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Creative Writing

America’s Young, Wild, and nearly Free: the search for a generation’s identity

Zack Sterkenberg has allowed BUnow to feature some of his creative writing. Enjoy, and check back for more of Zack’s amazing work.

“I’m jumping on the train to anywhere, the boxcar of my dreams that will carry me far, far away from everything I love, for insanity’s sake, or a daring experiment.”


What is there to be said about a man with no dreams, fueled only by ambition and naivety?  “He had all of the potential of the world and no guide, what a pity.”  Give me endless tarmac and green fields as far as the eye can see.  Give me a graffiti-strewn train car with the old wooden sliding doors and a good book to pass the lonely time.

The road is where I’m heading, somewhere between somewhere and nowhere.  A void of unknown that harbors as much mystery as it does history.  The great teacher that is yet to teach, but is bursting with lessons not yet learned and experiences not yet had.  But that’s just my path, we’re all in this together though, ya know?

From the backwoods of the old south where toothless moonshine drinkers still live in the old segregation, to our great cities of industry and gold, fallen to ruin when American muscle decayed into a hellish misery of greed, crumbled brick, and rusted, twisted steel.

America was a self-made woman who got caught up in the thick of industrial success and military fame. It’s no wonder she can’t quite get her bearings straight.  She had it all, a bustling economy full of San Francisco gold rushers and an army of hard working and worn-handed farmers putting dinner on her plate.  Back when her government didn’t act like playground tyrants who needed a swift corporal smacking and a time out.

Society might not be crumbling, and the world might not be ending, but my unwavering patriotism has long since washed away in search of something new and more true to the freedom this hallowed land was build upon…Look what we’ve put up with in just the past few years… Exxon and BP, Iraq and Bush, Depression and Katrina, gas-woes and Bin Laden, China and trillion dollar budget deficeits…

Has the world gone mad?  Or is it just us?  Are we going to let the status-quo continue, allowing these chumps and theives thriving on business as usual to make these decisions for us?  Ruining all that will be ours when death comes unmercifully to their $600,000 doorstep?  They were worth every penny though, right..

But what about a fresh start?  The next take, the next generation?


We’re on a direct route to becoming carbon-copies of our parents, the bane of our youthful existence and the naysayers of all joyous experience since our birth.  They are good people, but had they cared more about the big picture and less about immediate desire and personal successes then we’d have half the issues on Lady Liberty’s shoulders.

Where are our great leaders?  Where is the voice of our generation?  Where is our generation?  What have we done to think ourselves as better suited to lead this country back to the top where it ruled like the great Romans had?

Our time is upon us, we are young, wild, and on the verge of being free!  Can’t we see past the ways of old and follow our soul rather than the one-way guidance of college advisors or market business trends?

There’s a world out there full of mystery and untapped desire.  Our planet is ripe, teeming to the brim with unforeseen opportunity and tumultuous adventure stories never written.  What about the worn-out old man of America that we call the Heartland, and the uproaring West Coast culture which captivated the hearts and minds of former generations, leading the counter-culture revolution in all of its love-powered, flower-haired, color-overloaded and consciousness expanding glory.

I’m tired of looking with envious eyes at the past, we all should want to be at the head of a bulleting movement of social and societal turnover, a backbreaking, gut-wrenching exploit, exploding with life and all it has to offer, a push to take back the heart and soul of America and ourselves.

I just hope that it hasn’t been lost.  I believe with piercing determination that things can change, and that our collective souls are still out there; I can see them hovering eagerly somewhere over the Hoover Dam, the “Old West”, the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, and in small town U.S.A.

Who ever said there was anything wrong with raising some constructive hell?  The way I see it is you gotta get busy living or get busy digging your grave, man.  You only get one shot at this “life” gig, so let’s live the hell out of it.

Turn on. Tune in. Dig Yourself.