Still Ill

Article published on Feb. 28, 2008
community published
Article published on Feb. 28, 2008
In recent times, dear reader, I have been suffering from a serious, life-afflicting condition. It has lingered inside of me, seemingly dormant, for a period of time before rearing its ugly head and bringing with it a general sense of malaise. I am not the only sufferer of this condition - indeed many millions are struck down by it every year.
High risk groups include disillusioned graduates, young professionals and those who simply wish for more out of life.

I speak of course of aspirazione decutare, more commonly known as Middle Class Disease.

I have been a sufferer of said condition for far too long. Whereas all art with any zeal or urgency is shrouded in the more proletarian of pleasures, I feel like I have become part of the peripheral group who buys into it off ITunes. I realised once and for all that I was part of this benign group, when after having been aggressed on the street, rather than rolling up my sleeves and fighting for honour, I crossed the road, went home and wrote a strongly worded letter to the local paper.

Writing is what I love more than anything else. From my very first weeks in Paris, sketching thought and feelings over a coffee made me feel good inside. But in more recent times, the tick-box monotonous reality of my job has filled me with writer's block and left me devoid of inspiration.

I desperately need to get my demon back.

That's the problem with Middle Class Disease. You are made to feel that you have to forego your dreams for white-collar security. You sell out your principles and join a club where the only things that are socially acceptable to aspire to are the material and the conventional. A bigger house, a faster car and a life of lobotomised misery. The Location Location Location generation. The people who went from being idealistic and revolutionaries in their younger days who now read The Telegraph and worry about Interest Rates.

I had an epiphany the other day. I sat down and tried to write and I was unable to articulate more than a couple of lines. It terrified me. I relayed this concern to a friend who concluded that I was suffering from a kind of existential crisis. That too concerned about climbing the greasy pole that accompanies my condition, I was forgetting what it was I loved doing in life.

Besides, he noted, "you could get knocked down waiting for a bus tomorrow night".

Of course being Middle Class, I could probabaly stretch to a taxi.