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Friday, January 30, 2015
Quiet desperation only obtains for so long.
Turns out that my ongoing rebellion and innate anti-authoritarianism is now the norm.
I was just ahead of the curve, I guess.
It's too bad that we are tacitly, if not overtly, required to throw out all Marxist ideas...because he, and especially his philosophical offspring in the Frankfurt School, had a rather deep understanding of Alienation, Ennui, Angst and Social Disintegration.
I remember the Mythos, peddled by everyone from teachers and preachers to mom and dad and grandparents...that if you took pride in your work, if you strove for excellence, the Ladder would appear before you.
Bootstraps, and all of that.
I remember being convinced that my first love, Philosophy, was not a good choice for a major...that I should instead apply myself to something “sensible”, like “Radio/TV/Film”.
Aside from the bureaucratic tangles and interlocking petty fiefdoms that “Higher Education” had become, even then(circa 1989), there was an all but unspoken truth that the jobs that we were being prepared for were rapidly becoming obsolete, even non-existent.
My experience with Higher Ed. Used to be regarded as an anomaly.
I've felt for a long time that we are a civilisation in terminal decline...not because of gays and black people and libruls, but because of Exhaustion.
Financialisation of the economy, “Outsourcing”, the “New” Service and “Knowledge” Economy that never quite materialised....
What it all amounts to is a breaking of the Social Contract.
Back when I was still loose in the world, I avoided Corporate Kitchens. I still ended up taking the bait, on occasion...only to have my better judgment confirmed: Soulless, Hopeless, Broken Promises...a Cog in a great machine...stamping out one's Individuality, Creativity, Agency.
Ass Kissing and Tattling as means of advancement.
Privately owned, Mom and Pop Kitchens were a lot better in this regard...until a certain level of success was obtained.
Then, there was that same fear of tall weeds...that same conformism...and that same broken Social Contract.
My last several jobs were exemplars of this.
Forever fighting over one's paycheck, attempting to not get screwed over on the schedule...and watching the ass-kissers and tattlers rise and conquer.
And yet, I was ridiculed and pooh-poohed for being less than enthusiastic about working for assholes and psychopaths, and working with amoral backstabbers, for peanuts.
What's the frelling Point!?
A casual glide through the comments reveals the usual prescriptions of a return to Jesus, and much lowered expectations...as if all of this Alienation and Disillusionment is all in our heads...that eating shit in order to make below a living wage...and having to fight so you don't get screwed out of that...is somehow acceptable.
When I think about these things, I feel almost blessed to be a Cripple.
I don't have to do that anymore.
Instead of belittling me for that opinion...instead of shaming and pissing on all of those 20-30 something folks out there who will never get out from under their college debt...instead of kicking the PHD flipping burgers who just can't get all excited about going to work...instead of, in a nutshell, hating the victims of this phenomenon...perhaps we should be asking why they feel this way, and what can be done about it.
I do not, of course, expect that to happen.
Everything is broken...including our political discourse, and the government that used to be ours, however imperfectly.
This is what Collapse looks like.