I sit here unemployed, undertrained, undervalued but pretty content with life. I have a lot of freedom, a lot of time and many friends, unfortunately few in powerful places. And yet, all I hear about from friends, acquaintances and homeless men is the need for a ‘plan’. A plan to make money, a plan to find a girlfriend, a plan to see out the day, a plan to avoid the police, a plan to buy a car, a plan to travel and a plan to plan a plan. Everybody needs a plan I’m told.
The Strokes – You Only Live Once.
Okay, so I will sit down and write out my plan for the next few years, maybe even the next decade or two. I’m 22, I’m happily single and I’m basically an unemployed student who does a community radio show, writes for an amateur football magazine and performs with an amateur theatre company. I have the credentials of an amateur but the heart of a professional. I mean, that’s what I tell myself before I fall asleep at night after tumbling and turning for three hours worrying about the future. We all worry about the future. What happens when we are overrun by the Chinese (To my loyal Chinese readers, Ni hao, I jest!), what happens when I find out I can’t get work after I receive my degree, what will I eat for breakfast in two weeks time, how can I get more of that sex thing? The typical train of thought for a youngster brimming with potential and enthusiasm.
Then a poignant thought broaches my membrane; ‘I’m not that young anymore…’. How do I keep my hair, how will I send my kids to school, how will I cope when inevitably my wife cheats on me with the pool cleaner?’ Everyone needs a goddamn plan!!! Do I quit my degree and travel to Tennessee for a fee in order to fulfil my dreams as a country singer? Hey, wait a minute, was that ever my dream to begin with? How about applying to join the armed forces, fighting bad guys and videoing threesomes whilst on tour (according to the news that is essentially an Australian custom!). Or maybe I should tell a few jokes, smoke a bit of crack and sell my life story? Apparently that is a very popular life choice amongst the youth of today.
Yeah, but what will my mother think when I tell her that I’m a drug addict with three kids from three different mothers and a new psychiatrist treating me every week? Hey, at least I started with a plan!?! Maybe I should lower my expectations and find a desk job as I work 9-5 Monday to Friday in order to reach the weekend for the next 60 years of my life. I’m sure I’ll make work friends and talk about the same old shit every Monday morning all in the build up to another alcohol-fuelled Friday and Saturday night leading into a hangover until Wednesday. Everybody needs a bloody plan!
I don’t know if the desk life is for me. Perhaps I should try and get a job at the zoo, or a farm or even cleaning some prestigious loos. There’s always another job on the 33rd floor of another immensely powerful corporation making coffee, serving food or washing the shit off a toilet seat. Hey, if I work hard enough and kiss enough asses I might even end up working at the firm! Perhaps I will even stave off the comparisons with Patrick Bateman and Gordan Gekko and fight the good fight! But, even as I try to convince myself that I’m a person who exhibits reasonable moral fortitude and admirable honesty without the ability to throw that all away for a Mercedes Benz, a trophy wife and a house away from Skid Row, I keep thinking that maybe that is part of a more powerful being’s master plan. And I’m not talking about God, Zeus or even Allah. I’m talking about the men on the top floor, the sultans of the skyscrapers and the princes of purgatory. The very beings who keep our economy alive but slowly kill every speck of every 6 year olds grand dream to start a private firm, help the community and retire a happy man with 12 grandchildren and a place by the river. Everybody tries to stick to the plan.
But who am I to think about myself in front of others? Maybe the expectation is to heal the world, send peace to the Middle East and kill the men and women who hurt our most vulnerable. But that man and that woman might be the only two sources of legitimate financial support for their three kids. Sure, they may slip daggers into the backs of the women of the night or siphon the future dreams of the generations of tomorrow but they have people who care for them too. Who am I to play God, or Zeus, or even Allah? Are we here to simply survive in the hope that we thrive? Or are we here as some global social experiment where we only win if everybody wins? Perhaps we are not all made to win. Perhaps this is all just a coincidence that we have landed on the same planet where we are all essentially the same beings with a few things that have been altered along the way thanks to our genealogy, our geography and the differing geology keeping us from meeting our ancestors. Potentially the human race is actually a double entendre for the race we are all the unwilling participants of. A race to obtain the nicest patch of grass to buried under, or the best spot to be sprinkled upon.
But I digress. There has to be more to life than this. For I am developing a plan! A plan for the future, a plan to eradicate the purges of the past, a plan to be someone different despite being locked in the same body for my entire existence where no amount of cosmetic surgery, titular tinkering and mind washing money wasters can change who you really are. And the plan is really so simple. Ignore the points that have been crossed out for I have reassessed the plan many times previous.
1. Get money, get bitches1. Stop stressing about the future and start enjoying today.
2. Plastic surgery, name change, indefinite travel plans
3. Begin campaigning for seat in the Senate
4. Restore love to the world, resurrect MJ
5. Become a monk, receive enlightenment
6. Rob a bank.
7. Learn the piano and change your name to William Mozart… people will believe anything.
8. Open a church of rock where Bloody Marys are the blood of our Lord and Saviour, Elvis Presley and our overpriced kebabs are the meat of the prophet Jimi Hendrix.
2. Don’t patronise people with idealistic slogans.
3. Eat well, drink well and cherish the days with your friends and family.
4. Get money, get bitches4. Stop using the term ‘get money, get bitches’ – women won’t sleep with you.
So we can plan every day of our life right now. We can hope that we will achieve what we want to achieve. A desk on the top floor, the main part in Streetcar, surviving the night as the drones fly above, a life as an amateur and the peace and wellbeing of humanity. But plans are fleeting. No one can stick to a plan that has 30 dot points for the future; be it financial stability, our health and wellbeing, our loyal friends and fraudulent allies. I’m a 22 year old student: unemployed, undertrained and undervalued and I’ve broken every plan I set out to achieve – excepting the get money, get bitches one. (EDITOR’S NOTE: HE DEFINITELY BROKE THAT ONE) (Writer’s note: Hey, fuck you buddy) (ED’s NOTE: Why don’t you make me, assclown) (Writer’s note: If I had a gym plan, I would so kick your ass right now) (Ed’s note: Why are we speaking with an American accent?) (Writer’s note: Because I have dreams, damnit!)
Sorry about that…
Sure, I could make a plan to help Iran, make a friend named Sam, invent a delicious homemade jam… Maybe I am capable of learning the Torah, marry a woman named Laura and define what the fuck a genus sonora is…. By perchance I could stumble across an island in the Pacific where I could become prolific in the field of something scientific… Then I recall my Biology study score which was irredeemably horrific. So sue me, I’ve broken all my plans and I can’t understand why there is such a high demand for a renaissance man, struggling since he began to develop a ridiculous scam of a fucking plan!
Everybody needs a plan… just stop fucking telling my that you are saving up to travel to the Isle of Man… to, and I don’t need to rhyme this anymore because it wasn’t actually part of my plan, discover yourself and find meaning. It’s great that you’re looking to achieve, looking to prosper and experience! Keep doing it. But don’t tell me that everybody needs a plan. Rather, how about we think about it like this. Everybody needs a hand. From a stranger, from a friend, from your father or even that weird bald guy named Ren… (Editor’s note: You promised you wouldn’t make any more bad rhymes!) (Writer’s note: I DO WHAT I WANT!) (Former editor’s note: But I have a wife and three kids, how am I going to feed them?) (Writer’s note: Now I feel bad…) (Reinstated Editor’s note: I’ll be quiet now.)
So I don’t know, follow your heart and instinct. Then maybe you won’t have to constantly worry about sticking to a goddamn fucking plan.