Well that didn’t go as I hoped it would.
What was a necessary break inevitably turned into a longer unnecessary break. There wasn’t much that filled the gap. I read some Lasch, I discovered the language of D.H. Lawrence, a writer that I never gave the time of day because of his ‘pornographic’ reputation, and I dug into some topics related to Soviet cinema and humiliation, which I will compose posts of in due time, but there was no focus on much of anything after doing those posts on British Orientalism and the Empire. Truth be told my mind was filled up by work, the necessary evil, and getting away from this Extremely Online persona that I crafted for myself in the weird world of post-ironic politics. I once told a friend in college our generation would be more racist, and I couldn’t put my finger quite on why, but I knew it had to do with the kind of ironic racism we were already playing with back in the oughts, a decade I mostly associate with ought-not now.
Work is a valuable thing, and there’s a bevy of right-headed and wrongheaded thinking that tries to imbue everyone with a philosophy of work. You can tell the latter by the fact it’s something that your boss wants you to believe. Whatever value there is in advice that when boiled down amounts to not much more than “you should like your job” is incidental with diminishing returns at best. It serves more as a salve, a simulation of something to believe in more than anything else. What they never cover, which is usually the result of simple inability than a conspiracy against the truth, is the meaning of work. Break down what your role actually is and it’s to be just a complex cog in the making of Product, the moving of Product, or the selling of Product. Sometimes that Product is Money, but it’s doubtful you’re reading this if you’re in finance.
In these jobs you end up speaking secondary languages, whether it’s in the jargon or the actual language of say programming. A right-headed philosophy of work would be able to take a look at what you’re actually doing and seeing its holistic significance. A meaningful philosophy of work sees a goal or an endpoint that is being worked toward, and it sees an accomplishment that is being made. Without that, it’s all reduced to class and material conditions and can only be analyzed as such. The complexity of the system then becomes absolutely necessary, as it keeps you engaged in constantly thinking in jargon and secondary systems so you don’t contemplate what it is you’re even doing here but especially you’re own existence in thing. I won’t be saying “ah yes, here is the nobility of true work” to anyone engaged in any actual physical labor, but I would say your mind is less haunted by what you’re doing at work the moment you leave. Work can become a mental tapeworm that eats up all your time because you’re still thinking about what needs to be done when you’ve left, and lucky you that it never really ends until you can find a way out (occupying even more time) or a way to gracefully expire.
The nature of the business is also meant to make you look ridiculous if you talk about it lest you start to sound maudlin.
The meaninglessness spurs on an entire industry of therapeutic media and solutions to try and constantly deal with these conditions. You end up in a spiral of never actually being able to relax because you’re spending all of your time trying to figure out how to relax. No philosophy of work that is taught to you is ever going to take this into account. No philosophy of work is that is taught to you is going to teach you how to expunge the mind full of meaninglessness that fills it up because in order to do a good job you have to try and fill up your gray matter with every minutiae of detail that makes your part of the machine run.
So that’s where I’ve been. Coping with a mind full of meaninglessness and a body full of pain. When some days are spent sprawled out trying hard not to contemplate the chronic pain or the realization that the only things that are certain in this life besides death is working and the pain, it’s all I can really do to avoid finding a rock and just ending it all right there then.
There you go again, being blackpilled…
I’m tapering off.
It’s the harvest season and all I’ve piled is a bitter yield. As it would be, I suppose. The novelty of all the cures to make me more productive have come and gone and I’ve fallen further behind again as I think about things that I cannot help and things that I can never fix. At the end of the day the only thing that ever worked was accepting this broken vessel and just getting to work. Nothing else was ever going to make it happen.
I can’t promise another post after this. I’ve learned by now to never make promises that can’t be kept. I’d like to. I’ll certainly try. There’s a lot to do, between the novel, the American Sun articles, and the podcast. The work is never done, and I’ll pile on a few more projects before the day is done. Just enough to keep the pain at bay.
I could just quit and leave it all. Friends who know me better than anyone else like to remind that I don’t owe people anything (except for sponsors, I do owe them). I could. But quit and do what? Go back and yelling into a void that won’t answer back? I do that now, but for the entertainment of others. Content is king.
So that’s it. There’s your insight into my life. Do with that what you will.
As for me, I’m going to lie back in this chair and imagine my pain as a white ball of healing light while I contemplate the longness unto death before I start typing again.
I’m sure I’ll knock something interesting out after that.