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I had a friend from my high school wrestling team named Jorge. After graduation and for the entirety of his adult life, Jorge worked on a huge ant farm in southern New Jersey. Every morning Jorge would get into his car and drive to the ant farm. But one morning Jorge got into his car and he didn’t drive to the ant farm—he selected suicide-exalting heavy metal music from among the cassettes in his glove compartment, and he turned the volume up full blast, and he headed north on the New Jersey Turnpike. After traveling for some 90 minutes, and having reached an area within a mile’s proximity of Newark Airport, he exited the highway and pulled into a desolate industrial dump. He got out of the car, opened the trunk, and removed a shoulder-held Stinger antiaircraft missile launcher. And he proceeded to blow a Federal Express jet en route from Chicago out of the sky as it made its final descent. Miraculously, the crew was able to eject from the plummeting aircraft and parachute to safety. But the plane’s entire cargo of overnight letters and parcels was destroyed. I visited Jorge on death row.
“How could you do it?” I asked.
“Every day of my life I went in to that goddam ant farm. Every single day. And every single day it was the same goddamn routine—they’d feed me steak or chopped meat which I’d digest, and then they’d force me to regurgitate to feed the queen and her larvae. Day after day after day, year after year … I just couldn’t take it anymore. I just couldn’t…”
He collapsed on the floor. I knelt down to help him, but he waved me away.
“There’s nothing you can do. I’ve taken a massive dose of Bromadiallone—a powerful anticoagulant. In a minute I’m going to die of internal hemorrhaging. But please … there’s one thing I want to tell the young people of today. If you…”
He began to lose consciousness. I shook him and wet his lips with a couple drops of Gatorade.
“If you what, babe?”
“If you … if you squander your precious beautiful days on meaningless labor whose”—he coughed up blood—”whose ultimate purpose is to further the ruling elite or solidify the hegemony of the state … you’re a sucker.”
His eyes rolled back in his head. I shook him furiously and threw the rest of my Gatorade on his face. But it was too late. He was gone.