Archive | December, 2011

The Barista Manifesto

12 Dec

I generally pass my days wishing I were doing something other than what I am doing, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what that thing is.  There are days when it all comes together.  An unexpected smile from a pretty girl in her car, a rousing trivia night in which you win a free pitcher, sex, drugs, food and good music all weave their way in and out.  These things all serve an important purpose in our lives, but at the same time we all feel, especially in our 20’s that we should be doing something greater.  We can’t all be destined for greatness, but don’t tell that to anyone born in the 1980’s.   We’ve been told more than any other generation that we can achieve whatever we want, and it’s just not true.  Now I’m not saying your Elementary school teachers shouldn’t have told you that you can become an astronaut, because maybe you are insanely good with numbers and your love affair with rockets lasted past puberty, but how refreshing would it be to hear a college professor tell their student, “Listen Billy, you’ve got alright grades, you’re pretty smart, do you remember what I taught you about the French revolution?  Good, now forget all that and acquaint yourself with HTML and graphic design…I don’t know maybe familiarize  your self with different forms of social media.  Do you have a Twitter handle?  It’s time to start your career path of reckless self-promotion”

I want to make it clear that I am not sour or unhappy, only confused.  We are built up by teachers and parents and given stars and diplomas, but no one teaches us how to hustle.    We exist in a time where a flawless resume and a nice smile might not even garner a conciliatory email rejection.  I don’t blame education or the economy.  I don’t resent teachers and parents for filling me with false hope, because it is my unwavering belief that I am special that keeps me afloat.  Again I am only confused.  I’m confused by the fact that my friends who are smart, funny, beautiful and ambitious are working in the service industry.  I’m confused by the fact I have to look for jobs on craigslist and seriously consider donating sperm.  I’m embarrassed that I know how to make a double soy vanilla mocha.  I don’t understand why men wear skinny jeans.  I also really don’t understand why I let myself be convinced to shop for skinny jeans and actually tried a pair on, only to realize they were in fact too tight.  Maybe we aren’t special, or we are and lack serious motivation.  Clearly, many things confuse me.

Just to reiterate, I’m not unhappy.  I take great pleasure in bowling and burritos.  I also love to make people laugh and think. I love comedy.  I love to perform and write comedy.  I don’t know if these can be described as passions, and to be honest I’m not sure if I’ve ever been passionate about anything, which is sad but I think true for many people.   I can tell you this, however, when I perform and write comedy and make people laugh there is nothing in the world I would rather be doing.

We are a community of media fiends surrounded by a culture of distraction.  We gobble each other’s lives up in sound bites and status updates.  Some of these distractions are bad and time consuming, but sometimes they can be revelatory.   Let me be a good distraction.  Let me be that friend you are inappropriately envious of and live vicariously thru.  “He wants to be a comedian and writer, that takes so much balls!” Indeed.  Balls and lots of day jobs.  Allow me to be your 21st century Mark Twain who pays $3.45 for his 24 oz. Hibiscus cooler and sits next to thirty other delusional 20 somethings trying to be the same thing.  Don’t pay attention to them. I am better than they are, or so I’ve been told.