Subaru Crosstrek and Finding Meaning in a Modern Life

I just bought a Subaru Crosstrek. Would have bought a Lambo, but I’m not quite there yet. That’s a quote from a song by Hobo Johnson, called “Subaru Crosstrek XV” and I highly suggest giving it a listen. Even if you don’t enjoy the music, it’s sure to generate a laugh.

Also, I did just buy a Subaru Crosstrek. And boy is it awesome. I went driving over some rocks this morning and just about spoiled my penis pouch. Great handling, some nice giddyup since I got the sport edition, and great MPG. Fun for the whole family. I don’t have a family, but I could have a family. I mean… not right now, that would be weird if I had a whole family and it was completely unbeknownst to me. “Honey, we’ve been married five years, these are our children.”

“What? I’ve never seen any of you in my life.”

Buying a car is weird. It was something I needed to do, and it felt good in a sense. There was some relief when it was done, which was nice, but also some anxiety. I think that’s natural after making any large purchase, but it also points to our relationship with technology and machines. Or at least my relationship. Understanding how technology affects me has been a big revelation over the last year. I’ve noticed a lot of my anxiety is tied to technology and that I generally feel much better and happier when I spend more time in the natural world and less time around screens and machines. In a sense, buying a new car felt like I was just purchasing yet another machine, so I think there was some cognitive dissonance spinning around there.

It’s also interesting to think about how car-driven our society is. There’s a ton of importance placed on getting everyone to drive, and I’m not entirely sure what that’s all about. It even ties into your identity. They always ask for a valid driver’s license when you’re doing something important. To verify your age when purchasing alcohol or cigarettes, you don’t use a generic human license to identify yourself, you use a driver’s license. Almost everyone drives. When someone tells you they don’t drive it garners a strong reaction.

It’s super convenient to be able to drive everywhere on your own, but also causes a ton of problems: pollution, accidents, small penis syndrome… And it doesn’t seem sustainable. Electric cars are becoming more and more popular, which helps with the pollution issue, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re a society addicted to convenience and machines.

I think we are currently facing a fundamental reckoning of how we live in the world. It’s happening slowly, but it appears that we are coming closer and closer to the harsh reality that we can’t live like this anymore. Since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve been living against the natural world instead of in accordance with it, and something’s gotta give. As amazing and powerful as we think we are, we’re never a match for mother nature. She will survive. We will not.

It feels like we’ve just been building and innovating and building and innovating so rapidly that we are either going to build until it all comes crashing down on its own, or we can carefully and slowly tear it all down ourselves. There’s just so much unnecessary stuff out there. We’ve built some great things, but we’ve also wasted so much space because everything has become so convenient and specialized. We need to get these types of clothes here and this kind of food there and that kind of coffee over here. We’re completely reliant on this technological and convenient way of living.

I think we need to learn how to become self-sufficient within smaller communities while placing more importance on exploration instead of building bigger, better, and faster stuff. We have an innate desire to explore and to innovate, so it seems like a much more satisfying and worthwhile endeavor to use our innovative skills to help us explore instead of using our innovations to make us fat and stupid. We’re lacking a sense of meaning in modern society, too. People need to feel like they’re doing something worthwhile and meaningful, and sitting at a desk in a corporate environment doesn’t do that for people, because deep down they know it’s unnecessary. They know we don’t need most companies and corporations to survive. They know their work is just something to keep them busy.

I would love to live in a self-sufficient community, where everyone has meaningful and useful tasks. Some people hunt, some people fish, some people gather, some people entertain, etc. Everyone has a task that is indispensable to the group. Everyone needs each other and everyone’s job is important not only for the survival of the individual but for the survival of the group. And that’s rewarding.

It’s hard to think of a feeling that’s more rewarding than doing something which helps you and also helps everyone around you, especially when working together. Anyone who has played team sports in their life will always remember when they were on a team that won a championship, and how joyous that moment was. We never forget those moments. And that could be our life. We could feel that every day. But we choose not to. We choose to live a life of selfish greed, waiting on someone else to create the next big thing that makes our lives a little bit easier. And then we wonder why we feel so empty.

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