Just Add Water

November 16th, 1998 | Category: Essays

Water is being added to juice concentrate. The frozen mass relinquishes its tart taste, compromising its original form to create something consumable. This same phenomenon occurs everyday in various forms in the lives of people you know. A college student makes good grades and wins a scholarship to a graduate school. He sacrifices his own free time to study to make these grades. A high school football player wins games for a team and lands a spot on a college team. He also sacrifices his time, perhaps even time for a job so he can practice his football skills. Your favorite band signs a million-dollar contract to a major label and loses some of their edge to gain mass appeal.

Water is added to the lives of these people in order that they give up a bit of themselves for the consumption of others. The college student’s good standing makes the grad school look good, the football player’s field skills make his college look good, and the band’s softening makes the major label look good through mass record sales.

How does all this relate to the topic at hand? Well, what does everyone want out of this life eventually? To make a living doing what we love to do. Athletes want to get sponsored by a major company, to go to events, shows, to get free gear at the very least. Artists want to get paid to make their art so that they don’t have to wait tables to pay bills. Here’s where the water comes in: Corporate sponsors have images to uphold. Your attitude and your free time will both either somewhat dissolve, or you can keep toiling away in Podunk, Nowhere. The point is, conformity has its place, but so does having a core that’s true. People all too often co-op their baser beliefs in exchange for what they think they should do at the time. What do you really want from this life? What do you really want from your hobbies? When the water is added, how much will you give up? How much will you keep for yourself? In the end, It’s all up to you.

[SLAP Magazine, 1998]

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