Hamsters on the wheel

Everyone remembers the Tom Hanks movie “Big”, right. Little kid finds a “Zoltar Speaks” machine at the carnival, makes a wish to be “Big”, wish granted” appears on a wee card, and he wakes up the next morning an adult. Gets everything he wants, great job testing toys, a wee dance on a floor piano with his boss, a girlfriend, status, wealth, but goes back to the simple life of being a kid.

Tom And Robert Loggia, doing Chopstix

Great movie and indicative of a time when kids thought everything would be fine if they were a bit older, able to make their own choices and forge their own paths in life. Anything seemed possible when we were 13 years old. So what stopped us chasing those dreams?

Why didn’t we tread the untried path instead of playing it safe, getting that job, going to university, or slipping into roles we never would have wanted as kids? Financial responsibilities maybe? Just didn’t know how?

A Lack of opportunity or encouragement, I mean who growing up in Bellshill in the 90s knew a writer or artist or musician or even a student who wasn’t treated like a lazy pig? Who knew anyone really, who did something they loved instead of just working a job they detested to keep a house to feed the family and wake knackered every morning to repeat it all over again.

I’m not knocking the working man or woman, he/she’s a total hero, but there’s so many of us approaching 30 or 40 or 50 who just gave in to life and went with it, completely forgetting all our early dreams for life. If little Josh (the kid in Big) thought for a second that adult life would be one of such percieved burdens and limited choices, theres absolutely no way he’d have wished to be “BIG”.He’d have run like a bastard from that Zoltan dude.

Keep on trucking Hamster

As we get older all too many of us have convinced ourselves that we’ve become trapped in a cycle of responsibility and repetitive duties. We’ve subsequently have forgotten the goals we had as children.

We all felt that we were someone special once. We all KNEW that we would do something important, or fun, or special or plain BIG with our lives at some point. Life, time, work, illness, responsibility, disillusionment, and disappointment slowly robbed us of our desire to reach our goals. Worse, we helped in the process and strive to keep the next generation in their place too.

Screw that. I say, let’s dream Big again. Let’s find the “I will,You can, I want to” attitudes we used to take so much for granted. Can you imagine our 13 year old selves reaction at seeing us today?

I’m sure mine’s would have been: “Hey, Fannybaws! Get up, do something, he’/she’s done it so can you. Screw the X-Factor. Screw stuffing your face and getting fat, Screw feeling like you have no control or have lived your life by 35 years old, shift your arse, I want more than this!” ( In between wanks of course).

We’re well fed prisoners, buying stuff that means nothing, taking comfort in calories flat-screen TVs, Playstations and shelves full of fuckin DVDs. Jailing ourselves in our wee private kingdoms, and ignoring the world outside and our own potential, dreams and wishes for fear of losing our grubby possessions. Blamimg terrorisms, security, illegal Immigrants, status or eduction for not being who we should be or having what we deserve.

We’ve let ourselves down and settled for far less than we are capable of. We all do it. Worship at the celebrity cult, “Oooh Beyonce has broken a big toenail”, while people the world over, shit, in our own streets, ignore each other and pretend that their lives are fine when they’re a stunted version of everything you ever dreamed.

Ask that teen version of you what he/she would want to change What did you want to do, to be, to have, to see or experience? What in the name of hell is stopping you? Don’t use kids, lack of money, responsibilities, illness, or depression as an excuse to not do what you know in your heart you should be. If you’re determined, you’ll make the time, find the resources, and enrich everyone’s life around you as a result. You deserve that life, we all do.

I’ve watched good friends, with admiration and pride, completely change their lives in recent years, taken a gamble, ditched jobs they hate, and achieved things they never thought they would. In other words, got off that hamster wheel and made bold changes in their lives, taken strides in directions they chose.

Some Hopeful Teens

All of us can follow that example, keep your lives, but enrich them, and be who you know yourself to truly be in your heart. Write that book, song or movie. Take that trip. Build that house, get that job, emigrate, write, do a marathon. Whatever it was you wished for at 13 for when you were “Big”. Go get it.

I’ll leave you with some quotes from the fantastic Mr Tyler Durden and two very fitting songs:

“We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.”

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war . . . our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

Unified Zombie Nation:

Fluorescent Adolescent:

5 thoughts on “Hamsters on the wheel

  1. Love It!

    I am coming to the same conclusion as you are. I am 35, made redundant, overweight and still no F****** Hoverboard!

    As Danny Glover said “I’m getting to old for this sh*t”

    Power to the People – Viva la revolution!

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