NEETpride is a Capitalist movement

To the untrained eye it might seem like NEETpride is the latest iteration of communism. UBI is notorious for having a similar PR problem. In both cases that perception couldn’t be more wrong.

NEETdom is only *possible* in a capitalist society. It requires capitalists to automate industry so NEETs can live comfortably without needing to work. It requires the elimination of the worker. Capitalism incentivizes that. Under a centrally planned economy, all citizens working is part of the social order. Keeping all those workers in line is what keeps the communist economy chugging along. Of course as we all know, consumption drives the capitalist economy. Those NEETs need to be buying stuff in order for capitalists to be incentivized to continue automation. Otherwise it all falls apart. That’s where UBI comes in.

Conversely, communism/socialism/whatever you call the economic and societal philosophy that’s diametrically opposed to capitalism hates NEETdom. Even right now in capitalist society NEETpride is socially acceptable so long as you’re rich. Not so under communism. Even those with enough social clout to not work still had to pretend they did. Communism glorifies work and the worker. That’s why you saw labor camps under communism. That’s why it was consumed with seizing the means of production. That’s why the main symbol of communism is a sickle and hammer. It’s “from each according to their ability”, not “from each according to whatever they feel like giving.”

That’s not to say capitalism is perfect. The very fact that we need economic band-aids like quantitative easing and basic income is proof of that. Nevertheless, a cornerstone of capitalist philosophy is that work should be voluntary. You give some of your time in exchange for some money. In practice it certainly doesn’t work like that. You’re going to have a hard time obtaining things that are human rights according to the UN, such as housing and internet access. It goes without saying that there is implicit coercion under capitalism. But it’s not explicit, and that is an improvement over the explicit coercion of communism.

Many proponents of capitalism conflate the communist lack of productivity with communists being given the freedom to not work. In reality communists were less productive because they were forced to do things they didn’t want to for the good of the state. That is not a sufficient incentive for most people. Because work was incentivized over productivity, they never got to the point where NEETdom was even possible, let alone socially acceptable. When money itself is glorified and not work, capitalists have the incentive to create systems that allow the rest of society to function without labor.

Basic income is “everybody gets a reward because not everybody can or needs to work.” Communism is “everybody is forced to work so everybody gets a reward.” At face value this might seem fair but it quickly leads to made-work junk-food jobs, which hurts not just individuals, but the economy itself. The fastest route to a fair and healthy society is allowing every single individual to pursue what they were interested in before someone else told them they had to slave away at some drudgery for the mere privilege of existing. NEETpride is the first step on the road to that world.

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How society incentivizes NEETdom

NEETdom for the poor is a relatively novel idea. There’s never been a point in history where the wealthy were forced to work, but only since the economic boom of the 1990s and Generation X’s glorification of “slacker culture” has NEETdom even been a visible option for the masses. What changed in society to cause this?

It might go without saying that the green revolution has been the greatest enabling factor for NEETdom. Regardless of how ethical you think they are, GMOs and factory farming have dramatically decreased both the number of people who need to work as well as the price of food. Anyone can buy 5 pounds of pure chicken breast for $10 and, unless you’re springing for organic, the cost of vegetables is almost neglible. This phenomenon is compounded with the rise of business models like that of Aldi, Walmart, and Costco, further reducing the amount of money necessary to feed oneself. These days, you mostly are paying for the packaging of brand name food or the ambience of restaurants rather than for the labor it costs to produce the goods you eat. Since ancient times one of the primary reasons given for why people must work is so everyone has enough food to eat. Since the 1980s that really hasn’t been an issue.

A more recent argument against not working is fear that the economy will collapse if everyone doesn’t work. As explained in this previous post, this is merely a misunderstanding of basic economics. Furthermore, the rise of the tech industry since the early 1990s has proven that a handful of people can create products that eliminate the *need* for people to work while simultaneously strengthening the economy. The word processor killed the secretary like Uber killed the taxi driver. Factory automation takes this phenomenon to the extreme, significantly reducing the need for humans to engage in manual labor. People are generally working less well-paying jobs these days due to this fact. Unlike 1990s slacker culture, adults entering the workforce now don’t have the option of working their way up the corporate ladder. After being told all our lives that minimum wage jobs without benefits are for losers, we figure we might as well just be “losers” who live off welfare or family. This is an extension of the welfare trap: why suffer in a job you hate if there’s a neglibible change in not just wealth but also dignity?

However despite more and more people dropping out of the workforce, corporate profits haven’t really slowed down since the 1980s. The Great Recession hit in 2008, but that was a result of too many loans being given out to people who didn’t have steady enough jobs to pay them off. This is still an issue today. The hot button issue of the 2016 presidential election, 8 years later, was still “jobs for the little guy.” Corporations are trying to bandaid this situation by adding a lot of junkfood jobs, but it’s leading to the same thing that happened when Japan tried this: a zombie economy. It’s no coincidence that the Japanese invented and began to develop NEET culture before us in America.

 

So it’s become practical to not work thanks to the green revolution and the tech industry. At the same time, the amount of shame that comes with not working is only slightly more than the amount of shame that comes with working the junkfood jobs which are accessible for most of us. There is one more part to this puzzle and that is feminism. Feminism, in addition to technological advancement, successfully destroyed the traditional female role. Left without work to occupy them thanks to advances in technology like the refrigerator or canned food or assembly lines which produced cheap replacements for items that once had to be mended, women were sold the male gender role by capitalists looking for workers and consumers both.

This made competition much harder for the majority of men as now we must not only compete against men in the workplace, but also women. Naturally this influx of workers, lowered the value of our labor. It also made women less dependent on men and made it harder for the bottom 90% of males to compensate for other intrinsically undesirable elements like an ugly face or short stature by offering to provide for a woman. In truth, this was the incentive to work for most men throughout human history. Merely to start a family men feel more pressure than ever to be a success in the capitalistic market. Thanks to automation and globalization there are fewer and fewer meaningful ways to do that. When faced with these overwhelming odds, we become NEETs.

There’s a complex interconnected spiderweb of reasons why NEETdom has been gaining popularity in recent years. The freedom of information allowed by the internet as well as the concurrent rise in popularity of UBI play no small role themselves. However, I think the four key reasons are technological advancement, the tech industry proving it’s possible to create immense economic value with few workers, the “welfare/dignity” trap, and the elimination of traditional gender roles. As for NEETpride? That right there is the final nail in the coffin of work.

Why we need NEETpride

NEETpride isn’t merely another way to thumb your nose at society and enjoy your freedom. NEETpride is absolutely necessary for the coming societal transition.

Looming mass unemployment is no big secret. Society seems pretty evenly divided into the 5 stages of grief, running the gamut from denial to anger to bargaining to depression to acceptance. Once the stage of acceptance is reached, the conclusion one inevitably comes to is that a universal basic income will be the best solution for this imminent problem. There is a lot of resistance to this idea from those stuck in the initial 4 stages of grief. “We’ve always been fine in the past!” “It’s not fair!” “It’ll never work so don’t even try!” “I don’t want the system to change!” However, the loudest complaint about UBI is the claim that most people will sit around and do nothing.

First of all, the evidence so far suggests that wouldn’t happen. Nevertheless it might. NEETpride is the revolutionary idea that this is okay. The majority of society not working is a positive thing that we should strive for. It can easily be argued that the fundamental goal for humanity throughout history is the dream of not working. Agriculture was easier than hunting and gathering which led to the creation of civilization. Industrial manufacturing was easier than artisans making all goods by hand which led to an unprecedented economic boom. Retrieving information from the internet was easier than retrieving it from physical books which led to an unprecedented educational boom. Workers struggled for the 40 hour work week a century ago. Workers today struggle to look busy for 40 hours per week so they don’t get fired for being redundant. As we eliminate jobs at an exponential rate, we create more humans at an exponential rate.

NEETpride is the idea that this is an inherently good thing. The only work people ought to concern themselves with is that which they want to do, that which they are willing to do for free. Particularly in our post-scarcity society, living is not and should not be a punishment. NEETs understand that and don’t participate in the system. NEETs also understand that before UBI is a viable political option, the public perception of work must change. No politician will vote for UBI if their constituents want jobs, even going against the wishes of their corporate donors to do so (because corporations want to automate everything). NEETpride is the first step on the path to making UBI a reality. It must be socially acceptable to not work before society will accept giving everyone the freedom to not work.

Furthermore, as described in the earlier post, NEETs are the most discriminated against group in not just America but the world. And thanks to automation of everything from truck driving to medical diagnosis, there’s about to be a whole lot more of us and not by choice. Instead of a society where there are two classes of people at odds with each other, NEETpride makes the case that not working is as socially acceptable a behavior as working. If we don’t start making this into reality now, we’re in for a tumultuous couple of decades. NEETpride is necessary to prevent that.

The Leeward Coast

I walked back to Kaka’ako from Manoa for a easy campsite on September 11th to smoke the very last of my weed. That’s a holiday, right? Then I headed west. From everyone I’d talked to, this was ill-advised. I was told that they aren’t tourist-friendly west of Honolulu, some gangs of natives known to physically assault “haoles” (the Hawai’ian word for foreigner). Needless to say, I had to check it out for myself.

I passed through western Honolulu with no incidents, even finding a couple decent, cheap places to eat along the way (oddly enough in the business-y part of town). This part of town was littered with these fliers calling for an end to the amazing graffiti that beautified the city. One year in jail for painting pictures publicly? The lack of respect shown for this puritan bullshit warmed my heart.

West of Chinatown, the ambience gradually morphed into an almalgam Pacific Islander Town. This is where I started receiving a lot of “we don’t take kindly to your type ’round here” stares. I obviously wasn’t a rich tourist and I obviously wasn’t a local, so people seemed to view me as an enemy. This eased up a bit in Pearl City because tourists are known to go there for Pearl Harbor. War memorials don’t really interest me but across the harbor I found a fairly interesting homeless community strewn along a greenway. While their community looked cool I still received my fair share of leers and attempted scams. Even the kind people were derisive. While I was sitting in front of Starbucks, a large, white, christian woman gave me a Starbucks boxed lunch. When I tried to explain to her that I was from North Carolina, that’d I’d only been here for about a month, she refused to believe me. I certainly appreciated the free lunch, but I felt slightly insulted nonetheless. Hope she got her heaven coins.

West of Pearl City in Ewa, the environment turns desert-esque save the carefully manicured rich people lawns and golf courses. Evocative of Colorado. When I found places to actually camp around Ewa, I kept my distance from the locals. It wasn’t hard thanks to their aggressive dogs. There wasn’t even much quality beach to enjoy out here in the first place if you weren’t surfing. Irregardless, I decided to continue west to Ko Olina, one of the few specific places recommended to me by a local in Honolulu.

It was alright. The peaceful lagoons with imported soft sand were just what I needed after a long couple of days walking through the ghetto. Didn’t really feel like Hawai’i though. I suppose that’s the problems with all resorts, they feel too synthetic, too comfortable, to feel like you’re seeing the world. Some of the architecture was cool. I ended up camping in a massive flat “desert” clearing that was soon to become yet another generic golf course.

Heading north of Ko Olina I found some of the coolest coastline with some of the coolest names. Hawaii Electric Beach Park. Black Rock Boulevard. It’s little wonder I saw the most fleshed out shantytowns I’d seen so far here. However, I was now entering dangerous territory. I had finally arrived at the Leeward Coast. More natives approached me here than usual, but they didn’t seem to want much more than to sell me drugs. Camping at Makaha I did catch some dude trying to rob my tent, but I was chill about it, we chatted a bit, and he ended up giving me some of his drugs! How’s that for a modern-day parable?

Common arguments against NEETdom (and simple responses to them)




It feels good to work!

That is not because work is inherently good, it’s because your body is producing the endogenous opiate known as endorphins to counteract the bad feeling you’re experiencing. Well, it’s either that or the praise you receive from your social network for working. As explained in the NEETs and Depression post, we currently live in a society where work is revered above all else.

Work is healthy!

It’s true that some adults are incapable of living their lives without some sort of external force telling them what to do. It’s why people turn to religion. It’s why people buy self-help books. But not everyone is unhealthy by default. Most adults left to their own devices live peacefully and comfortably as they pursue whatever goals they set for themselves. Retired people are probably the closest you’ll find to an unbiased sample, although the argument could also easily be made for those born into wealth. Rich people who don’t have to work become job creators!

People will starve if you don’t work!

Hunger, like boredom and thirst, is an experience you need to voluntarily pursue in this day and age. The truth is we live in a post-scarcity world where we literally throw away a third of all food we produce. With factory farming, GMOs, and multivitamins there’s no reason for anyone to go hungry again. Access to food is a human right and that’s why every city in America is not only full of food banks, but people on food stamps.

Working is good for the economy!

Wrong. Consumption is good for the economy. Think about it this way: the economy does not improve in any way if you cut your lawn with scissors, despite it entailing  a ton of work. The economy improves when you spend money on things. Maybe you get that money from cutting someone else’s lawn with scissors, maybe you get it from a UBI. It doesn’t matter. The point is that you’re spending and consuming, not that you’re working. That’s why advertising is such a massive industry today and we need government programs to go people find work. Furthermore, while job growth is often used as the metric for evaluating economic health, it’s flawed. Certain low-skill service-industry jobs are trivial to create but they don’t create much purchasing power for the employees. It looks good on paper but is detrimental in the long-term. These are known as “junkfood jobs”. The kind of work that does benefit the economy are the jobs that need to be done. Because they need to be done, the employees get paid higher wages thanks to the law of supply & demand, and they in turn spend money consuming things in the economy.

You can’t just sit on your ass having fun all day!

Yes, you can. It’s only socially acceptable right now if you’re rich though. Children are who must obey authority figures before they get ice cream. Adults can eat ice cream for breakfast everyday because we have autonomy. Besides, everyone with a job does nothing but sit on their ass having fun after they are done with work. Take away their work and what do they have left in their lives? Fun. Us NEETs just don’t do the extra steps.

It’s not fair!

Unfortunately, life is not fair. The best we can do to make it fair is give everyone an unconditional basic income. With a UBI people always have the option to not work, giving them leverage when negotiating wages in the less desirable jobs. Rich people will still have better toys than poor people, but at least now the majority of us won’t have the constant threat of starvation and homelessness over our heads.

Hawai’i:iiii


I decided the more interesting thing to do would be to go back to Honolulu. I didn’t actually see that much of the city my first time there anyway. Plus, after I explained my quest to not work, that hippie woman who shared her weed with me told me that I could become a paid extra at a production company there. The bus only took me to the western end of Waikiki so I had to walk through the least NEET-friendly part of town during it’s peak hours on Saturday night. 


I arrived at the Okinawan festival just in time for the Bon dance, essentially the Japanese version of Tunak Tunak Tun. I tried finding a place to camp close to the park where the festival was going on but the pigs were buzzing around like wasps with blue lights, so I ended up going back to Kaka’ako. I explored the festival a bit more the next day although I didn’t get much more out of it than a few choice pics. I wanted to try the food but you had to convert your cash to a festival currency plus the lines were way too long for me to stand in the middle of the day with that 50 pound backpack.

I spent Labor Day proudly walking around with my “If you work you lose” shirt. I discovered a soon-to-close Japanese supermarket next to Ward Village having a massive clearance. When I set up camp back at Kaka’ako some old guy tried to explain to me that I was camping near some very dangerous people who are living there by choice because they refused to work. I was too tired to explain the irony to him.

I headed north to Manoa the next day purely because there was a campable state park in walking distance to a public library. Along the way I discovered this dank drainage tunnel full of graffiti, hiding under a mild-mannered neighborhood. After spending the whole day walking across the city I chose to climb to a scenic viewpoint halfway up Mount Olympus. Naturally, there was a couple waiting for me there ruining my planned isolation. I waited for them to leave to set up camp, make a fire, and smoke weed under the stars. It was windy. So windy that I got sick and remained that way for the next 3 days. I used this downtime to get a lot of mturking done.

Behind a Chinese graveyard I found a strange, labrythine farm. I couldn’t tell if it was still maintained. It was where I ended up camping for a few days. On my final day there, right before I left, I noticed a cop, a security guard, and what appeared to be a concerned citizen talking at the entrance. They hadn’t seen me and I immediately retreated. Truth be told, I’m positive I could have explained that I was about to leave and nothing would have happened. But from the first I laid eyes on that labrythine farm I wanted to evade guards in it. Too much vidya. Then, seemingly involuntarily, I coughed. Loud enough that I heard movement in my general direction. There was a light drizzle. Perfect. Using all the skills I learned from Metal Gear Solid and sneaking out of my parents’ house, I stumbled over a railing onto the main road after a nearly 45 minute sneaking mission. Mission complete.

Presumably because I was glowing with my recent “accomplishment” a random dude immediately pulled up and asked if I wanted a ride up to the trailhead for Manoa Falls. I still hadn’t checked these out due to my illness so I jumped in the back of his pick-up. The actual hike was easy, nothing compared to what I did the day I got sick. When I got there, there were 4 middle-aged women, 3 swimming, 1 looking on. Me and the woman not in the water chatted for a while. She told me there were some  girls who had skinny-dipping earlier which made me want to do it. We talked long enough that I explained my life situation. I really wasn’t trying to make it sound bad, but the fact is I had been disowned from my family, kicked out of my place of residence, completely unemployable, and at that time I had two cents to my name. This was punctuated with these pitiful coughing fits from the tail-end of my cold. As the 3 women were getting out I asked if it was okay with them for me to go skinny-dipping and they laughed it off. Apparently not realizing I’m a card-carrying nudist. I got in the calm, cold pool underneath the waterfall and waved goodbye to them. When I eventually got out, I found $20 in my shorts pocket. I choose to assume this was because they thought viewing my naked body is worth money.

NEETs & Depression

I’ll be the first to admit that most, hell, that a full 90% of NEETs in America are unhealthy. They hate themselves, they’re addicted to infodrugs or chemical drugs, and they are clinically diagnosed with a cornucopia of mental disorders. This doesn’t seem to, this does, correlate perfectly with lack of employment.

But correlation is not causation. Sadly, we live in a puritan culture. Fringe groups try to legitimize themselves by bragging about how much work they do. And those who don’t work are demonized, regardless of whether it was their choice or not. Greed, wrath, lust, gluttony, envy, and pride are all not just favored in our society, but literally necessary to keep it going. Once considered sins, these are now considered virtues in a civilization which in truth worships none but the god of Economy.

So the sin of sloth, of laziness, of NEETdom, has been forced to take on all the hate that was once divvied up between all seven. As a culture we no longer criticize ethnic groups for being overly lustful or gluttonous or greedy, we criticize their laziness. For instance, Mexico recently surpassed America’s “respectable” obesity rate, yet the stereotype of illegal immigrants (the people who literally broke the law to find work) is that of an anchor-baby-producing welfare queen. Similarly, when was the last time you heard that asians were overly lustful?

That’s why NEETpride is such a revolutionary movement. We embrace the single trait modern society despises and have the balls to be proud of it. Anyone who learns of this, be they family, stranger, or friend, feels a mix of negative emotions. They’re angry that they’re still plugging away at some drudgery they hate instead of living how they want. They’re jealous that we don’t have to. They’re sad as they’re reminded that they have no choice and they see no way out. So they take it out on us. Even if they didn’t, the mainstream media is constantly telling everyone that it’s the people who aren’t working who are destroying the economy, casually tacking “harbingers of the apocalypse” on to our collective list of sins. That 24/7/365 barrage of bile is what makes most NEETs sick. There’s your causation.

There are three solutions. The simplest one, as per usual, is money. If you’re rich you’re allowed to not work. Because reasons. Actually, because our society is designed so that those with the most money are the most morally correct. The second hardest is to not give a fuck what society thinks. Bohemian crustpunk NEETs and NEETs who embrace internet culture are for the most part already doing this. No one ever said being a NEET was easy. You gotta have thick skin. The last solution is by far the most difficult: change society at it’s core. Throw out puritan rhetoric and make NEETdom cool again. I suspect it will take nothing less than the implementation of a UBI system to accomplish this. Probably equally important is healthy living. Because many NEETs are depressed, they stop taking care of themselves which starts a vicious cycle. Learn proper nutrition and fitness and do it. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder to be healthy. Changing society for the better is certainly possible with memes alone though. The first step along that path is without a doubt, NEETpride.

Hawai’i:iii

When I get comfortable, I get drunk. When I get drunk, I get sloppy. On my third night in Kalama I realized it was going to rain, so I figured I’d get a 750mL flask of cheap vodka. You know, to help me sleep in the rain. Welp, it worked. I woke up to the rain stopping, laying on my barren tarp. No tent to be found. With nearly the worst hangover of my life I stumbled around the beach and park picking up pieces of my tent and my life. It was a Eureka Spitfire, the old version with metal poles. The kind that was the most highly rated single-person tent on Amazon for a while. The kind they no longer make. I wasn’t devastated, although that was more because my hangover was occupying the majority of my headspace. 

I stuffed the pieces in my soaked backpack (planning to repair it) and went to seek out a massive greasy breakfast that included a taco bowl, Jack in the Box, $6 of 7/11 junkfood, and fancy ramen. For some reason, whenever I lose money I get the uncontrollable urge to spend more. I couldn’t fix my tent so I was forced to buy a new one. Including the tent I ended up buying at Target I spent $80 in one day when my daily budget was supposed to be $5/day. At this point I had $20 to my name. At least I could now safely write booze out of my budget!

I set up camp behind a dumpster where I’d found a dozen individually sealed breakfast bars and right as I was packing up the next day a security guard came by and told me to move. He gave me advice on where to camp the next night at least. I went to Kalama beach one more time because it really was a nice beach when it came to cleanliness, sand quality, water quality, and view. I chilled in front of the ocean and wrote a little bit, then got the impulse to do a cool writer thing. I took that reefer pipe I’d found on the ground a week earlier and wordlessly gave it to the first teenager without parents present I could find. We exchanged stone-faced thumbs up and both went our separate ways.

I continued my circumnavigation around the island, obviously skipping the nearby Marine base. I tried to use the library at Hawaii Pacific University but they wouldn’t let me in. With no choice, I continued along Kamahameha Highway. I feel like most people don’t get to appreciate the natural beauty along this road seeing as they are driving through it as fast as possible. It’s actually a beautiful jungle valley with a surprisingly few number of trailheads. Maybe on a different day I’d make some myself, but I was still pissed about drunkenly destroying my tent and completely risk-averse. I found a chill place to camp on the fringe of He’eia State Park around 5PM and called it a night with a half dozen episodes of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka.

I kept on trekking along Kamahameha Highway, jamming out to the Sonic Mania soundtrack through more rich-person neighborhoods. So many places I wanted to explore were fenced off. It reminded me of the Azure Coast (I’ll never write French!) in a way. Luckily there were a few neat little beach access places, like this shady cove. I charged up my phone with the sun at the only nearby park and grabbed some garlic chicken musubi at the 7/11. I had completely walked around He’eia state park and now was headed toward the Valley of the Temples, solely because of the cool name. I was watching Dagashi Kashi when a heterosexual-looking dude pulled up and asked me if I wanted a ride. If I could smell, I would have smelled the weed on him.

He gave me a ride a couple miles down the road to the Valley of the Temples (which was an underwhelming graveyard) and invited me to roll a joint. My success with doing this is generally a crapshoot and I feared I was biting off more than I could chew what with doing it in a moving vehicle and using a roach (my suggestion). It came out great though. I impressed him with my thoughts on society and rolling skills so much he handed me a little over a gram of his dank Gorilla Glue. The universe provides my friends! If only I didn’t give away that pipe a few days earlier…

Things took a slight turn for the worse when he tried to drop me off at an illegal trailhead at the back of the Valley of the Temples. Right as he drove off, a security guard picked me up. It wasn’t all bad though. He drove me to a safe, legal place to camp a little down the street. Before I could even start down the trail, a hippie woman demanded I get into her car. Earlier that day I remembered a woman screaming “awesome” as she drove past me but I wasn’t sure if this was the same one. She wanted to smoke me out but naturally, we matched instead. When I eventually got to the camping area I ended up staying there for two days just cause it was so perfect. There was a flat place to camp in the shade just off the main trail, few bugs, plus a McDonalds and supermarket a mere 15 minute hike away. This was the first place I got to make an open fire. I sat alone in my tent smoking weed, reading the new Gibson, jamming out to the Samurai Champloo OST, and playing Pokemon Emerald. Roughly the same things I’d be doing if I was one of those indoor NEETs. At this point I had to face the hardest choice of my whole trip: stay in this cozy little spot for a few more days, or take a bus back to Honolulu for the Okinawan festival?

Memeing for NEETdom

While UBI and NEET-normalization is inevitable, I for one want it to happen sooner rather than later. Alas I am not a trustfund NEET so I don’t have money to throw at the problem. Therefore I must use the only weapon I have. Fortunately, it’s much stronger than money when used to it’s maximum potential. I’m talking of course about memes. Not just internet memes mind you, I’m talking about the more general Dawkinian memes here. In the bronze age we fought wars with bronze weapons. In the industrial age we fought wars with industrially-produced weapons. In the information age we fight wars with information, with memes. Words are our bullets. Social media sites are our guns.

In truth, what’s the main thing stopping most people from being NEETs in this day and age? Shame. Plain and simple. People fear ridicule. People fear being unattractive. Lucky for us that what induces shame is trivial to change. Look at trans acceptance in the past 10 years. In 2007 you would be laughed at (then arrested) for dressing up like the opposite sex and using their bathroom. Now you get appaulded. What changed? Did there suddenly become some monetary incentive to not hate transexuals? Was the government forcing us at gunpoint to change our beliefs? Hell no. People in the mainstream media said it was now completely socially acceptable to live as a member of the opposite sex. Now there may have been some deeper reasoning behind this movement but that’s besides the point. Society changed essentially overnight with little more than memes.

So why can’t this happen with NEETs and NEETdom? Right now, the mainstream perception of a NEET is basically an unemployed adult who lives in his mom’s basement. He is probably fat because he is lazy. He is depressed because he is socially isolated because he cannot afford to go to the bar. This is a pretty negative portrait of a NEET. Let’s break it down and see how we can flip the script.

Being unemployed is only a bad thing if you are homeless or live off your parents. If you win the lottery and don’t work, if you retire early, if you’re squatting in an abandoned building with 6 hippies, somehow society no longer considers you a NEET despite you not being in education, employment, or training. For normal people the reasonable option when you can’t find a job is to live with your parents. Let’s remind ourselves why this is considered bad in the first place. 

America is virtually the only country on the planet where living with your parents as an adult carries stigma. This is the norm in most of Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa. So why is it different here? Like most of American history, this phenomenon can be traced back to industry giants manipulating social norms with, you guessed it, memes. In the late 1940s there was fear that the recently stimlulated economy would crash if we didn’t keep pushing the economy further. One of the largest markets was the housing market. Just like with cars, there suddenly was a strong advertising push claiming that you were not a real man if you didn’t buy your own car and your own house. Back in those days home ownership was still possible with nothing but a high school diploma, but people in fact generally needed less space than they do now. Using memes, the housing industry convinced the American people to keep buying more and more new homes and this more or less continued until the Great Recession. This technique is now being implemented full-throttle in the more economically well-off parts of Asia. NEETs refuse to be manipulated by cheap advertising tactics.

As for NEETs being fat, the info from the above classic NEET meme ought to suffice. NEETs have the free time to focus on making ourselves healthy because we’re not too exhausted from work everyday. The fact is that the vast majority of fat people are employed. That is who feels justified to watch TV for 6 hours straight after work. That is who eats McDonalds. A NEET on foodstamps literally can’t even buy fastfood. And while we may not have access to an overpriced gym, running, squats, push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups and all their variations are free for everyone. Many famous yogis are NEETs. But when it comes right down to it, we need more NEETs who are fit to “come out of the closet” to provide sufficient real world data to overcome the fabricated pre-conceived notions that most people have about us. I’m already seeing tons of these guys on /fit/, but we need to start doing that irl too. Become a parkour master and wear a NEET T-shirt. That’s all it takes. Like with the housing thing, NEETs aren’t lazy, we just refuse to play society’s bullshit game.

NEETs being depressed is kind of a topic that deserves it’s own post so I’ll save that for next time. But to conclude here, remember fam: we are this generation’s counter-culture movement. Our hippies. Our punks. Revolutionaries at our best, and mere junkies at our worst.

Hawai’i:ii

Koko crater was much rougher terrain than I expected to find here. Rocky and dry, almost desert-like. The barren sky beating down on me aided this perception. Thankfully its near the beach so cooling off between hikes wasn’t an issue. I wanted to check out the Hanauma Bay nature preserve before Koko, but it happened to be closed on Tuesdays. Fortunately just a bit down the road was Lanai Lookout, one of those cool-looking places where the ocean carved rocks into alien landscapes. I got so cozy in one of the alcoves that I slept until the incoming tide woke me up. Oops.

All along Kalaniala’ole were beaches with brutal waves and I chose to check out Sandy Beach. At this point I wasn’t a very strong swimmer so I’m a bit ashamed to admit I didn’t linger in the ocean too long. It was so bad the lifeguard was shouting constantly for people (other people) to go to an easier beach down the road. I ended up camping right across the street from this violent beach in the spiky woods. I smoked some pot, watched the anime Barakamon, and went to sleep. 

The next morning I continued east. Even with my GPS, I got lost in the trails along the lowlands but it was a good kind of lost where you couldn’t hear or see the highway. My favorite beach I found here was Alan Davis Beach (that’s what it’s called) right underneath Pele’s Chair (an interesting rock structure). Here the waves were chilled out thanks to a natural rock barricade further out to sea. Within this little bay was a naturally formed grotto, almost structured like a built-in hot-tub. Most of the ocean floor was rocky, but in this little grotto it was nice and sandy. Some parts even had little seats! It was the ideal place to sit in the ocean with a cold brew.

After lunch and a cold brew thanks to some kind strangers, I continued on. As I was wearing my cool-guy aviators today, more strangers were approaching me and I ended up taking pictures of 3 sets of tourists in the span of an hour, mostly next to Makapu’u Lookout. This is also the day I tried (and failed) at conducting a field repair of one of my 4 solar chargers using nothing but a my trusty pocket knife, a rubber band, and my elementary knowledge of electronics. I ended up leaving it in pieces for whoever had the balls to fix it. I didn’t linger at Makapu’u or Waimanalo beach too long as I really wanted to see what something called Enchanted Lake looked like in real life and it was still 10 km away. Spoiler alert, it sucks, and you can’t even really see it cause its mostly on private property. I did however find a free power outlet near the local skatepark and a beautiful (albeit uncomfortable) place to camp in the dog trail at the end of Kamahele street. So far this was the first time I really got to see the stars in all their splendor.

The next day I headed to Lanikai beach to envy the kite- and wind-surfers. This was probably the shadiest beach I’d found so far, along with the clearest water. But a little further each I found my homey, Kalama beach. This place was so chill I ended up staying here for 4 days straight.  On my second day, there was a youth surfing competition and the ground and garbage was littered with delicious half eaten food. A lot of chicken, both fried and baked, American biscuits, mahi mahi, and expertly seasoned beans and rice. Furthermore there was a library just 15 minutes away where I could mturk and charge easily. Then immediately to the right of Kalama beach park was a little alcove that was easy, comfortable and beautiful to camp in. Sadly, this comfort was to be my undoing.