Dear American Kids,
Though I was once one of you, I voted with my feet. I moved to the other side of the world, so I can’t realistically apologize, but I can tell you a few things I’m really sorry about. As a member of the first generation to be profoundly affected by advertising, I’m sorry that we — the earliest hypnotized — were not only unable to escape the clutches of what we once termed “Madison Avenue,” but that we were also unable to prepare you in any meaningful way to resist the onslaught.
One result of that has been a deflection of aspirations away from the things you could be, toward aspirations for things you could have. That aspirational change will not only frustrate you, it is almost certain to diminish your personal accomplishments.
I’m sorry for the way advertising-driven consumer capitalism has vanquished the planet. The climate change, extinction rate and natural resource depletion you must now live through for the rest of your lives is rooted in decisions made & actions taken before you were born. The frustrations of your material aspirations are a result of the inequality the interplay of the above systems engendered. Your lost creative aspirations are largely due to the wrecking-out of “liberal arts” education in favor of a cookie-cutter education aimed at making you a better cog in a wheel of the machine that’s eating the planet.
One thing I can apologize for is that I didn’t stay & fight. I had other battles to fight in a distant land & felt like there was simply no power on earth that could or would help me change America.
You, on the other hand, might find a way. Might make a way.
But, the dangers involved to one side, I would encourage to spend a while actually living in another country (though not 40 years, like I’ve done). It’s important to see that most of the world — despite neoliberal globalization — does not live like America. Good luck!