The American People announced yesterday that they were through trying to make something of themselves, that college was too hard and everyone knows you never use most of what you learn there and anyway who needs that crushing debt when all the jobs that haven’t already been shipped overseas were either not worth trying to get or would soon be outsourced to people willing to work for a third of what they would consider getting out of bed for, that they were through undertaking the years of study and countless hours of patient workmanship it takes to produce decent quality anything, they are not going to bother trying to make things any more seeing as how it can all be made more cheaply by drones or robots working at scale and besides, all opportunity for advance has long since been closed off by the encroaching arms of global trade and wage arbitrage.
Instead, they continued, from now on, we will sing for our supper.
All the folks who make all the useful stuff will earn wages and profits more than sufficient to support a vast industry of entertainers and jesters to add laughter and meaning to their lives. And that’s where we come in. We will produce epic films and groundbreaking television shows of every imaginable color and genre, arm and train squadrons of musicians, poets, and acrobats that will conquer the world and lay it waste with joy and tears. We it shall be who will build the websites, compose the blogposts, edit the videos, design the theme parks and brain up the advertising campaigns until no matter what the physical circumstances of your life, you will feel you are living in the best of all possible worlds, the beautiful pinnacle of ten thousand years of human evolution.
The more you oppress us, the better our protest songs. The farther our standard of living falls, the better the blues we sing. Throw us a few cases of good wine and a decent casserole once in a while and you might get a Mad Men or a Mr. Show. But keep feeding us fake-ass frankenfood and selling us mounds of cheaply manufactured crap, and it’s gonna be The View and Jersey Shore on a 24-hour loop for as far as the eye can see.
The American People then removed their hat, placed it on the ground at their feet as a receptacle for the donations of appreciative observers, and launched into a soft-shoe / ‘rappin Jack Kennedy’ routine in the hopes of earning enough for a decent macchiato to get them through the afternoon.