Monday, December 24, 2012

The End of the Semester and World

("thing" i wrote in the 30 minutes leading up to my economics final, after which i stayed up all night and took a plane to cleveland at 7:30 am)

December 20, 3:50 pm ET, T-minus 8 hours & 10 minutes until "the end of the world"

the end of the semester is coinciding with the end of the world

a sense of peacefulness is descending like snow upon the columbia campus, the students are dragging their suitcases and belongings back to homes in ohio, california, taiwan, germany, switzerland & south africa, wherever they are from across the world

the entire campus is going into hibernation, winding down like clockwork, into the fetal position, deflating

feeling "serene"

this semester was interesting

in the beginning i was so happy, then i wanted to transfer, but it is ultimately me who defines my 
happiness and not the college or place i'm at and once i realized that

things got much, much better


i met a girl

"i met a girl" is a good way of saying a lot without saying a lot

she has a similar sense of humor

and thus

a similar "outlook" on life

i think one's "sense of humor" correlates with someone's "outlook on life," i think that if two people share the same "sense of humor" they probably share the same "outlook on life," ignorant or innocent or nihilistic or whatever that may be


this semester i didn't go to a single "party"

i'm not a "party/people person" 

i witnessed a lot of kids doing drugs/drinking for the first time, i saw an asian girl have a stress-induced nervous breakdown in public, i heard some friends say things like "i wanna get fucked up tonight because this has been such a stressful week," seemed troubling

there are a lot of dumb smart kids here

there are a lot of kids here who've had really limited "life experiences," meaning they were pretty much confined within their socioeconomic class/private high school and/or only experienced things their parents wanted them to experience

there are a lot of kids here who feel trapped by their parents wanting them to be doctors or engineers, or who feel trapped by their "ivy league" pedigree so now they have to make a lot of money or gain a lot of prestige but they don't know how but now look wall street is offering them a six-figure internship so why don't they just take that for a while while they figure out what they want to do with their life and before they know it they're investment bankers for good

they are also some mad cool people here as well, like there would be anywhere


when people ask how college is i think most kids say, "i love it," even if they don't, because college is supposed to be this amazing american transitive experience and if you don't like it there's something wrong with you

kind of like how when people say "how are you" most people say "good," even if they're not

i don't think most people are "good," i think most people are depressed, even if they don't know it

or like

they should be,

i would be

given the circumstances


i "don't give a fuck" about certain things more & more

and "give a fuck" about certain things more & more

"certain things" being grades, my parents' expectations, society's expectations, my personal expectations, how much money i want to make, my interpersonal relationships with friends/family, etc etc

my "ultimate goal" being long-term happiness of course

currently trying to balance what i "don't give a fuck about" and what i "do give a fuck about" in the combination that maximizes my long-term happiness


the world could end or not end, i don't care

death just seems like another step

i've met more kids at columbia that have said they are "afraid of death" than kids in ohio

seemed troubling/interesting

Monday, December 3, 2012

Why I Love Money

“Me and money go together / I love her like my favorite sweater.” 
-Gucci Mane, “Me and My Money"

I love money because, as a human, I want. I want pleasure, experiences, possessions, I want more, I want to be able to point at something I want and get it. I want to live a lifestyle unhindered by price tags. I want to wear a tailored suit and a gold rolex. I want to drive a black Lamborghini and have a personal chef. I want to eat at expensive restaurants. I want to have a penthouse with a pool, pool table, and cigar cupboard, and invite all of my friends over and have a big party. I want a brand new Macbook Pro. I want Bathing Ape sneakers. I want to buy my girlfriend gold. I want to take a taxi instead of the subway whenever I want. I want to go to a sushi restaurant and order the most decadent platter on the menu.

I want influence. Money is influence. People listen to money. In capitalism, the most powerful people are the people with the most money. Politicians—who we’re told are the ones in charge—need money for their campaigns, and so their policies cater to rich people. Rich people are, and always have been, the real ones in charge.

So it’s a shame that most rich people are assholes. Me, I’m not an asshole, so if I make it to the top, I’ll be able to fight them on their own terms. I believe in fair wages, civil liberties, fighting climate change, peace, etc etc. I want to show powerful people those ideas in their own language, the language of money.

Money is love. Yes, love. Money can be a way to demonstrate affection. Time is money, and when you give somebody something that you bought with your money, it’s like saying “Here, I’m dedicating the time I spent making this money to you.” Granted, that doesn’t replace actually spending time with someone, but it’s a nice gesture. It’s satisfying to financially take care of your parents in their old age. It’s satisfying to take a girl you like to a store and for her to know’s what’s up, that whatever she wants, you’ll buy it for her. It’s satisfying to be in a position where you can give your friends financial support. It’s like how Lupe Fiasco said, “if you are my homeboy, you never have to pay me.” I want to be in a position where all my homeboys don’t have to worry about money or anything like that, ever.

Let me make a distinction here: there’s a difference between wanting money to spend it and wanting money to have it. There are rich people who do the latter, who just like having money, but I don’t get with that at all. Hoarding money like that seems selfish, greedy, and absurd. It also precludes other people from enjoying their lives with that money when one stockpiles it like that.

Money can motivate people to do some pretty evil stuff. It’s easy to make money by exploiting other people and harder to make money by helping other people. I don’t respect money made by taking advantage of innocent people. I consider that kind of money dirty money, blood money. I could probably try to get a job on Wall Street and make six-figures out of college, but I’d prefer to make six figures doing something I like, or make nothing at all.

I love money because I love life. In capitalism, if you want something, you need money to get it. As a human, I am driven by hunger. Hunger for pleasure, experiences, and possessions. In this society, having money is the way to fulfill that hunger.

I’ll come clean—it’s really not about the money at all. It’s about the lifestyle you want to live and the costs associated with it, and as for the lifestyle I want to live—if you want to know the lifestyle that I crave, well, just know that I’m chasing millions.