Jack Saturday

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 347-348

Work sent out an email asking us all to work harder so that our branch doesn’t get shut down (not in so many words, but that was pretty much the gist of it, and ohmygodicannotaffordtolosemyjob!!!!!!!!)

A A friend at work, her last day is Monday, because she got a new job. I’m happy for her, but this made me depressed, because I want to have a new job, because this job sucks! But I can’t, because until I’ve taken the bar exam, I won’t find anything better-paying than this.…

A I was still depressed when I left work and went to Wal-Mart to grab a few things. Every single thing pissed me off. I was annoyed that there was a parking space closer to the store that I hadn’t seen; I was irritated by every person who walked in front of me or blocked my way as I tried to get a cart; I was furious with the store employee who cautioned me not to leave my cart (with my purse) so far away from me. With that last one, it was clear that I was over-reacting, because I wanted to slap him, make some cutting, scathing remark. It took a lot of effort to Re-Frame as I walked away from him: He was doing a nice thing. He wasn’t judging you. He wasn’t telling you you did anything wrong. You’re the one beating yourself up for having done something wrong. Over leaving your purse in your cart while you filled up your water bottle at the fountain. Then I was able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it and let it go. HUMOR IS KEY. And by the time I left Wal-Mart I was pretty much okay. How did that happen?
Possible reasons: I was no longer at work. Automatic happiness. …

Curtis White, author of "The Spirit of Disobedience" and other social criticism. Essay of the same name in Harpers a couple years back:

"It is the money-form, as Marx called it, that has captured and distorted a more human notion of time. Time, for Homo economicus, is not "the stream I go a-fishing in." It is a medium of exchange. We trade our time for money. Our houses themselves become, in time, mere potential for exchange, or accumulated "equity," as our bankers tell us. The true cost of a thing, Thoreau shrewdly observes, condensing hundreds of pages of Marxist analysis to an epigram, is "the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run." Money does not fool Thoreau. Money always wears the face of the boss. It represents the loss of freedom and ultimately the loss of self. One is not human in the unequal world of work for exchange. One is compost in the making."

"Reality," whether defined by evangelical Christians or empiricists, is a form of disenchantment. The Real, on the other hand, is up for grabs. What the earliest utopians--Montaigne, Thomas More, Tommaso Campanella--understood was that they fought not for a place but for a new set of ideas through which to recognize what would count as Real: Equality, not hierarchical authority. Individual dignity, not slavish subservience. Our preeminent problem is that we recognize the Real in what is most deadly: a culture of duty to legalities that are, finally, cruel and destructive."
Mediasquat discussion forum,
March 10, 2009


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