The Soma Generation

It occurs to me of late that what we have always been told about psychiatric conditions and the pharmaceuticals that supposedly mask their symptoms, are just a means to an end. For when one group of specialized yet non-medical pseudo-analysts, who go by the name of psychiatrists, are allowed to diagnose and name thousands upon thousands of “conditions” which require pharmaceutical drugs of one form or the other – from opiates to psychotics, inhibitors to chemical lobotomies – and then are given the power and legal authority to institutionalize anyone that they choose, for any condition they can make up, I think society in general has a serious problem.

Ultimately, these many variations of the same opiate and other brain-function-manipulation derivatives are all relieving a collective illness; a mental malfunction that is in truth shared by all of us, and whose symptoms vary in infinitely varying ways. And when I look around at what society has become, the need for Soma in these many fractional forms becomes apparent – a similar variance for each reactionary, societal illness…

I see that ethics have all but been vanquished in the workplace, leaving only the least empathetic personalities to fill positions of usury and greed, and causing a form of stress that can only be described as a forced and burdensome moral subversion for those who otherwise might be content in an ethical and moral occupation. But most of our current employment opportunities require the very subversion of the people they are hired to help –  be it “customer service”, “sales”, a “government representative”, or an “agent” of one form or the other, from insurance to collections to police to court workers. And like Pavlov’s Dog we are set forth on our workweek with a reward system, earning incentives and bonuses for the number of other people we can hurt for a profit; judged by how many worthless financial products or insurance policies we can unload through high pressure sales techniques that are required learning by unscrupulous corporations.

We are collectively sharing the communitarian plague of an unnatural and inhumane state of being. We are cursed to live in interesting times. But these times are so outside the realm of rational consciousness that our suppressed sense of common decency and logic create mental illnesses and even imaginary personalities simply to cope with our wrongness of being. And not unlike a zookeeper’s tiger who paces back and forth in his confined cage behind metal bars in his own constant mental anguish, we humans long internally for something we know exists but just cannot attain – our natural habitat.

Occasionally, we catch a glimpse of this nature we once knew and respected, as we drive through National Parks and similar government held federal land management areas. And as we marvel at the flowing waterfalls from raged and glorious cliffs, and as we ponder the ancient forests with vigor and awe, we for a moment – a brief but glorious interval between mental anguish and societal ambiguity – we feel the real world. We release the sophistry of normalcy and breath in the fresh air and drink the clean flowing water. We revel in the web of nature beauty, barely recognizing the sense of well-being it causes… and then roll up the window and drive back down the mountain to our cities and metropolises where what we call “real life” exists. As our mental anguish returns almost immediately, we settle in until the next time we can get away from the real life and simply breath the fresh air once again.

And so in direct cause and effect corporate necessity, a completely irrational job title – The Psychiatrist – has been created to diagnose a human populous that in its own way is suffering from the same general mental illness – though its symptoms are manifested in so many different individual ways.

You see, we are all sick. Especially those of us who point our fingers at others who are sick, baptizing them as crazy or deranged. For if we are so well-adapted to our enslavement and to our situational lunacy that we conduct ourselves as superior to those who malfunction in that same system, it is we who are truly ill. For is giving up sanity and ethics for profit at the expense of nature and of humanity itself not the very definition of a deranged person?

Indeed, we are all sick. Not because we are really suffering from an actual base disease, but because we are all forced to live in such a truly fucked up environment. We must accept degradation and debilitation to get ahead. We have been made to believe that happiness is debauchery, and that satisfaction is not attainable through traditional means. We have mistaken fraternity with family, and lust with love. We are subject to visual stimulation so subliminal that the thought of it affecting us mentally or emotionally has been subliminally equated to crazy people and conspiracy theories. We have been incrementally displaced from the family units and clan structures of old, and systematically estranged from the concept of honor and integrity. We have been tossed into Agenda 21, stacked and packed into sustainable regions, with concrete lots and roads leading to well-manicured recreation areas, malls and mini-malls. And we have been disjointed into welcoming the familiarity and comfort of chain stores like Walmart and Burger King as we travel around the country and indeed the world; the concept of cultural and geographical uniqueness abandoned from our consciousness like so many small businesses and farms, in lieu of convenience, un-ceremoniousness, and traditional and local cultural upheaval.

Is it no wonder that we as a population of pure consumer-ship; as the builders of substantive nothingness, have manifested such a vast and wondrous variety of mental deficiencies, requiring one form of mental suppressive or the other; each a derivative of the next, and each eventually requiring a second derivative to suppress the first? Is it any surprise at all that these drugs are prescribed by real doctors who spend more time studying pharmaceutical reactions than they do on human necessities like nutrition and exercise… and who get kickbacks and perks for handing out psychotic drugs like they are candy?

The sad truth is that we will all eventually need these drugs to suppress the mental wasteland that has been caused by the abhorrent conditions created by the government’s military industrial complex and its investment held corporations. We are the victims of ourselves, of our lack of vigilance over this machine, and of our conformity to what is pushed upon us in the guise of being “normal”. Without these drugs, we would fall out of line. We would become unproductive. We would cease to be good citizens.

The incremental deviation of our hearts and minds is almost complete. And generational separation from the concepts of family and of sovereign individualism is almost complete.

We are the Soma generation…

And our children will be the inheritors of the “Brave New World”, many years after the fabled year 1984.


-Clint Richardson (
Monday, June 20, 2011