Saturday, April 12, 2014

the folly of work

A tiny Mungo manifesto

I worked this weekend.

I shouldn't, perhaps, complain.  Despite being hideously underpaid for my experience ( I have a doctorate after all), I still make a bit above minimum wage,  Despite having no benefits or healthcare through work, I do work with some very fine and convivial people.  Despite having absolutely no say in my workplace, the managers in the store are pretty much not insane, and the hours aren't horrible......

but still....

...still about 2pm I found myself wishing the time would hurry, that the day would be over.

Lets consider that a moment:  I'm 62.  Why on earth would I wish for less time?

Yet I did.  I found the time so onerous that I, in essence, wished to die sooner.  How many hours, I thought, have I similarly wasted?  How many days?  Yet the oligarchs that control our lives, born to pamper and privilege, have created this life for us, our "job creators", to line their own already lush pockets, leaving our lives barely tolerable, barely there, and we are to fall to our knees and shout " oh lawsy lawsy, massa done give me a JOB!"


I grew up in the segregated South, far, far too close to the living sickness of slavery.  I know Jim Crow. I'm white, but I know the smell.

I don't think so.

I can hear it now:  "Waaa Waaa Waaa, you don't like your job.  NOBODY likes their job.  Man up and suffer."

I used to say those things as well.  Then I got some life behind me.  Then I watched people I loved being destroyed by chasing, as Spaulding Gray once said, "a carrot, and another carrot, and another carrot."

If we are to have no wages, no say in our workplaces, no benefits, no healthcare, no unions, no free time, a life full of pollution, debt and worry....then for whom is all this work?  Not us, certainly.  Do you think the hunter gatherers in the Nabib get up in the morning and say:  "i wish this day were already over and I was a day closer to death"?  Do we really think this is a natural condition for either man or society?  I doubt the !Kung in the Kalahari ever entertain such thoughts.

Neither should we. I'm tired of it.

I'm building a boat.  I'm reclaiming my own life.

Come join me.



  1. You got that right.

  2. This is one of two quotes that LITERALLY changed my life:

    "'I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas,” some men say, “but I can't afford it.'

    What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of 'security.' And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine--and before we know it our lives are gone.

    "What does a man need--really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in--and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all--in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.

    "The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it the tomb is sealed.” -
    Sterling Hayden “Wanderer”