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Living in the city and working a corporate job

  • Living in the city
  • Working in a cushy office for a big corporation
  • Working 60 hours a week
  • Getting drunk on weekends
  • Going out dancing and picking up strangers
  • Having sex with casual partners
  • Spending Sunday with a hangover
  • Starting another work-week Monday

This is city life for many college-educated bachelors with 9-to-9 corporate jobs. Their lexicon contains fancy clothes, fast cars, affluent living, and yearly bonuses.

It sounds like I’m looking down on that lifestyle, but actually I’m sympathizing, because yesterday I wondered “What’s the alternative?” for that whole generation of people?

Not everyone can live outside the city, in nature; not everyone is John Muir. So to say they can move out of the city and tend farm is unrealistic. So they’re in the city. Chances are they grew up comfortably, probably in the suburbs, and in high school and college developed the attraction for the city they’re now living out. Their parents had steady jobs and a good work ethic and were determined to give their kids even more than they had. So it’s not the kids’ fault they want more, plus our culture and society are built around more, so that I understand as well.

The question for me then, becomes: What do they do with their time? if not drink and go out and get drunk and fuck strangers? I’m asking earnestly. Everyone around you is doing that, what are you going to do, go to the library and read a book? Sure, there may be the one or two in a hundred who have other ambitions – maybe learn a language or dance or attend meditation – but for the rest – who are doing what they’re doing with at best a half-furnished self-awareness of why they’re doing it (they want to live pleasantly and win their parents’ approval, among other such things) – there really is no practical option other than to do along with the destructive pattern of city life. How else do you make friends when that’s what everyone else in your milieu is doing? How else do you socialize with coworkers and suck up to your superiors? And if you don’t socialize and suck up, someone else will, and they’ll get the promotion and the fat bonus and feel better about selling their soul for money.

Eventually they’ll get sick of it. They’ll meet someone and get married, get pregnant and start a family. They’ll want to move to the suburbs for the schools, for the bigger house, for the safer neighborhood. They’ll become their parents, so to speak. So you see, all is well. All is as it should be, as the Geeta says.

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