A place for a

19.07.2016

Why is everyone so obsessed with vacation?

I just saw a newspaper article: Where can you still travel for a vacation?

Subtitle: Are there still safe places for recreation?

Obviously inspired by all the boo-hoo-bombs and all that.

But it made me think: What kind of shitty life do we all live that we need recreation? And how pathetic are we to actually accept two weeks of time-off and bliss as a compensation for some 48 weeks of stress?

Note that the German word for recreation is Erholung, which also translates as rest or recovery.

So, basically, we all crave this recovery. Yeah, but is it not kinda weird that we need recoveryRecovery from what? If we blindly accept, do we not also silently acknowledge that we hate the lives we live from day to day?

Now, you may say: Oh, Tom, you are thinking about it too much. People simply like to get some rest from their work.

Yeah, yeah. You are thinking too much. Fuck you, asshat. Keep saying all these sentences that start with: Well, people simply like to [insert unquestioned stupid habit].

People are social animalsPeople are ….

People are fucking stupid. They keep repeating all those sentences. All those sentences they heard all their lives, sentences meant to console them, make them feel good about being fucking slaves.

And when you accept such a sentence as consolation, what do you do when somebody else does not? When somebody else reminds you of the shittiness of it all? Exactly. You tell the sentence to them. You mean well, of course.

Oh, isn’t it sad that some people can’t afford to do something nice on their holidays?

Well, isn’t if fucking sad that people can’t afford to do something nice all the fucking time?

Think positive, Tom! Nobody likes angry people.

Well, if you are so fucking positive, why do you need holidays then? If you love your stupid cubicle job so much, why do you not work it on weekends too?

And then you start justifying your shitty life with hope, that drug of the fools. Work hard and you will prosper! No, dude, that’s not fucking logical at all. I can work hard at a McDonalds counter all my life and never prosper – whatever prospering means.

Or, I could indeed just accept it, shut up about it and let it be. But are the people who need recovery accepting? Or are they just pushing down the anger until they get the chance to numb it for a dozen days a year in some stupid secluded 5-star resort with a stinky overcrowded beach with billions of bored bitches like themselves that gives them the illusion that they are experiencing something new? Something exclusive? Cause they don’t know what exclusive is supposed to mean, really, anyhow, but the advert said it was exclusive, so it must be. It is good to be able to say you experienced something exclusive. The word sounds … exclusive? It’s awesome to be part of something that carries such a fine label. Something to be associated with such a fine, meaningless word.

Why do you need to be excluding something if all is fine?

Those people who bitch about their jobs all the fucking time, being as lazy as their boss will accept it, surfing on Facebook to quieten the boredom, and then they go about their weekends getting dead drunk and filling their heads with even more stressful entertainment and maybe getting laid and then being anxious about another stupid fucking work week starting?

Those people practice acceptance? Those people I am supposed to listen to? Well, Tommo, life is hard. Yeah, yeah. So if you are so at peace with your hard life, why don’t you just shut up about it?

Whatever shit people hate in their lives, they invent some stupid mantra about it being just human nature. Well, I don’t think it’s true. If living a shitty life was human nature, well, what even is the point of living, aside from avoiding to confront the fear of dying?

And why am I even bitching about the bitches?

So that some of you fuckers will say Damn, Tom, that’s some fine insight. And then I will be happy and lie down on my bed like a proud little kid and think: Well, life may be shitty, but at least I am a smart little kiddo who sees through it!

Of course, I will wake up the next day chasing the next great insight to replicate this feeling of pride. Cause I fucking love people telling me how smart I am. Yes, indeed.

When I was a small kid, everybody used to tell me I was intelligent. And you know what? I thought they were being ingenuine. I thought it was all just meaningless bullshit. Maybe as a kid, my instincts were still more intact and I saw it for what it was: People telling me something nice about myself so that I would shut up and love them and their bullshit.

I thought You are intelligent is what adults say to all kids to make them feel good about themselves. Only that most kids, so I assumed, craved this kind of attention so fucking much that they would not dare look into the adult’s face and see that it is all just a big hoax. A smile on a sad face. They prefer the illusion. And in a way, I guess I do as well. But once you see truth, you can not unsee it, can you. Not that I know absolute truth, mind you. Who am I to claim that? Just another adult, I guess.

So maybe I was wrong. Maybe they do not tell every kid that it is smart. Maybe they invent somewhat individualized bullshit for everyone. Like, take soldiers. They force young lads to fight and die. You would think the young lads would protest, but no, they won’t. Because those who force them will say: You are a good man. This country is proud of you. You stand for everything good and great and blahblah.

And the young lad would consider protesting, still, maybe, but then, that is what he always wanted to hear. He always just wanted a fucking pat on his shoulder, someone to tell him that he is fucking okay.

And the thought that he may be okay, after all, a good man, is so bewitching that the man willingly disables all critical thought. Finally, it seems, daddy loves him. And finally he can get drunk on his greatness. But don’t forget, young lad, if you want to stay great, you gotta keep givin’. After all, you don’t want somebody to pull the shining rug right out from under your feet, do you.

And thus, the man grows proud of being a stupid slave. He does not want to know he is a slave. He just wants to be fucking proud of being a good man.

But if you want people to tell you that you are okay in this time, boy, you gotta put in some serious sweat.

I mean, you gotta sacrifice. I mean, you gotta work hard. I mean, you gotta be on schedule. I mean, you gotta be successful! Well-respected! Reliable! Loyal! Unquestioning! Positive!

You gotta be a real sweet little diamond. You gotta sit down for three days and pack two thousand identical letters with brainless adverts and send them out. Then, you can finally lower your head, go visit your superior in his office, and hope that he will give you a little approval for your discipline.

And then, one day, after 40 years of doing this, your job is terminated. And in shock, the little sheep will scream: But I, but I, but I did all you ever told me to do! I was a good man! I worked hard! I was loyal! I was always on schedule!

And your boss will say: Meh.

No. Your boss will not even listen. Cause he does not care about you. Cause why would he?

He just needed a little dog drooling over getting told he is a good dog. Only that most people probably really love their dogs a bit.

And the sheep wakes up and realizes he has been hypnotized all his life. That he had ignored his instincts and senses, just because he wanted to be loved so fucking much that it was unbearable. So much that it was unthinkable to reject love, even if he secretly knew it was just an illusion.

And the sheep is in shock. And he starts reciting all those mantras about how goodman he was! He desperately tries to lull himself back into sleep with all the bullshit in his head, but vainly so.

And still, the illusion is too important to him. Rather than admitting he has been played for a fool all his life, he will instead say that he is indeed a good man, only that everybody else is not able to see it. That his boss only fired him because his boss was notgood man. Only that his boss could care less about those two words.

And that good man will bitch about the decline of society and how nobody nowadays has values. And how degenerate all those Millenials are.

Poor good man.

Well, at least he finally has time to go on a vacation and recover.

Only that there is no money to do that. Bummer!

But hey. Let’s be grateful. We live in civilization. That’s great, because. Umm. Because we live longer than we would live otherwise. Less germs and all that. Means more time we can sacrifice for feeling shitty. More time to spend looking forward to weekends, more time spend looking forward to a vacation that will leave us unsatisfied anyway.

Hail civilization.

And when you finally arrive at that beach, lie down, look towards the ocean, and everything is just as the commercial announced it … does it not all feel a little surreal? Are you even really there? Or has resting just become another habit that you blindly pursue in that shitty life?

If you truly open your eyes on that beach, will you not be disappointed? When you look through the veil of exclusivity, is the water in the ocean not the same water you would find at the pond around the block at home? All those weeks of frustration, you hoped for something special. And maybe the thought of doing something special has become more important than doing something you like. And maybe telling your friends about your great vacation has become more important even than to actually recover.

When you truly open your eyes at that beach, or at your workplace, or while getting drunk, will it not all fall apart like a cardhouse? Will this thing you call reality not simply dissolve and reveal some darker secret to you?

Is your vacation truly a relief from your slavery? Or is it just another aspect of it? Just another way to chase after symbolic gratification to hide the ugly truth?

Does vacation not, in a wicked way, gain its meaning through the horridness of your general life? Is the cliched and over-the-top marvel of a vacation not just a playhouse mirror distorting the terror of your everyday life into something slightly more appealing? Like a reptilian serial killer wearing a clown’s costume? Is vacation not just another side of the same fucking coin? Just a new tapestry on the bland walls of the prison you inhabit, there to be exposed for what it is through one simple inquiring gaze, to be torn off and destroyed with the scratch of a thumbail? Is vacation not as empty and dead as the thing it is supposed to relieve you from?

Is vacation not just another porn movie, promising beauty that your life is devoid from? Just another photoshopped digital cunt grinning in front of a sunset, printed on recycled paper and hung on the wall of the cubicle alongside a copy of your Idiot Diploma with Honours, where you, in the heartbroken anguish of your misery, look at the thing that is not truly yours? A whore that you spend a moment of lust with in the hope to unite with her beauty, only to be separated from it mere minutes later, to be left with a dead memory you can jerk off to?

Is vacation not just another fraud, there to be exposed for what it is? A lifeless compensation for a life devoid of life?

If you listen closely on that beach, past the calming woosh of the wind, do you not still hear, hear in the background, the eerie scream of a wounded animal hoping to escape? The scream of the animal you fear? Yourself?

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  • Smokingjacket

    Someone will say to you…”Hey Tom, you lazy, loafing, dumb-ass with all your dumb ass questions you formulate because you don’t bother working, what about joey jock one eye who works and scrubs the floors until they glisten like a new nickel with his little tooth-brush all the grit and grim off the floors in Glasgow central station” “Hey Tom what about poor, wee joey jock one eye, is’t he and Mrs joey jock one eyed entitled to their two weeks bliss on the Costa del Britannica every year”

    I… you see these smart asses will always get you Tom, and, too be sure, even though he probably doesn’t exist, such folks are entitled to escape their shitty little lives. Your’re right, some folks live shitty lives, doing repellent shitty work, but, don’t begrudge and shame them their little pleasures. We’re all allowed that, surely.

    • I am not sure that was my intent.

      Love that first paragraph!

  • rox123

    I like my vacations, mostly because I get to go to places I can’t (can’t afford to) the rest of the time.
    As for being a “good dog” – I try to be at work. Not because I want acceptance from bosses, but because I need and want the paycheck. I can suppress my ..call it pride, or autonomy .. for money, and not feel humiliated because of it.
    My main problem is being a “good dog” the rest of the time. When I am about to upset someone by not doing something for them they want me to – I get stressed beyond belief. I hate being the type of person that squirms and sweats because I anticipate dissapointed looks – I just want to be a jerk without second thoughts. My main beef with my submissive attitude to other people’s requests is this: I feel bad saying no to people, do their request gritting my teeth and afterwards feel like a part of me has died – like somebody made me put down my food when I was hungry – speaking of good dogs analogy. I need to be more like the stray dogs that go into people’s yards, get into their kitchens and steals food off their tables, all the while having two people chasing it – and later feeling amused about their puzzled faces when they saw the nerve I had – instead of feeling ashamed of my deed. And I want to do this just to exercise my will – so that in the future I would feel confident and secure standing my ground.
    But hell, my parents instilled in me this. “Be a good kid.”

    • I feel you, brother. I know very well that feeling as if something inside you dies when you don’t speak up for yourself. But beware that the archetype of the “jerk” is just a (feministic?) misconception about male confidence. This misconception makes you believe that in order to feel confident, you have to be some kind of sociopathic asshole – which is as unfulfilling as being a doormat. Your analogy with the stray dog – I like it! Reminds me of the monkeys that steal food from merchants in some part of the world.

      Yes, wanting the paycheck is fine. I would say it is the only valid reason to do that kind of bullshit anyway. But even sacrificing yourself for money makes you a “good dog”, trying to earn his right to live. Now, my intent with this article was not to shame the good dog. It was to make the good dog realize the reality which he lives in. To become aware of the things he does without really wanting to – because he believes he has to, for some reason. Does this mean you should just quit your job? I don’t have an absolute answer to that. But the more I meditate, the more I realize that when you have faith in yourself (God?), the universe will provide you with everything you need. It sounds crazy from a “rational” point of view. But when you feel deep inside yourself, I think you will see that this mode of living is the only valid one, even if you have no belief that you can actually live it. Because “life is hard” and all those instilled fears.

      You write your parents instilled that in you. Mine did too. But here’s something nice I saw in an online video. Someone tells a guru “I hold this belief that …” and the guru says “Well, why do you hold it?” and the person says “Because I have bought into it” and the guru says “Well, why did you buy into it? You wouldn’t have bought into it if you had not expected something in return. This something seemed to be valuable enough to pay the price of that belief.” So my question would be: Why did you buy into “being a good kid”? What was the payoff? What motivates you to keep believing it? This requires introspection, going through pain and some time. But it is the only way, I think. You can not move past a belief until you understand why you hold it. And with “why” I do not mean a mechanical explanation like “my parents told me so”. I mean something deeper, some intimate part of you that is – still, even now – attached to that belief. If that makes any sense.

      Take care.
      Tom

    • But hell, my parents instilled in me this. “Be a good kid.”

      It might be conditioning but it might well be hardwired DNA, to want to help other humans when they need our help. Women have taken advantage, either way.

  • And maybe telling your friends about your great vacation has become more important even than to actually recover.

    Slaves live just to keep up appearances. In fact, keeping up appearances is what got us all trapped here, on the plantation. Our mothers were all conditioned to be very sensitive to the need to keep up appearances…so they had us. In lieu of having not having one of their own, we became our mother’s best foot, to be pushed forward relentlessly.

    We exist in a truly terrifying reality. It’s all very cosmetic but the suffering…the suffering is as real as it gets. Of course, everyone is busy keeping up appearances, so the suffering is mostly denied.

    • It’s funny. I write about the suffering, yet I refuse to fully believe it. To fully believe it would mean to despair at such a hopeless existence. I am conditioned to be helpless. I am not sure whether it’s an excuse, but since I started meditating, I have become very aware of it. When certain triggers come, I just freeze up and become absolutely unable to do anything. I can observe this from a position of detachment more or less, but I can not change it. A part of me wants to believe this is all just personal trauma and that the world really is okay all in all, that all the oppression is just a phantom of my paranoia. That would be tolerable. That would give me hope. But to be caught like a deer in the spotlight, knowing what’s coming and knowing you can’t do anything, that’s just terrible.

      • Yep…I would give a great deal to be confused about reality, but I — we — are not blind. We can see, but it’s the kind of reality that makes you wish you were blind. A world of horrifically reduced humans, enslaved by Their Own, all living in denial, all busy breeding the next generation of boys for war, girls for sale.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/674e8b31d0b8084366788a94991f18cb673c46b5ec29b479829ef3c9cf33e0f0.jpg

        • I wonder whether someone growing up with great parents would still be susceptible to all the manipulation, mental and physical torture etc.

          Maybe there is some answer through meditation and shit. But the mere fact that God/existence allows me to live in a state like this is scary in itself.