It’s the classic Bugs Bunny schtick, right ? But it’s also the achievable dream for many a professional class parent. They want theirs sons or daughters to be doctors and lawyers – just like them – quite in spite of the fact that both professions are drifting headlong into the headwinds of automation, technocratisation, and dekulakisation.
As to automation, reading thousands of pages of legal documentation is no longer the sole purview of the second year bar calls (there’s “AI” for that now) just as spinning and analysing blood is no longer the sole purview of the haematologist (there are spendy Siemens machines for that too). As to technocratisation, as both law and medicine continue to centralise and push themselves ever-closer to the molten core of fiat power, they increasingly suffer from the woeful maladies that so cripple said same mega-states, to which they’re irrespectively drawn like moths to miraged flames. As to dekulakisation, look no further than Herr Trudeau’s latest proposed gutting of the personal corporations that so many pensionless professionals (and entrepreneurs) have relied on to save for their hard-won retirements. Or are you going to tell me that none of these matter in the face of perceived social prestige ?
The professional route – if that’s your caste – might seem the obvious path for your chitlin, but YOLO yo, so why not take a flyer ?i Why not raise a kid for something obscure, something in a field stagnant and ripe for disruption. Something like… motherfuckin’ rap music ?
That seems for all the world to be what the lawyer dad of Brian Imanuel aka “Rich Chigga” did in the suburbs of Jakarta.ii Now, at just 18-years-old and with two years of musical success already under his young belt, the kid’s a seemingly unstoppable rising star in the rap game – a scene that hasn’t seen a blow-up talent like this since Lil’ Wayne in the late 90’s or Kanye West in the early 00’s – and even then Brian could very well be bigger. Spending his early teens as a Twitter comedian and complete recluse was apparently just the mixed-up formula the industry needed to mix-up its staid sea of bitches-hoes-paper-diamonds-bugatti sameness. Rich Chigga is the next big global talent in rap and he’s bringing the continent of Asia with him. If you watch his interviews, the kid’s mesmerising for his polite and reflective demeanour contrasted with his music videos featuring fiercely hard lyrics and too-shrewd adoption of the web’s ironic meme culture.iii His split personality might be termed “bipolar” if he weren’t as bloody successful as he is, psychological conditions being the sole dominion of the unfortunate,iv but his transparency and vulgarity and unbriddled youth are as unnerving to other parents as they’re enrapturing to his growing teen fan base. Rich Chigga’s no Beach Boy, no Teen Choice Award winner, he’s just the hardest, realest, craziest, nastiest, and most disruptive force that rap music has seen in a generation.
The question is : could you, as a parent, even begin to deal with a kid like this, much less aspire to raise one of your own ? Or do you still yearn for the stifling safety of medicine and law ? If the latter, you have less to lose than you think in taking a flyer with your kid’s future. And the world has so much more to gain.
How’s that for a carrot to chew on ?
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- Really, how imaginative is law or medicine ? How much of a life are those professions really ? How impressive should they be ? Even if you yourself have found success in those field, given how much both fields have changed for the worse in the last thirty years – the former on account of the latter – and how much they’re change further still in the next thirty, surely you can see that there are bluer oceans to pursue. You needn’t send your poor offspring into the same waters you’ve already bloodied red. Why bother ? Just so you can use your political pull and feel good about yourself ? You’re supposed to be a professional goddamit, not some sort of bureau-kraken (to borrow a Phil Knightism from the Contravex-recommended Shoe Dog memoir) in wait.
Sure, having a whole horde of munchkins will help your chances of having at least one of them achieve “status” in the eyes of your synagogue congregation, but being enslaved to various megacorps is about as inspired and desirable as being shovelling shit in the elephant cage at the zoo ; and very nearly as smelly but with less comfortable clothing. Think outside the elephant enclosure, yo. [↩]
- Not that we ever have as much control over these things as we optimistically imagine, but focusing on the Six Pillars For Survival is a strong starting point for having the last word with (your children’s) fate. [↩]
- He’s single-handedly making fanny packs cool for the first time in 25 years. [↩]
- Yes, luck ie. “fortune” is sine qua non for all success. What, you think I’m the smartest or most skilled kid from any of my graduating classes ? Hardly. But most successful ? By most any measure. Never underestimate the power of being born under a lucky star. [↩]