(this is an exerpt from a short story i wrote way back in high school, inspired by the appauling lack of creativity that’s left in the world)
I gaped, my mouth drawn wide by the magnificence of the building, and wondered why I had never been there before. The incessant sheet of rain falling aimlessly to the ground struck my face as I gazed at the gentle rainbow of light streaming in through the panes of stained glass. It was as if the light was being choked by the air outside, and was only allowed to travel freely once it passed through those coloured walls. Impatient as always, I shook off the spell and pushed open the buildingâ€™s imperial doors, which swung open easily at the simplest touch, almost encouraging me to enter.
As I closed the doors behind me, I felt, if only for a moment, that I didnâ€™t belong in that place. Walking towards the end of the small antechamber, I realized that my shoes were soaking wet, so I dried them off on the mat and proceeded inside. It was strange that I had decided to wipe my feet because I had never developed that habit in my youth. I guess I just didnâ€™t want to dirty the place; it was incredibly beautiful and well kept.
I passed through another set of doors that led me into a large room with seats spread throughout, and as I looked around I wondered where everybody was. I knew that places like this werenâ€™t very popular these days, but oddly, I didnâ€™t feel out of place. There was a kindness that I detected before anyone even entered the room, and it was only enhanced when a man in uniform approached from behind a small door and introduced himself to me.
â€œHello there,â€ he said cheerfully.
â€œHello to you to…sir,â€ I said, unsure of how the man should be addressed.
â€œThatâ€™s not necessary here, friend. Just call me Alex.â€
â€œSo, to what do I owe the honour?â€
I could tell this was going to be a long conversation.
â€œYouâ€™re here about a problem, a question, a friend?â€ he inquired.
â€œYou kidding? Iâ€™ve got tonnes of friends, and theyâ€™re all great,â€ I said defensively.
â€œI see one thing we will have to remedy.â€
â€œYour definition of a friend.â€
â€œA friend is your buddy, the guy you hang around with and do stuff with.â€
â€œIs that all?â€
â€œNo, I guess he helps you when youâ€™re down and plays wings if your girlfriend brings out a friend.â€
I thought that was clever.
â€œSee what?â€ Now he was getting on my nerves.
â€œI see where you are coming from. But tell me, why are you here?â€
â€œI hear you give some great advice.â€
â€œThere is no such thing as â€˜badâ€™ advice, my friend…only â€˜badâ€™ judgment.â€
â€œWell, I heard you help to put people back on the right track.â€
â€œNo. I just try to take them off the wrong one.â€
This was going nowhere.
â€œSomeone told me to ask you about your â€˜solutionâ€™.â€
â€œMy â€˜solutionâ€™, as you call it, is simply a philosophy that I have developed under the patient guidance of Time and Experience. But I donâ€™t think you would benefit from its message, at least not yet…â€
I wasnâ€™t going to let some barn-yard philosopher tell me that I couldnâ€™t understand his message.
â€œPlease. I really need your advice.â€
â€œHowâ€™s thisâ€¦Iâ€™ll introduce my personal philosophy to you, and if youâ€™re still with me by the end of the â€˜introductionâ€™, weâ€™ll proceed from there.â€
â€œFine by me.â€
â€œVery well. You see, my philosophy is simple, but it requires you to interpret many things in ways youâ€™ve probably never considered, and it is bounded by certain essential principles. First and foremost you must admit that the age of definition is over, the age of creativity is long gone, the age of wonder is lost forever, and the age of civility has past. Man was once a resplendent creature, full of life, full of love, full of interest and curiosity. Now all that remains is the faded shadow of a glorious past, the left-over singe from a bright blast of development. As a result, mankind is left with the unenviable possession of mind-numbing boredom, searching the past for trinkets and souvenirs that might bring us back to an age when manâ€™s mind was his weapon and unanswered questions were his nemises. Life has lost its flare and has instead become a drudgery, fit only to be abused by lifeâ€™s simplest of pleasures.
â€œTodayâ€™s youth are â€˜Generation Xâ€™, in the most literal terms. The letter â€˜Xâ€™ has always been held as a symbol of indeterminate substance. Planet X, Product X, Variable X; all of these examples show the ambivalent nature of the letter. So too is â€˜Generation Xâ€™ a symbol of ambivalence, with its hallowed â€œdiversityâ€ and ubiquitous â€œacceptanceâ€ of everything and anything that was once repressed or considered taboo. But truly, Generation X is the generation without an identity, that is to say a specific identity. Generation Xâ€™ers are content to effectively â€˜bumâ€™ identities from the past, like the hippies in the 60â€™s and the punks in the 80â€™s â€˜bummedâ€™ smokes off their listless, unmotivated peers. They try to relive the glory of the past without creating it or earning it themselves. Their cheap make-over festivals like Woodstock II and Big-Band reunion tours are more intent to make a buck than to promote the same sense of social awareness and rebellion that once filled concert venues around the world. So desperate are the youth of today to achieve the glorious heights of past generations that they are content to climb up on the very same pedestals their ancestors built and claim them as their own. Even Sir Isaac Newton, in his disguised immodesty, gave credit to the â€˜shoulders of giantsâ€™ that allowed him and his scientific genius to flourish in the 17th century. The youth of today donâ€™t even make that humble concession when taking praise for their borrowed success.
â€œNevertheless, we must not despair, for there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Potential. More precisely, mankindâ€™s potential, for with this potential lies the seed of something better. But before anything gets better, believe me, it will get worse…â€