Rows of Sour Milk

It's the same.

It's always always ALWAYS the same. It doesn't matter who you are or where you go or when you look, nothing is ever genuinely, materially different anymore, not to any meaningful extent. The movies, the music, the games, the TV shows, the Youtube channels, the fashion, the social media platforms, the cars, the trends, the jokes—none of it.

But that's to be expected. After all, these things are the products of people, and when the people, their thoughts and feelings and preferences and lifestyles, have been as thoroughly homogenized as a row of milk jugs, their lived experiences all controlled and standardized and streamlined, it's only natural that their culture in its various shapes and forms would follow in turn, no? Indeed, it's so systematic that I'm almost convinced it's by design, though whether it's the work of conspiracy or human folly is ultimately irrelevant.

No, the real issue is when YOU aren't the same; when you want something more than the endless clumsy repetition of yesterday and yesterweek and yestermonth and yesteryear; when you don't fit can't fit won't fit into any of the neat little cubbyholes made available to you; when you aren't satisfied with defining yourself solely by an amalgamation of your favorite political ideologies, pop culture consumables, identity-themed neologisms, and other endlessly regurgitated drivel.

The real issue is when everything is the same, but none of it is for you.

What do you do? What CAN you do?

"Maybe it's all in my head", you think as you walk along the rows of souring milk jugs. "Maybe if I just put myself out there, just keep trying and giving second chances, I'll find something", you think as your feet slip on the puddles of bile and half-digested culture detritis. "Everyone else is having fun with it, manages to find friends and communities and lovers living this way, so surely I can, too", you think as you open box after box after box only to find that the cat inside is dead every time.

You walk and try.

You walk and walk and try and try.

You walk and walk and walk and try and try and try.

Your legs hurt. Your head pounds. Your stomach churns. Your eyes strain.

You slump to the floor, legs splayed, head in hands, back to the wall. Something must be wrong here.... Have you missed some piece of the puzzle? Is there some mistake you've made, some flaw in your approach, something obvious you've missed that everyone else gets? You're not afraid to admit if you're in the wrong; you just want to know what's right!

Sadly, the truth of the matter is that you aren't IN the wrong—you ARE the wrong.

You are what the system, that ever-vile rafflesia, seeks to elimiate, your earnestness disruptive, your strong character undesirable, your recognition of the definite wrongness of the world a threat to its oh-so-comfortable equilibrium. And if it can't subsume you like the rest, it'll try to snuff you out, socially suffocating you until either your will breaks and you fall in line or you take your own life.

What do you do? What CAN you do?

The system is too powerful, its roots running too deep, for the likes of you and I to topple it. By all accounts, our best option would be to surrender, to let ourselves be reduced to complacent consumer cogs lest the isolation kill us.

All the same, let's live spitefully, shall we?

Let's pour all the milk down the drain, dumping curdled and fresh jugs alike.

Let's cut straight through the brush, ignoring older and new paths alike.

Let's stare deep into the abyss, spiting warnings and fears alike.

Where else is left for us to look but in places yet unchecked?