America is unwell and I'm not entirely sure there is a cure for whatever it is we have. And even if there was a cure, those opposed to vaccines might reject it. It feels like we're on the brink of The Purge and have been for quite some time. If I hear a single airhorn in the streets, I'm getting into my car and driving to the ocean.
Buried within the the vague apocalyptic vibes are people who really do believe that joy cannot come without suffering. This idea was laid out perfectly by Matthew Bunker, aka @bunkerlicious on TikTok, who pulled a Carrie Bradshaw when he couldn't help but wonder why Americans think life should be hard. When people say God only gives us what we can handle, does God know I can handle winning the lottery? Read on for Matthew's TikTok TED talk.
Americans need to rid themselves of these phantom bootstraps.
Matthew starts things off at a 10 and just keeps climbing higher. "America is a wild place, it really is. We are the only country in the civilized world that thinks life should be hard," he says.
This country thinks its people should struggle merely for wanting to exist. And you know what, that's exactly how it feels.
He addresses the bootstrap-loving contingent by first asking why you're wearing boots because it's summertime. "You guys say things like, 'Well no one wants to work anymore.' Of course not!"
Truly, no one wants to work. And while a job can certainly be satisfying, I couldn't help but wonder if capitalism has programmed me to believe this.
In order to roll out of bed in the morning and clock into whatever job we have, Americans are "romanticizing the desire to be a f------ cog in a machine," Matthew says.
That's nuts! And bolts!
What's even more disturbing about America's near pathological obsession with employment is the pride some feel when they are too exhausted to move at the end of the day. You did it! You broke yourself. Now you can relax. Matthew says he's heard people casually say things like, "Well I work three jobs, and i never sleep, and I can't afford to eat anything but ramen and drink contaminated tap water but look at me ... I'm paying for this studio apartment all on my own."
Americans are not invested in their own well-being and it shows!
Not only are Americans proud to work themselves into an early grave, but it feels like a lot of them reject anything that could actually help. "Americans will not only support, but actively participate in their own exploitation," says Matthew with enough passion to fuel a car. He points out that getting tax dollars back is akin to a handout. Is my dwindling savings account a handout? I think not!
Last time I checked, the government gives very little away for free so this notion that a return on our own investment is somehow gonna cost more is wild. Unless it comes from our own "blood, sweat, and tears," it simply cannot be trusted. "Why are we bleeding," asks Matthew. "That just seems unnecessary."
As always, socialism has to enter the chat as Matthew desperately tries to understand how that became a four-letter word. "Americans have been so brainwashed to feeling like any sort of basic necessity has to be earned. Just living ... is not a given right," he says. Those of us who do believe in a world where we are protected simply because, are called "bleeding hearts," as if that's an insult.
Apparently Americans also don't live as long.
I wonder if there is a correlation between our attitude about suffering, and our shortened life spans. According to the Annual Review on Public Health, "Americans lead shorter and less healthy lives than people in other high-income countries." Sadly these "health disadvantage begins at birth, extends across the life-course, and is more pervasive for Americans living in the South and Midwest of the U.S."
Well at least living a shorter life means working less. Of course clocking out early isn't something Americans like to do. Let's live longer so we can work longer because capitalism needs us!