They’ve got you, right from birth. From the vagina straight to the paperwork. Foot printed registered, numbered, tracked. Into the system. Injected, stabbed, exposed to pain right away. An infant, innocence. It’s first sensation the pain of an anonymous nurse your mother didn’t even know breaking your skin. They penetrate your very blood with the chemicals and stew of medications they deem necessary. The stew of chemicals and vaccinations necessary to fortify you for the system that, depending on your parents, is coming for you in a few short years of infancy and toddlerism. Even in this hazy unconsciousness of early life, your brainwashing and “education” begins. In the form of a television, in the form of children’s books and religion. Even the very food you eat is tainted by the exhaust of the engines of commerce from the first bite you consume. The system, coming for you, preparing you for life at a desk, for life as a cog in the machine.
You sit, the floor, the couch, a small child, eating whatever cereal and food you’re given, the colorful boxes you cry for in the grocery, the one with the funny cartoon character you like on TV. The commercial you see every day four, five times per show, adding up to hundreds of messages from your beloved cartoon character, calling you to have fun, calling you to eat this sugary deliciousness. He beckons you with a trench coat full of sugar, you want it, you want more. The sugar has you. Tony the Tiger has you, Toucan Sam has you, that crazy rabbit that doesn’t know Trix are for kids. He shovels sugar into your body and commercials into your mind.
The toys, you want them, they cry to you between cereal commercials beckoning you with imagination full of advanced weaponry, fighters and wrestlers, explosions and fashion and gossip, prepping you for your new life of work to come, for it will be your release, the release the media feeds you, being the sexy doll, being the strong soldier, to fight the alien monsters and woo the boys. You are a consumer of sex and destruction already, being hatched, groomed by the mass media. You only have a year or two left of no responsibilities, you spend it in front of the television, out of your parent’s way learning what it is to be violent, to be sexualized, some sort of flesh conduit from the advertisers to your parent’s brains and nerves.
You’re ready for school now, ready for the next phase of the system’s conformity. It starts slow, first day of school. The bus, the desk, the supplies, the work. Wake up now, on a schedule, don’t be late. Serious ramifications with being late, serious problems with missing a day even at 5 or 6 years old. You can be sick, you can play sick, you can miss a day. It feels like a crime, it feels wrong to be in the house during the day, not at your desk, not doing your work. It’s ok they say as long as you do the work assigned to you. You stay home and watch the TV. more products, more selling and brain washing. But it’s not work so it must be better right?
You will be disciplined, you will be told what to do and when to do it, you will be guarded and confined. Specific rooms, specific times. You will do the work assigned or you will fail.
The Fail, the ever present threat of failure. To be labeled, outcast from the society of your new little prison, even at 6 or 7 years old. They tell you they teach you but the teaching is laced with the threat of failure or grades. Am I an A student? I’m a C student, I need to work harder to conform, to sit and pay attention to the mandated lesson plan that the teacher drones out year after year. Memorize it, repeat it on paper for them, prove you believe it and understand it. They will reward your lack of failure later on with the privilege of paying $200,000 for an education and papers telling the system you’re more valuable than the others, you’re special. Our gauntlet, our trial by fire is the derision and lord of the flies. The island that is the educational system.
Thrown in at 5 to the weaknesses and learned behaviors of primal humans and their children. You will be beaten, you will be hit, you will be thrown down and pushed until you either become what they are and hit back or until you turn tail and run, only to be outcast farther to the fringes of scholarly life. All the while the promise of being special in some way beckons you deeper into the system. They may attack you but it’s only because you’re different, better than they are.
The notion that if it were you on top of the pile of humans bludgeoning and beating each other clawing their way to the top of the pile. If you were that bully straddling the top, smashing away at the lowlifes wanting to take your spot as the king of the hill in the social pecking order. You’d kick them just as hard, jokes, names, making the rest of the monkeys laugh. You have 4 years left in the stew, a grueling tread through chaos, trying to excel, trying to learn whatever it is they want you to believe, just to pass, just to avoid failure. All for the notion that one day you will be special and secure, you will have a job and benefits and a family. You will be a good provider.
You’ve been prepared, readied for the working world, to be a cog in a machine, to wake at your scheduled time, get on your provided mode of transport and go to your specified location, perform your specified tasks and be grateful that they allow you to.
The notion that you may find a different way is frowned upon. The notion of walking away from the background checks and credit scores seen as an outlandish thing, a reward to strive for through working as a cog in the machine. “If I work hard enough I’ll be able to start my own business” A fantasy, to make money for yourself and only yourself, no middle man, no boss, no schedules.
Discouragement at every turn, successes met with doubt, failures met with joy, inside their words and attitudes. The negativity isn’t their own, it’s a product sold to them, every day on the television and media. A mass media driven by the very companies and people who want cogs, sheep. Not free thinkers and true innovators. No ripples in the systems, don’t rock the boat. Don’t try, go back to sleep.