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Conform.

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

You’re born. Standard childhood with the nuclear family. High school, good results. Decent course at the best university money can buy. Get a job. Find a guy. Settle down, exotic honeymoon location, come home. Have kids. Raise the kids. They go through the same process you did and end up coming out… the same as you.

Allow for some slight variations to the mould outlined above, but basically, that’s the standard. Aspire to be rich, and happy, as if the two are mutually exclusive. Aspire to marry rich, or marry looks. Hope for both. Hope for attractive children, hope to have enough money so you never have to work again – so you can do what, exactly? Be chained to your home for the rest of your life? Raise the kids, pack their lunches, drive them to school, and soccer, and ballet. Did I mention the two storey house in the suburbs – maybe even one of those gated communities, so you know your neighbours are the right kind of people?

This kind of life sounds so mundane to me, that I think if the choice ever comes to upper middle-class suburbia and death, I’ll take death. Interesting that we’ve progressed so much since the 1950s, but the dreams of our children still seem to be the same. “When I grow up I want to be… a housewife!” I don’t mean to attack anyone who aspires to this life – though if you do, you’ll probably see this as an attack anyway.

To me, this kind of life just seems to be a life spiralling downwards to one thing  – death. Birth. School. Work. Marriage. Children. Death. Admittedly, every life ends in death – but this kind of life seems to be preparing for it.

By all means, mould your life to this plan. It is, after all, your life. But is this really what you want? Or are you settling because society, or your parents, tell you that you need to? “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” There are so many things out there – and if you have the means, I really recommend experiencing at least some of them before giving your life to please others.

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one 
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky 
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

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