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Debt Sucks

By H.G. Miller

I warned my roommate a few weeks back that the tender strains of Neil Diamond and Elton John emanating from my bedroom stereo only meant one thing: that I was quickly coming out of my seventies music phase and blasting into the eighties.

Having burned through my Bon Jovi, Poison, Steelheart, White Lion and Scorpion CDs in the last weeks, the tribute to past days of hairspray and gratuitous guitar solos was almost over. Except for one more band.

Guns 'n' Roses!

You are truly telling the world something about yourself when you not only have the capability, but are willing to run straight through the short but powerful music catalogue that is Guns 'n' Roses' contribution to society.

I am currently nearing the end of the second Use Your Illusion disc, and I am dutifully angry at the world for any number of atrocities that may not have actually happened to me in the course of my life, but very well could have.

Of the things on my mind today, foremost is the fact that I have received notice from my banking establishment about a check I wrote that I did not have funds to cover. Luckily, it was only rent, and who needs a place to live anyway?

To quote my own succinct title, debt sucks. Being young, poor and without immediate opportunity for career advancement isn't nearly as cool as those slacker movies made it out to be. I mean, shouldn't I be smoking cigarettes, hanging out at the beach, and spouting aptly-phrased quips about the poor schmucks who have to go to work every day?

And, you want to know what really sucks? I don't even have it that bad. Most of my friends and co-workers are paying of student loans and credit cards in amounts quadrupling what I have to pay the fine people at Citibank.

However, none of those people choose to publish an online website that receives nearly two hits a day (at last count), so we'll just forget about them and let me vent for a while.

You know, I wasn't always poor. I had parents. They took care of everything: food, shelter, love. It was great. All I had to do was be born, and they just took the ball and ran with it.

Then, around five years old, this sneaking suspicion developed. All of the schooling started. I was suddenly receiving this training in life skills so that I could someday take care of myself.

Whoa! That wasn't part of the deal. I just needed to look cute and burp a few times a day and I thought my job was finished. What was up with all of the work stuff? And there kept on being more. Grade after grade. High school into college. And thenů

Well, okay. Some of us do dumb things like move to the West coast where everything costs about twice as much as it did back home and yet the earning potential remains the same. Maybe I could take some of the blame for that.

Or, maybe I can crank up the distortion-heavy riffs of the always-eloquent Slash and just get angry at a society that expects me to work for my money and then spend it all on such frivolities as food and gasoline.

I'm an artist, for God's sake. I shouldn't have to work. I need time and space. Thoreau got to chill out at Walden. Wordsworth walked with his homeboys around the abbey. I want those experiences.

Why shouldn't I get to hang out around the streets of Los Angeles and suck in the smog while waxing poetic about all that I see?

Oh, wait. The CD's finished. I'm getting out of the eighties. Suddenly, I don't feel so motivated.

It's a strange thing, this music. Maybe I'll just put in Nirvana and get depressed about it.