Get Out of the Box or Die Tryin’

Why is it so easy to see the mistakes and idiotic things other people do but so difficult to see our own?  For eight years I’ve done nothing but whine about being *left behind by the world. (Well, almost nothing.)  Why have I been trying so hard to get back into a box that dulled my spirit? I guess being in a cage was where I felt “safe”.

Consider this: most caged animals will die if released from captivity.

“Mutilation, disease, mental trauma and a reliance on their human captors leaves most captive animals without the ability to survive in the wild.”

By Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale

Are human beings so very different? In my own case, the cage was something I willingly, albeit unwittingly chose at a very young age. No animal would be stupid enough to choose a cage.

“Captivity robs animals of many things – their dignity, their physical health, their mental wellbeing. It also often strips them of essential survival skills.”

Animals Asia

Anyone who has been in a long term marriage with its full cage of expectations and obligations that remove autonomous decision-making combined with a partner who provides or shelters by doing all the hard “stuff” can relate to this. If the threat of disapproval and being cast out doesn’t have you cowering in the corner, a backed up toilet will.

“When they are eventually rescued, they are so mentally traumatised and their sense of spatial awareness so impaired they must be coaxed into stepping into the world outside.” (Rescue a bear, here: Animals Asia.)

I knew I was mentally traumatised – anyone that reads my blog can see that. But lately I have been beating myself up for not embracing my new life and all that freedom. Once I blew the door off my cage, I could see the world was technicolour and I’d been living in black and white. It was terrifying. Overwhelming.

Still I Refused to Leave

The whole box was dismantled while I just stood there, trying not to get hit by falling debris. Sometimes I feel guilty for not trying to stop the demolition. Other times I am mad at myself for not swinging the sledgehammer.

Once the box I had created was gone, I stayed right where I had been. Shock and awe.

I carry this fear and wonder around every day. That’s why I can be found laughing maniacally at something as silly as Rodney Dangerfield, or as bulls-eye dead-on as George Carlin, singing/crying to Radiohead, or organizing my life in practical ways that make me feel safe.

Why didn’t I travel the world? Create an artist’s collective? Volunteer to help the poor caged bears in Asia?

Instead I tried like hell to get back into the safety of a cage – any cage.

Vaccination Madness – No “normal” for YOU!

Society booted me off of social media and pared down my friends, turned my boyfriend against me, and even took away my livelihood. Mental health much, Bonnie fecking Henry?

What they didn’t realize – and neither did I – was that I’m one tough vegan cookie. And let me tell you, in case you’ve never tried one, vegan cookies are THE toughest cookies out there. Break your capped teeth hard.

I try to put my experiences into perspective. This is why I love history and search for patterns everywhere.


One of the biggest overarching patterns in my lifetime has been the massive Baby Boom that occurred after World War II.

Boomers are the generation of people born roughly between 1946 and 1964. War will do that…you put everything on hold, including having a family. There was also no reliable birth control. It was only in 2019 that the massive cohort of Boomers was overtaken by Millennials as the largest group of people in the US.

Of course, Boomers still hold most positions of power in government, make all the rules, have most of the money, and dominate nearly every institution there is. They are my parents, my employers, the competition for every job and property, and my decision-makers at every level.

Boomer Shit-stains

The clash we are seeing now between ideologies is predominantly between the Boomers with their selfish, “What’s in it for me?” and the Millennial’s cry of “Sustainable justice for all!” They are battling it out everywhere you look.

Do you remember when Boomers were young? They had a very similar “Peace and love” message to the Millennials of today. As soon as they got into positions of power we saw how deeply their message really went. By the 80s it had changed to “the guy with the most toys in the end wins.” Greed became a credo. “Show me the money!” Everything was monetized. As Carlin says, they even sold Rock ‘n Roll for a few bucks.

Yesterday I was serving a typical Boomer (senior’s day at work where the measly 5% discount brings out the thrifty Boomers. Yee Ha.). He had brought in his old bottle of vitamins in order to find the exact match and when we’d found it, I offered to recycle it for him.

“I don’t bother with that shit,” he said, “I’ll be dead in five years anyway.”

Hopefully sooner.

Jonestown Massacre

According to Nancy on Medium, there are micro-generations or people who are on the cusp of each generational shift, “… a segment of the Baby Boomer generation… is labeled “Generation Jones“, a title given them by author Jonathan Pontell to describe people born between 1954 and 1965. This group comprises the latter half of the Baby Boomers and the very beginning of Generation X (Gen Xers were born between 1964 to 1981).

The dividing line between Baby Boomers and Generation Jones is the assassination of JFK. Simply, if you remember the day JFK was assassinated then you are a boomer if not, you’re a Joneser. According to AdAge “Early Boomers had Vietnam and Woodstock, later Boomers had AIDS and personal computers”.

My own definition of this generation is between those who had Boomers for parents vs. War Generation parents. Boomer parents didn’t try to give their offspring everything they themselves didn’t have, oh, no. Instead, they practised “tough love” and had bumper stickers that said, “We’re spending our kids’ inheritance.”

The first Boomers took all the good jobs, became DINKs (double income, no kids), lived in the best neighbourhoods and drove up the price for housing, travel, and virtually everything else. They had Woodstock, we had Watergate. They got management jobs with retirement benefits – we got laid off and downsized from service positions.

Is it any wonder that I wouldn’t take an experimental vaccine to save these selfish assholes? I’ve taken one for that team my whole life. (Who is Really Selfish Here?)

Rage in a Cage

The box is the trap that is set for us by society’s expectations – and it’s different for each generation. It defines how you should live, admonishes you to do what you’re told or to feel guilty, and stipulates how you must work to “get ahead.”

I know there are many Boomers who are disillusioned with the lie they’d been sold and to those, I extend my heartfelt sympathy. Can there be anything worse than waking up to the realization that you’ve lived your life according to someone else’s plan and wasted your life?

To those few of us who are sandwiched between the selfish Boomers and the upcoming Millennials, life has been a fight for every scrap or crumb. (Here’s a sample of the life experience of a Gen-Joneser: Bullies and Bastards: How to Get Fired and End Up Alone)         

Many of us in Gen Jones smoke too much dope, watch too much mindless TV, or eat too much. There is a kind of ennui from being set up to fail that was captured perfectly by Douglas Coupland in Generation X. Maybe that’s why Bai Lan resonates with me so much. Man! I get it! (100 Seconds to Midnight: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

Work Harder, Fight Smarter, Get Back in There Champ!

But why should I? Maybe it’s time to take a step back to think about why I want to get back in the damn cage. I am seriously questioning where the cage came from in the first place. The Millennials are ignoring all the old definitions of the way we must live in order to “fit in”. I watch as they take time off from work or outright quit, assuring me that this is “just a job.” Holy! I think: What will happen to them with an attitude like this?! Followed instantly by: My God! They’ve already figured this out.

I could just…walk away and leave the cage of expectations behind.

Where’s the line between giving up and living outside of the box?

Rage Against the Machine

My definition of myself has mostly arisen from what I fight against. Authoritarianism – Government Control of Media & loss of free speech – Corruption of the Medical Industry by Big Pharma – Materialism – Rise of AI (haven’t written on this yet!) – Corruption of the Food Industry by Chemical Manufacturers and Other Greedy Bastards, etc.

What am I for? What do I care about?

Whole, organic food. Not eating other people or animals or keeping them in cages. Leaving people alone to figure things out for themselves as long as they are not harming others or wrecking the planet. People expressing opinions, even if they’re not ones I share. Personal responsibility. Governments, corporations and frankly ALL businesses held responsible for any and all their activities from cradle to cradle. Laughter and comedy as long as it’s equally offensive and not just picking on one person or group. Picnics, nature walks, and lazy days with a stack of books. Rambling conversations and learning from the experiences of others. Art, music, and creativity shared. Helping out where I can. Including everyone in society… giving them the option to join in or not. Fair pay and fresh ideas on work / pay / sharing wealth.

Still figuring out what makes a great life lived outside of a cage…. What have I forgotten? That’s my list. What’s on yours?

*Stabbing Westward: crank and sing LOUD. Ah! Industrial metal! How I love thee!


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