Audio version read by George Atherton
Has one of your friends ever called you “the man”? You know: “Hey, Silkie! Thanks for those Knicks tickets. You’re the man.” Or this: “Hey, Frank, thanks for helping me move … you’re the man!” Well, if you’ve been called “the man” then you’re a victim of a cultural meme shift. A what? Yes, a cultural meme shift. I know what you’re thinking: “What the fuck is this guy talking about?”
Well, listen up, people. There was a time, a time whose hand must rise again, like an hour hand coming up to midnight, time to reclaim a historical cultural meme: The Man.
Not so long ago a whole generation rose up against The Man, refused to work for The Man or to buy into The Man’s lifestyle: shiny new car, $80 Tees, pretentious housing, junk food and Coke. All this expensive crap – expensive in real (true-cost) terms – was brought to you by, you guessed it, The Man.
Being called “the man” was an insult then. But now, 40 years on, it’s an honor: “Did you see Johnny pick up that foxy brunette? He’s the man!”
What happened? I’ll tell you what happened: a cultural meme shift.
You see, “The Man” was a code word that beatniks used and that hippies adopted. To be hip meant you were in the know. You hip to that? To be hip meant you knew what was really going on: The Man was suppressing people. He was everywhere stopping people from enjoying their freedom. The Man set up the draft and sent 18-year-olds overseas to kill other people. And to be killed: more than 50,000 of them.
The Man said life was about status, power and accumulating stuff he sold, The Man said you had to work your butt off so you could buy all this shit. The Man made pot illegal. The Man also said there would be no fucking in the streets. And those hippies just loved fucking in the streets. Who wouldn’t? I mean, is that freedom or what? But I digress. The reason for the meme shift comes down to this:
Those original fuck you man, i ain’t fighting in your war brothers and sisters, with the courage to stand up and call out the lies mouthed by the so-called elite from their positions of power and wealth, those once brave brothers and sisters sold out to The Man. Or most of them did.
Some of the sellouts are now the ones with power and wealth. They became The Man. The people are lied to, still. But no one is drafted. Just bought. And without any fuck you, man, the suppressing and killing goes on.
Simple as that, man.