It is true that “all the girls wanna play Baywatch” at the swimming pools full of liquor (Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools”). Generation Y parties, both in college and high school, present you with a reality surfacing from the deep end of young adult freedom. Diving through the future, our new understandings of suffering blend with our pleasure. We get it poppin’ to the beat while we process the new meaning of unhappiness. This introduction to the struggles of adulthood affects our ceremony of intoxication; instead of channeling love through our weekend celebrations, we mix parties with therapy.
By listening to the streets, the discussions taking place throughout the collective conscious—encompassing our art, like Kendrick Lamar’s music—we hear our reflections. Mom and pops used to drop their faces in goblets of Crown Royal to relieve the stress of paying bills. Twenty-first century hipsters share a common condition with its parents: an imbalance between our wants and available funds, or our lack of emotional understanding makes us swim. Intensifying our fadedness makes it possible to wipe our memory of reality, to the point that we blackout.
In the swimming pool we accompany a long fall to the bottom, the calamity. Hitting the pavement at the bottom of our consequences takes us to the conclusion. Sometimes the extra cup of confidence we drink pulls us real strong to vomit. Throwing up our problems, the reborn beverages liquify a sign from existence. It’s an awakening of consciousness, an overstanding of self: my boy woke up this morning realizing what made him drown in the liquor. He had no choice, the final collision at the end of the fall shook his consciousness. Kendrick falls backward into a stomachless hole ending in a visual explosion; it’s the sign, the substance rising out of our pleasure and suffering.
Occasionally, a morning at the toilet wakes me up with tenacious thoughts about the facts of my reality. Perhaps Kendrick’s philosophical account of life holds universal truths of the moment, through which we can see our lives. Overdue bills. Drank. Changing relationships. Drank. Growing up. Drank. Just wanna kick it. Drank. Faded…Drank. The next morning is always specially illuminated, because it’s the preface to knowing new reflections of self. The harshest, temporary realities have such intensity that it takes our falls to overstand the features of its dimension.