The University of Reality

It seems that every expectation becomes diluted when reality reaps its poison onto it, rotting all your dreams, all your hopes and all your wishes into an abyss of decay.  The dream of University has entered this abyss, it has been tainted by reality, and what a revelation! University is just another part of that corporate journey, leading you onto the 9-5 which in fact actually “doesn’t exist any more, you’ll find you spend all day and night at your job, so enjoy your spare time now”(says my lecturer Stephen Morton, wouldn’t want to plagiarise now would we?)- and that’s what we have to look forward to after the 3 year struggle we have ahead to procure either a 1:1 or 2:1 (which I’ve been advised we must get otherwise we WILL be unemployed). And I question myself again, is that it? Is that all I have to look forward to?

Foolishly, perhaps, I thought University would be something different- an eye-opening experience, and it has been, it has revealed all the grim realities about life that I hoped were not true: we are born, we are raised, we make money, we contribute to ‘society’, we die. But I still hope for more, I scramble around in the darkness looking for some form of hope… some may say this is childish but I refuse to believe that this is all I have to live for.

I wanted to meet people with passion who cared about something, people like me. But all I am is isolated, questioning how people can settle for this, can think that this is good enough. I don’t want to be trained to be the perfect citizen, with transferable skills, lack of opinion and a willingness to do anything, charitable to some extent so that it looks good, but predominantly selfish: the idyllic robot of the corporate machine. I want to break free of this restraints and find myself not turn into another replica of the ideal.  I don’t want to be a base creature, living off pathetic pleasures, I want to be more than that.”It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied” after all. I’ll remain unsatisfied if that’s the cost- I just thought this would be different.

Nothing changes.

Being induced into University was more than reminiscent of the induction into A Level studies, and the induction into GCSEs before that and the induction into secondary school that preceded that. It’s getting a bit fucking repetitive, don’t you think?

I feel pretty sedated by it all right now.

Teleological

Is everything just a means to an end?

Is life merely a succession of milestones that we pass and then die?

We all seem to be heading the same way. We start off with dreams and hopes and an idea that there’s something out there worth living for. Then we go to school, we’re fed ideas that we can be whatever we want to be: but can we? Can the 4 year old little girl who’s already had a difficult start in life really become prime minister? The reality is that she can’t and it doesn’t take long for even her to realise that.

We follow the current and find ourselves at university, studying a degree that someone else has told us will be useful, meeting someone else’s expectations but not our own. We graduate, resigned to the fact that our dreams have turned to ashes, with no flickering embers of hope left that we will somehow achieve greatness and we wonder ‘now what?’ We find someone, fall in love if we’re lucky or just settle. The resounding ticking noise in your head gets louder telling us it’s time to get married and start a family, or is that just the familiar noise of society pressuring us to follow the norm?

You plough on, you’re not an individual any more you’re a family, part of a unit. You’ve settled, ‘this will do’ says the voice in the back of your head whilst the 4 year old version of yourself screams that this is not enough.

Is that really it?

Money Never Sleeps

How much money something produces isn’t a measure of worth or success: it’s an indication of greed and consumerism, something that that shouldn’t be cared for, let alone respected. Talk of balanced budgets, deficits and recessions would be devoid without the concept of money.  Money is something that humanity has inflicted upon itself; it tortures, it kills, it destroys. Everything we do involves money, whether it is spending it, receiving it, waiting for it, counting it and always worrying about it. The obsession with balancing the budget, decreasing the deficit, working even at a surplus is ridiculous: this sacrifices our own happiness. Money is still used to enslave the lower classes (yes, I’m going to refer to classes, no use in pretending that they no longer exist), it’s used as bait to reel us all in and keep us in tow. The importance of money is fed to us throughout childhood so that by the time we reach adolescence we have that want, that desire for money.

What even is money in the first place? Is it just a piece of paper? A coin? It represents something but what exactly: oppression?

The idea that money is the ultimate goal is ingrained within our genome, childhood dreams obliterated and replaced with the image of riches, wealth and the power that this so unethically entails. But money isn’t real it’s nothing but an idea. This is illustrated by Gilbert Ryle’s theory of a ‘category mistake’, a mistake in the use of language, which is highlighted by the scenario in which someone requests ‘can you show me the money?’  and is inevitably presented with coins or notes, the statement ‘can you show me the money?’ is a category mistake as there’s no such thing as money, it’s just a representation of an idea, in a similar way to Russell’s example of a student visiting a university; looking around the buildings such as the halls of residence, lecture halls and library but then asking ‘but where’s the university?’ as if it is a separate entity, it clearly isn’t: the ‘university’ as an entity does not exist and neither does the ‘money’.

Economically, how does having a balanced budget, or functioning in a deficit impact the average person? Although it may be assumed that working in a deficit instantaneously entails cuts to healthcare, education and the like, contrastingly working in a deficit can permit increased expenditure on public works, health care and education: the main sectors that affect OUR lives, rather than cutting them to create balance and a neat little figure on a spreadsheet.

Who actually gives a fuck? Being in debt is shameful? As is taxing the old, leaving people homeless and denying people happiness.Get a fucking grip and live a little, don’t waste time worrying about how facts and figures measure up on a spreadsheet and care about what’s real.