Robert Frost, nobody’s idea of a good time, was America’s favorite crusty poet for the pre-Internet days, and put forth the absurd notion that going down a less traveled path “had made all the difference,” a blanket claim for which he gave no concrete supporting evidence, thus giving poor, defenseless English 101 students absolutely no meat to work with on their first collegiate assignment. This path is no different: Bukowski vs. Spotlight. You, as an upright neofrontal cortex machine, know that the supersytem is one giant injustice delivery machine. So what path do you choose after reflection upon this bone-solid knowledge?
One way is to reject the 9-5, and become a rummy nihilist, like favorite beat deadbeat rummy Charles Bukowski. Versions of this philosopher of the inebriated rant are still found in what is left of America’s bars, decimated by the twin scourges of DWI prosecution and the solitary virtues of home-based SurroundSound alcoholism. Rummy barflies may have the anti 9-5 hedonism angle down well, but the withering constant intake of fermented demons spirits and their harder drug analogues is a tedious descent into interpersonal self-annihilation, and not a good use of the remaining functional brain cells. Whatever great insights shall have creased your LDS-addled cortex should have survived the return trip, and come to alter the tragic destiny of humankind, but precious few insights of Oliver Sacks or his modern brethren have given us, the less-risk-seeking, the path forward to cognitive bliss. Life is no way to go through drunk may be a fine motto for the initiated obliteration of sober travails, but for those who want to find compassion and humor in other humans, the best relapse is to heed the experts and give up the pretense of artistic drugphoria.
Then there is the other path, of righteous reformism within the 9-5 structure, as exemplified by the crooked-mouth schlumpfs of the Boston Globe as they took down the Boston Archdiocese while cashing a check from the giant corporate newspaper. This is, of course, inspiring, but the Catholic Church still stands in that area, the Globe has been wracked by corporate downsizing of its news department, and whistleblowers tend to become worse off in their own lives. The era of the crusading investigative reporter is over, done in by the supersystem, only evident in the suspicious generation of the Panama Papers. None of us are going to drink or drug our way to triumph, nor are we going to expose the criminality of the ruling institutional to bring it down. Other paths beckon, but only you, the traveler, can surmise the “difference.”