Tag Archives: work

Taking A Charge In A Zero Sum Moment

scale
Scale To Talent
samplex

Originally published on May 29, 1996

Hey Ben—your note has me dialing for symptoms and just the right synonyms to match your own interesting English sentences spinning doughnuts around my memory, into the read-only memes that keep us satisfied in being outselves. Thanks for writing back in English because I have no German except in my pop's heritage. You wrote:

Caught up in words as they are. "Work" means "making money" and free-time is meant to be for recreation. In Germany, in the mid-eighties, when unemployment was a popular discussion, one heard of the "human right to work". This was twisty. I wonder why people need someone to tell them what to work, although they need some money I anticipate. Well I'd welcome NO WORK...

Yes, Ben (he says, like Peter Sellers as Chauncey Gardener to the old dying billionaire). My wife's mother recently lectured her on the topic. With this common interpretation sharp on her peacewhittling tongue, she was of course probing with ages rich mother-in-law cynicism MY own twisted unAmerican state of NO WORK. Meanwhile, I acknowledge that I appear to jealous acquaintences quite blessed among men for lack of a regimented work burden, or entitlement, depending one one's perspective. My wife has been convinced finally that I am best kept at home in the privacy of my whirling mind and Dollhouse, near her cold indifferent fingers but warm toasty heart. I admit I feel rather insecure anywhere else, and tend to drink myself into an explosive reproach to the bickering myths of strataculture every time I step out into the bustling city of lights, armed with little but the urgency for escape from any number of circulating yet dreaded theories of nightlife which haunt me because I am nothing without MY WORK, as sluggish and apparently unilluminating as it is to most who claim to know from whence arrives my artistic impulse.

Opinions are always made about money. Even the most discrimating poor among us, myself included, gaze upon it and are corrupted with envy and linguistic violence and strident motives to obtain it, or else are saddled with an indifference that leads us into bitter arguments swapped for obsessive compulsive choices as wretched and concrete and ugly as a proper sum of money ever was.
I keep busy making sure I have a contortionist's name for myself, or else in the minds of my severest critics, I keep busy shining names and nuances behind barstools and bushel baskets of cloudy arguments where lightning strikes swiftly and severely against the surface of old arguments whose welcome is long gone. With only slight exaggerations, I work every waking moment. My wife complains that I don't know how to relax, partially true, rest is sleep, al else is work, if you will, to meet my strategies for survival. Fuzzy well-intentioned logic like educated guesswork and informed interpolation, however, is the grace the unequipped will never face, and for their ignorance they will probably perish with their lessening winds. My dreamstates are work, are tools, are kids in the sandbox and I embrace them just as voyeurs do when at the movies, peering into someone else's dreams and ideological documentation.

But back to the idea of work and money. My wife pays nearly all the bills. This is true. She feels the burden of her job, of course, but she brags about what it brings her in prestige and buying power of argument and freedom when dealing with the host of projects at our command, basic insecurities about the future notwithstanding. If I bring in a dollar, I give it to somebody else, usually her, or to the computer industry. I am an accomplice within the digital revolution, a footsoldier, an enlisted tattooed man, OCS candidate, a homefront evangelizer as I stare past the garbage, glass shards, dilapidated structures, and confusion from my Dollhouse perch which serves me well enough as fresh air and culture, such as they are in Nero's regime.

Surrounded by mediocrity and prejudice, great practitioners of liberal slander refuse to intuit my disguise as the very one they tout in their own philosophies. My sockets burn sometimes with urgency to fly somewhere, anywhere else where I can explode past the loose meaning of contemporary friendship into the netherland of a more pure synchronicity of duty, loyalty, purpose, and comprehension.

In other news, this rainy season is driving all the yard bugs inward, ants and cockroaches multiplying themselves and immigrating to my turf as if they "owned the joint". Fighting against the corruption of the material is the only fight worth dying for, but dying is a losing cause. I hate dying.

WORK IS ENERGY. Money is a contaminating conversion and byproduct, safe only in proper prospective, because money corrupts everyone who surrenders to it. Opinions are always made about money. Even the most discrimating poor among us, myself included, gaze upon it and are corrupted with envy and linguistic violence and strident motives to obtain it, or else are saddled with an indifference that leads us into bitter arguments swapped for obsessive compulsive choices as wretched and concrete and ugly as a proper sum of money ever was.

My love she speaks like silence. Without ideals or violence.
She doesn't have to say she's faithful. Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
Bob Dylan

Pure work frees man from the analysis of money. Am I a hypocrite for pointing this out? Am I a hypocrite because I love to spend money? Am I a hypocrite because I have argued, successfully it seems, to remain at home, supported by a woman who is hardly Artist or fraud, simply to allow the chips to fall where they may? Am I a hypocrite because I am aging, ugly or fat, conspiring to destroy faith in humanity's surge to crawl up from the tidal mud known as the Anti-Hip instead of being that dazzling, thin, strategically well-placed well-pocketed and quasibeautifully hip? The trickle down economies of Art and Finance are not dissimilar; as Ezra Pound's crackling contentions about art, economics, and war, and William Gaddis in his terrific novel—The Recognitions—have revealed.

The few who know the ropes either play them to bizarre lengths or avoid them with the meanest of miseries. The rest of us argue ourselves straight into a double-edged niche, and so it becomes us, our sentence for which parole is repeatedly denied, despite any makeshift theories to the contrary, we or some other highly paid or dollar dead genius devises for us in the meantime.
You have postulated Ben, that "people get occupied in a way, they forget to handle NO WORK. You know that, I suggest, but do you also know that contemplation, the force of passivity, I mean not producing, maybe on a journey? Oh, yes, you are a gardener too. Many people have to work, to ease their artificial bad conscience."

I understand what you are saying. If I say to somebody "I am a writer." Or a painter, or a traveler, or a flute player, am I less so because no muscle has called me up on the telephone to offer me a job or a contract? Am I any less a gardener if no one has offered to snap a polaroid of my roses or send me on an all-expense paid holiday to the Alpines to discuss breeding techniques. Does it matter whether I eat poorly like the beast I resemble, or whether I eat in eloquent gusto like a fancy fat French chef buttering his own bread in Paris? The human right to work and the human right to be hip are not too far apart on the GT scale of impossible tasks hustling among so many and so stupid a population always electromagnetic & naked in the catbird seat, but ever so snobbishly none the wiser...

But we, despite our best attempts to avoid or embrace symptoms bunkered down in unappealing ratios of human production and consumption, drunk from the fountain of fair green idealism, we too succumb to the same pitfalls in one flavor or another as any other poke even as we like to feel superior and just a bit more enlightened in comparison. We struggle against struggle not knowing how to slip the knot that binds us.

Basically Ben, I feel most people desire everything they think they can handle. Most of us don't know when to start OR stop the false lures of desire outside the domain of self-interest. The few who know the ropes either play them to bizarre lengths or avoid them with the meanest of miseries. The rest of us argue ourselves straight into a double-edged niche, and so it becomes us, our sentence for which parole is repeatedly denied, despite any makeshift theories to the contrary, we or some other highly paid or dollar dead genius devises for us in the meantime.

But it's been my experience to observe that poverty-stepping revolutionaries are not content with merely doing next to nothing, or running some small underground bookstore which suits them for a few seasons. Soon enough they want capitalism to give them more than they have managed to accumulate. Invariably they clamor for more money or more free time as if freedom of choice requires a zero sum cure using social algebra and a bad attitude. My guess is that like Mother Nature, it's not often you can cheat Father Capitalism.

GT

P.S. “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it's more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody's blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It's only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

—Malcolm X

Working At Not Working Is A Tiresome Business

capitalize
Capitalize On It
samplex

Dateline September 25, 2002

We always appreciate our good fortunes when sound and logical visitors to the Scenewash Project with enough time on their hands and maple syrup on their pancakes to take us to task, whether it be my boot size, the weight of zero, the odor in my sock drawer, or my favorite color of hero. Gives us the chance to deepen the mystery, as the old Queensbury Mews poofer Francis Bacon so neatly put it. Ruth, one such prevailing visitor, took the time to write:

Then I take it you would be against the ideology of the Church of the SubGenius also? And their belief in the benefits of 'slack'. At least Bob Black offers a great degree of intelligence. I don't agree with him about not working—disagree totally actually—but I think he tells the truth—which is a whole lot different than what so many others in the world right now try to pass off as a philosophy for our time.

Ruth, thanks for the email.

Slack is for those who choose slack, and possess the strength of character to not complain about the consequences of that slack like do so many in the world today. Otherwise, slack is counterintuitive, hypocrisy is the norm, and no one is served by one's own potential. Rich man, poor man, beggarman slack, makes no difference to me if you're a professional liar or an honest-to-god hack. Either way, each choice one makes or is forced to accept plays into a host of competing consequences. It's how we react to these consequences which churns the grist and sorts the wheat from the chaff, at least on the material level, that which is observable and easily measurable. Of course, science is even putting an end to that entry-level sort of objective observation.

As to the specifics of which of Bob Black's counsels I find disagreeable, based on the few crumbs you've provided above, I'd suggest you and I have indeed landed on the same secret square, so if your beef with me is simply one of TRUTH, I'd say try again.

Work, while obviously travailed differently by those divided across the chattering and the muttering classes, is the very mesh of life where meaning and satisfaction are manifested beyond the dubious markings of profane job descriptions and its so-called bearing on social rank.

Work is the freedom to excel.

But feel free like some to tout Bob Black. Believe me, as one who has periodically tried with the 20-20s wide open, therefore sacrificing the career track several times, and failing to dodge the realities of gross subemployment when I would choose to work—working at not working is a tiresome business. We all must adhere to our own natures, or die trying, don't you think?

GT

Intranetus Injection, Or Baking In The Technology Bloat, Sunrise Edition

looks-kill
If Looks Could Kill
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Mon, 7 Apr 1997 03:58:07

The navigation bar you created, combined with the color (which looks great on my Wintel machine and fantastic on my Mac) is simply brilliant. I hope that no one will protest the button bar at the top. In creating a very simple text on solid background image, I noticed huge differences in the saturation of the image between the two monitors. Just tried adjusting the brightness, with great success.

Thanks again for all your help—I'm back in the game...

Peace. Love. Imagemaps.

SET

P[e]S: Place all of these attachments in one folder, and start with opening.htm. Much work to be done, but gotta take care of some techie stuff first. Also, feel free to call at any point. If you're up early, I will probably still be up. And any comments on my material would be welcome (keeping in mind that it's still pre-alpha, of course).

***

blindWE MOURN THE PASSING. Allen Ginsberg's dead.The poet laureate of the Beat Generation died Saturday at his home in Manhattan. His liver quit living.

Steve. Tried to read your files first thing this morning. Nothing I have would read the text. I discovered that I did not have MacLinkPlus which I used successfully to convert Bracken's DOS WordPerfect files, on my machine just a few months ago. Poor housekeeping. Remind me to reprimand Hazel. Your files meanwhile are blank doc icons, not even PC tagged. So I fileshared IMOTE (my Mac) with HEDRICK (Sue's), and 3/4 of her drive was locked, feeding me garbage about not having enough access privileges. I went on to other things. Later I called Sue to troubleshoot that little annoyance, but have been too focussed on building the iMote Bookskellar to tear away. Will eyeball and get back to you later on that.

Did I already tell you that yesterday afternoon that Betty Sue's colleague Karen, and her boyfriend Pitch, brought her home from the airport? Yes I did, but did I tell you that he works in Public Relations for the Navy at the Pentagon, was impressed with what he had the short time to see of my site, and is perhaps interested in farming design work my way.

Mmmm...maybe you primed the pump, Intranetus.

GT

Perpetual Weekend Drunks, While Not Unique, Can Fuck Off

What Did You Expect To See?
What Did You Expect To See?
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Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 12:03:23

Mr. Hobbes, to further the discussion on the application of work to the needs of the general population I would state that both the act and the rewards of work is essential to the specific psychology of homo sapiens, more so in the current version than ever before. I look around and see a world of play gone awry, a world where kingpins feed troubled populations more and more distractions as each rely less and less on the redeeming causes and effects of a decent work ethic: kids in high risk neighborhoods being coddled by agencies and druglords with portable basketball goals which immediately are set up city alleys, blocking thru traffic because the kids ignore approaching cars in protecting their own rights to be there. Spiffy dark-tinted cars are soon pulled inside the alleys and parked next to these makeshift courts thereby protecting the playing terrain from general alley usage.

Frankly, there is nothing inherently bad or wrong in any of the above, and I applaud any efforts to reintegrate troubled youths back into a society desperate for the peace of mind most of the original forefathers—driven by powerful urges to define freedom at its roots—sought to manifest upon this continent, as have as most of the other liberal thinkers in later ages who conspired to theorize man and the earth into a state of perpetual harmony.

Happiness is not the absence of work. Happiness is the attitude inherited after completing an act of devotion which in the classically approved sense of the word in the world of physics is work. I know this is a simplification of that particular philosophy, but work cannot be abolished. Universally forgiving all debt (a Situationist idea) may very well be a brilliant move to help balance things as we know them (and I support this move as radical in theory but inconceivable in a malevolent world).
But when these acts of kindness are blanketed upon a group of kids with little regard for the truancy they inspire, we gain little of value. These same kids and transient adults haul trash from god knows where, breaking bricks, smashing glass, scattering paper all over the alley, and are noticeably absent whenever there is a group or singular effort to clean up the place. This dichotomy tells me something about a culture concerned only with riotous play, with no regard to the general protocols of tidy behavior and reciprocation to the world they draw life and fun from.

Perpetual weekend drunks (myself and my wife included) harass the grappling irons of all that I hold psychotically dear. I work at home, and have personally generated very little money over the past five years. That is not the problem though. We live quite comfortably in inner city terms. A bulk of my talents and zen psychology reside in household chores, in fact better suited for a man in these turbulent times, while wife is safely nested at office bringing in the big bucks. I realize my situation, while not unique, is not the norm, and many, including my wife's parents find our arrangement a little disconcerting. However, my wife, most of the Gabriel Thy cogniscent world, and my own corrosive inner demons reverberate in accusing me of being a sponge to calling me a workaholic. The latter because I am always on projects, artistic or household, and don't have that 9-5. got my paycheck, I can fuck off and do nothing but watch TV, drink beer, and listen to crazed decibel tunes attitude most of those who call themselves my spouse or my friend love to indulge.

A few sibling tales, notes from the underground about retirees who go gaga without a job, wizened old wits spouting parables and the love of a job well done all filtered through a superior intelligence (ha ha!) all lead me to surmize that work is important to homo sapiens, and that those who espouse NO WORK, are simply caught up in words, and miss the point completely. Happiness is not the absence of work. Happiness is the attitude inherited after completing an act of devotion which in the classically approved sense of the word in the world of physics is work. I know this is a simplification of that particular philosophy, but work cannot be abolished. Universally forgiving all debt (a Situationist idea) may very well be a brilliant move to help balance things as we know them (and I support this move as radical in theory but inconceivable in a malevolent world). But it certainly will not solve extenuating problems the very nature of homo sapiens and the wobbling planet he thinks he owns but cannot control—work in tandem and in chaos to exploit.

So Mr. Hobbes, that is my response to the last question you asked me back in 1993 before our "strange E-mail relationship" dissolved for whatever reasons. I am glad you are back. I hope we can pick up where we left off. I don't know how much of the details you shared with me then are still valid but that's a good topic to explore next, don't you reckon?

And so be distressed at this recent rate of writing. While I write many letters of this sort and length almost every day, I am also a busy fellow despite my income numbers. In that sense I have always felt blessed among men. My wife is a gem, despite a few flaws I can reel off anytime, anywhere but in the spirit of good manners I will spare you any further details today. However as I was saying, I am quite busy, but am certainly glad to hear from an old friend from the early days, and have tried to share my enthusiasm with these few thoughts. And remember despite the weather changes and the price of RAM for the Macintosh, I am still...

Gabriel Thy