Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Hate Your Job

Any national television news is propagated with two kinds of advertising.  There are ads for wonder pills to turn around bleak elderly diseases.  These ads are ten seconds of an elderly person enjoying something tangible like walking at a moderate pace in a zoo with their grand kid.  The next 20 seconds are dedicated to ominous sounding warnings about side effects like rectal bleeding and sudden seizures.  The other ads focus on the myth of retirement sold by financial services.  In these ads, trim graying men in well-fitting polo shirts stroll sunlight beaches with women a little bit too young for them, both unfettered about the materialistic troubles of not being able to pay for wonder pills or having to work like a mule for food.  It’s a never ending vacation of beaches and the inference of brisk fucking back at the condo.  This is the flimsy utopian promise of tomorrow to make you show up for your job again which is a basis of our society.

While working at a job, a curse is self-awareness.  I remember when it hit me that my job was essentially pointless and the main goal was to build vast wealth for a few key stockholders.  Meanwhile the hordes around you are very excited about the prospect of becoming assistant regional manager in the next five years, the illusion of power and control.  It’s hard to relate when you would prefer to play rock music for the people as opposed to this task which you have committed great swaths of time.  Then you find yourself on the gerbil wheel of getting paid a wage, spending to the level of that wage, and being trapped to being accustomed to having a standard of living equal to or greater than that sum.  It’s a prison of your own design.  The promise of great happiness is always juuusst out of reach.  However, enjoy your annual two weeks vacation at Disney with the kids!  I think the key is to do what you want and somehow making it pay.  Keith Richards is doing what he wants to do and will never die.  I will probably slump over next week with a small gurgle.

That's the trick though.  We can't have a world of rock bands, astronauts and cupcake shops, though I do admit I would like to see what such a place looked like in the flesh.  The problem is how can you slide into something you enjoy doing while the rest of the planet stays with the nose to the plow keeping the train on the track?  This can't be a modern problem.  I have often speculated that in the 1500s a bunch of fellas were sitting around a fire with a cup of grog when one of them said, “Hey, instead of us being serfs and working our entire lives so the prince can eat elk and watch that jester in front of his roaring fire in the castle, why don’t we just leave and go get places in Costa Rica?  How much can it cost to have a hut?  Let's get on one of those explorer ships!”  Even now, 500 years later, there is no easy way to get to that hut.  “The Man” has all the angles covered.  Whatever task it is that employs you now has been carefully set up to provide you with just enough to have the illusion of freedom but is rigged to keep you tethered to return again tomorrow.  It doesn’t even matter what that task is, and in comparison, I have a pretty good one.  This rant is not designed to suggest anarchy against business but perhaps re-thinking priorities and making change before you are required to take pills hoping against anal leakage or violent seizures.  

I have been burning the candle at both ends as well as in the middle for a few weeks.  The last time I pushed this hard was when I had run out of vacation time while touring with the Cowslingers and was forced to do a run of shows as Chicago/drive to Cleveland overnight and work/East Lansing/drive to Cleveland overnight and work/Cincinnati/drive to Cleveland overnight and work/pass out at a lunch joint/go to the hospital/play the Grog Shop.  It reminds me of some wisdom that was shared with me in regards to pushing too hard.  "Running is your rest!"  I love that super macho approach of ignoring the needle being in the red and just continuing to floor it.  Running is my rest indeed.  I would like nothing more than to sit in my hut, watch the breeze blow the white curtains, finish reading my special copy of "The Power and the Glory" and open a 1990 Chateau Latour.  Instead "running is my rest" and I have to hold out until I get my anal leakage pills.  Life is a cruel marathon.  So see you at the Grog tonight.  We play with the Shackshakers.  I'm going to try my best.  And it will be good.    


At May 13, 2017 at 7:53:00 PM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

For those of us still trying to get up to that lifestyle, many thanks to folks like you for making it bearable.


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