Life's not all #YOLO and cupcakes as far as the Corey Taylor's concerned. In another one of his classic columns, the Slipknot / Stone Sour man emphasises the work hard / play hard ethic.
This column originally appeared in issue 181 of Rock Sound (December 2013)
It seems like every year I hear more and more people bitch about getting older. I mean, I knew the culture was obsessed with perpetual youth, but fuck me, I heard a 30 year-old complain about it the other day. 30? You fuckin’ shitting me? 30? You JUST left your twenties, you fuckin’ tool bag. You are still young enough to remember your teens with extraordinary clarity. But 30 is already kicking your ass? All I could tell that person was you better get fitted for a hard hat because life is a prickly cocksucker from here on out, and it only gets more intense. You think it’s tough now, buy a cup or you’ll be gargling your nuts in no time flat. Is it that bad, people? Is getting older that fucking tough, that scary, that taboo? The answer is NO. All you fuckin’ people are so concerned with shit like YOLO that you don’t even know what real living is yet. I’m seeing too many people acting like life is one long weekend trip to Vegas. Real shit ain’t like that. I don’t give a flying fuck whether you care or not and I really don’t care if you scoff at or judge me for stating the facts. Life is play and work. You do too much of one, the other suffers and you end up miserable. You don’t like it? Suck it because it’s true.
Me? I love being older. Being older means not giving a runny crap about shit that shouldn’t have mattered in the first place. Your focus changes and you become smarter – that is, if you allow yourself to become smarter. It gets easier to take ego and selfishness out of any equation. That’s it, in a nutshell. It gets easier. You learn to trim away the fat that clings to the meat of life and take what’s left for what it is. Life is a circle, not a straight line. When you stop spacing off and pay attention to that, the work is not so scary. Now I know that the attitude towards getting older has a lot to do with the current state of the zeitgeist. It’s fashionable to immerse yourself in fun and frivolity. Every commercial, every pop song, every T-shirt, every movie, everything espouses the virtues of not giving a shit about the future: the moment is now and that is the only moment that counts. That tired bull may make sense when you’re discussing relativity with physicists but it means zero when it comes to real life.
I’m going to give you this head’s up right now: GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER OR YOU ARE GOING TO WEAR SAID SHIT AS A HAT. Now if you are young, do your thing. That’s what being young is supposed to be: being free and having a good time. But you have to keep in mind that it doesn’t last forever and if you try to force it to, it will explode in your face. At some point you have to start the transition process. I’m also not saying that if you work hard, you shouldn’t play hard. That’s your right as someone who busts his or her ass for a living. If you work 40-50 hours a week, the weekend is your 24-48 to recharge any way you see fit. But too many people look at life – not even a job or a career, but life – as that type of work, so all they do is party. All they do is look for ways to be ‘fabulous’. It’s no wonder global sewage is hitting the world’s fan right now. Most people do not want to do the work – all they want is the prestige. I can look in the future, too. I can see millions of people – a generation raised on entitlement and selfish unconcern – hitting their later years and casting around for someone else to take care of them. It happened on a micro scale with a good portion of the hippies who couldn’t adjust after the sixties. Guess what, people? If you took a fraction of the passion you have for partying and being restless and applied it to establishing a life for yourself, this world would be set for 100 years. There is nothing wrong with having a good time when it is warranted. There is something wrong when that is all that matters to you in life. You want to blow off some steam, let your hair down and be carefree because ‘you only live once’? Fine. But you have to have a real life first. If you don’t, you’re just another spoiled little shit running away from your problems. You’re another Kardashian fuck-up who no one will give a damn about in 10 years. I do; you’re better than that. Don’t distribute – contribute. Then again, I’m an asshole. But at least I’m doing something about it.
Your move, kiddies…
Corey Taylor is Rock Sound's longest-standing contributor. Honestly, he is. Google it. For a full page of his ramblings every month, get yourself a subscription to Rock Sound Magazine.