or even worse a “hard-working capitalist pig consumer”. Yep, keep pointing your Djarum-clutching fingers as you slur your PBR-soaked words kiddies.
Not all is lost on the generation after mine however. Amongst the sea of those I dealt with, only a few were bad apples and completely hopeless. I remember myself at that age, as I had a similar view of the world. It was someone challenging me on my preconceived notions that got me to pay attention and learn how this whole game really works. If at least one of those kids breaks free from the mold and is affected by our encounter, my debt is repaid. I enjoyed the friendly and civil debates and even had fun with the assholes. In the end, it is about standing your ground and living by your own code not the code of some undefined group whose ideology is lesser than the sum of its parts.
I got home, feeling pretty good about how most of the weekend went down. I also felt great for ignoring my responsibilities for a few days while not even paying attention to what was going on in the news. I didn’t really miss anything, other than Rick Santorum finally wiping away his bitch tears to endorse Mitt Romney, which just gave me flashbacks to 2008 when he was riding that Romney train hard. Something tells me that if I had the same debates with Santorum supporters that I had with the college youth of Gainesville, it wouldn’t have been as civil. I hope that all of those sweater-vests the Santorumites bought up like quaaludes at a disco are constructed of Iranian dog hair and Chinese asbestos. It would be the perfect ending to such a vile group of people.