Life Is A Highway

I had this thought while stuck in holiday traffic over Columbus Day Weekend: everything you need to know about society can be learned on a busy highway.

As I stood at a standstill on I95, I had some time to think, and it came to me: what better metaphor for America than a bunch of assholes trying to shave seconds off their commute by cutting in front of other assholes who drive too slow in the fast lane?

Everyone in the U.S is trying to go somewhere, and since smartphones became a thing, nobody has any patience anymore, so everything has to happen NOW, and nowhere is this clearer than the highway. As I was driving home, some douchenozzle in a tinted Audi cut me off going 90, and I thought about how that embodied the “fuck you, do something about it” attitude Americans have adapted in the last decade. In another era, this prick would’ve had to maneuver his horse across the same patch of dirt that I was on, but I could force them off the road and go about my business. It’s a little harder now, when that means scratching some portfolio manager’s $100,000 dick extension, and getting sued into oblivion.

The combination of “Fuck you, get out of my way” and ” Go jerk off to another Fast and Furious movie you future Driver’s Ed statistic” sums up everything other countries make fun of us for; the selfish attitude, the naive “Nothing bad is gonna happen to me because I’m special.” nature of this country, the way we generally disregard public safety, makes me think that the rest of the world looks at us the same way I look at crack heads on LivePD who deny that the crack in their pockets is theirs.

I didn’t see a change in behavior until I was crossing the border into New Hampshire, where there was a much stronger police presence. Immediately, traffic slowed down, causing morons who weren’t paying attention to slam on their brakes and potentially risk getting slammed in the back by some other prick who was too busy changing the song on his phone to pay attention to what was happening in front of him. The police act the same way sharks do on a coral reef: they patrol and circle their territory, keeping everything around them at a permanent state of anxiety, because every animal knows that if the shark wants to hurt them, there is nothing that can be done to prevent them from killing them.

Whenever I get super bored on the highway, I look to the median strip. I’ve seen couches, empty 30-racks, hubcaps, fenders, dead animals, lost trailers, and much more. It’s really interesting to see the things people will leave behind because they inconvenience them. That bike you saved up for is left behind because “It’s too far behind, we can’t go back” and is immediately forgotten. I don’t think we care enough about the things we buy. They’re just temporary distractions that are meant to make us temporarily feel something so that we keep buying shit we don’t need in order to chase that feeling. These edibles are starting to kick in, so I’m going to end this and stop rambling.

The Birth of Inspiration

When I’m uninspired and feel the call of the words, I have a few ways I can shape the flow of thoughts. I figured I’d share a few ways, they might help you if you feel the same way.

  1. Try and change your surroundings. I’m usually most comfortable in my little yellow room with my books and my records, but every once in awhile it’s good to go outside and experience life. I like to go on walks outside late at night, around 1AM. I like it because it’s quiet and there isn’t anyone else around to bother me, so it helps me crystallize my thoughts and put them where they need to go in order for me to have a coherent message.
  2. Listen to music. I have entire playlists for when I’m feeling uninspired, they’re usually full of ambitious music that pushes boundaries, or music that reminds me of a certain moment. I don’t know what it is about music that moves me so much, but when I hear the right song at the right time, it’s like my mind kicks into high gear. If I’m angry writing, I’ll turn on some “fuck you” music, and channel that anger into words and make it actually useful, instead of just being a waste of energy that doesn’t do anybody any good.
  3. Drugs. (I’m kidding- don’t do drugs, just smoke weed.)
  4. Read. I have a small bookcase full of books, and whenever I get lost in the clouds, I pick one at random and read through it. Usually, I go all hyperfocus and end up reading the whole book in one sitting, but that’s because hyperfocus doesn’t care about the passage of time, or responsibilities, or hunger, it just wants to complete the task at hand. It’s fucking annoying if the task is something tedious, but it’s fun when it’s something you enjoy doing, like reading.
  5. Work out. Some of my best ideas come when I push my body to its limit. When it feels like my body is going to shut down, it clears up all of the bullshit on my mind, until there’s only clear thoughts and chest pain. There’s something special to me about running. I know people hate it with a passion, but it’s actually amazing. It’s one of the few things that can turn my brain off for a little bit, and I desperately need that sometimes because I’m inundated with half-baked ideas that I can’t execute. Running gets rid of all of the bad ones, until there are only thoughts I can work with. Try running, it’s good for you.