It is a buzzword: “change agent.” Change Agent gives a strong emotional signal and is perfectly ambiguous. It sounds forward thinking and daring without giving specifics. Around the copier it works to impress. Protip: don’t actually change anything. The art of the millennia is a strong brand that protects the status quo. No one really wants change, they just want to hook up with it.
The change they want to hook up with preserves their self-image as victims. We did such an awesome job raising them in a vinyl bubble that they expect to remain shielded from the slings and arrows of outrageous adulthood. It is their right to shake their fist at the injustices while we pay for their smartphones and organic, free-range, gluten-free bananas. It is our duty to provide for them their every whim. We owe them for the crimes we committed through time. Thus, we can’t apologize enough and we are obligated to provide safe spaces supplied with binkies, crayons, coloring books, and fast WiFi.
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Akio spat, “I have agency! I am my own, grown-assed man!” First fact about Akio: he hungers for a mother figure who will take him in and fill that god-sized hole in his spirit where he wants his parents to be. Utopia for Akio is a woman who will give him a man cave, push plates of food through a slot in the door and otherwise leave him be. It is a fantasy that mashes up county jail with a twisted, tweenie fantasy of the Oedipus complex.
He has agency because his body is grown. He uses his agency to seek out women who will dote on him in the manner he believes will bring him serenity. The current woman is number seven by my count. Still rinse, repeat. The only thing she is missing is the maid costume.
The topic of agency has been on queue for a couple months. I watched the turf war over Tito between Jolana and Lina trickle into my life this year. Jolana’s campaign to rescue Tito from his evil parents goes back decades. We are, says Jolana, abusive parents who raised a wounded child beyond hope. His history is his destiny. He will always be broken and in need of care that only Jolana can provide. This litany is part of Tito’s milieu. Jolana’s incantations live rent free inside my son’s head. Message received and declined. Tito lives with Lina.
This is what bothers me: I have attracted people to me who take it on faith that they have no agency. They have no free will. Their history is their destiny. Further, it is up to those around them to shield them from this immutable fate. We must meet their needs for them. What happened? When did it become the responsibility of the community to coddle and care for grown-assed men and women? Why is it our responsibility to be the wagged dog for every slight?
If you are underage your parents are responsible for you. They owe you all of what Maslow said is essential. After that, north of 18 years old, it becomes less credible that the elders are responsible for your care. I expect you to fend for yourself. It seems that such an expectation is asking too much.
For Akio this plays out as a running demand that I fill the god-sized hole in his heart with cash. I am an old WASP who grew up rich so I must have some money somewhere sufficient to compensate him for being born to shitty brown parents who were more interested in cocaine. I must pay for his misery because my ancestors sinned against his.
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Akio wrestles with God because he picked me as his golden goose. I am a cab driver and computer tech. I have an unhealthy attraction to new, shiny tech toys. He picked the wrong goose. I can’t afford his price. There is not enough money to soothe his broken heart. Forty acres and a mule? Can you control the mule with a PlayStation? No? Then the land and mule suck and Akio doesn’t want it.
God needs to step up. He needs to give Akio a woman who will be the mother he never had. Freud’s Oedipus complex was the product of a cocaine addled mind. I believed it to be bullshit until I met Akio. He and I fight because a core belief of mine is self-reliance. A man must be self-sufficient. He is the king of his castle the way Christ was King of the Jews. Akio’s master is the woman he’s schtupping.
Akio’s greatest fear is disapproval by his woman. She can’t have a mood, an attitude, a bad day, a disagreement or a kurfuffle. All must be well with her. He is a marionette whose strings are held by his woman and his fears.
Tito. I owe Tito an apology. Tito happened. He is actual. Tito became actual behind Cuncrawl. His Mom came to the city to see gringos. She grew up on Mayan farm land. Her people raised potatoes and coffee for export. Cancun’s bright lights drew her like a moth to an incandescent bulb. I was a bucket list item. Tito was not the plan. The plan was to trip the light fantastic and get home before the family figured out where she had gone. My plan was a little local debauchery on my vacation.
Our plans went south as soon as she showed me the pregnancy test. My vacation became a year of living in Cancun. I had a tourist visa that expired. We survived by hiding me. I worked as a farm-hand for room & board. Then the policía let her father know that I had worn out my welcome. I could go home or I could stay in prison. I went home.
Akio and Tito had it bad. There are others who had it good and still march against the horrors of the boomers. Problem? It doesn’t matter. North of 18 years old the adults become decrepit and senile. They return to being mewling babes. One may not claim agency but it arrives anyway. All the caterwauling will not change the need for resources and basics. Akio’s latest bae still needs to pay the rent and light bill. Groceries are not free. A job beats TANF and SNAP all day long.
The latest bae repeated what the other six said, “boy, you need a job.” She’s all about protesting Trump. She gets a crazy check and the condo is Section 8 housing. With all that she cut him off until he got a job. His resume is not helping: federal prison time for selling cocaine. I haven’t heard from Akio in a week. He drops out of my life for months at a time then pops up again when he’s hungry or broke or both. The current bae fears he has become toe-tagged. I hope the reason he’s disappeared is that he finally decided to give rehab a serious try.
A brief tangent–the art of cube rat life is to spew buzz words while insulating yourself from change. A fashy change agent is one that protects the safe space and forces outsiders to change so that they become assimilated. To evangelize an increased brand presence in the marketplace of ideas by actualizing its message in the information stream across all channels while ensuring safety and stability for our associates. Free corporate b.s. phrase.
Success Feels Like Failure at First
In the archetypal hero’s tale the bad guy seems to be winning all the way to the end. It is only at the very last, in the penultimate battle, when the hero is nearly dead or actually dead, that the story turns and the hero overcomes the villain to win the day. For Akio and Tito, it will seem like all is lost until the very last, when we discover whether they will complete their quest or be vanquished.
A key measure is whether they choose change, choose disruption, and fight. Many do not. We raised a generation of sheeple. The future is not so bright so as to need shades, Sería más fácil enseñar a un cerdo al vals.