Isn’t modern life great? We’ve developed so much technology that we’ve emancipated ourselves from the shackles of work and our lives are spent in a leisure packed utopia. Right? Well no. What have we actually done with a century worth of unprecedented global progress in every facet of human knowledge? We fucking made up ways to work harder. Typical.
Take the remote working revolution. Wireless networking, mobile broadband, blackberries… all here to free you from work comrade! Well, apparently. “Fill all the unproductive gaps in your day!” exclaims Orange, pointing out that having a Blackberry picking up working emails 24 hours a day somehow allows you more time for (and I quote) “the important stuff in life”… like filing and audit reports I assume. Not to be topped, Vodafone demand you “Show work who’s the Daddy” with mobile broadband and email. Work contacting me all the time, no matter where I am? Yeah, that’ll learn ‘em. “I’m the Daddy now, do it again and I’ll fuckin’ kill ya” you might cry as you respond to your boss at 6pm on a Sunday.
We’re taught from a very early age that striving to work harder is the better way to live, the honest way to live, the *right* way to live. There is a societal fetish with work, but of course as a population we can’t admit this. We can’t all suddenly gather round and announce that working into oblivion is a fruitless fallacy that contributes nothing to us growing as humans on a collective or individual level. I’ve always wanted to know the end result of an activity whenI was young. Why have a Royal Family, what’s the end result (well not much really), why we learning this at school, what’s the point, why am I forced to live by working five days a week? You work hard, then what? A promotion? Then what? More hard work. Then what? What’s the end result? A wasted existence. I’ve never ‘got’ the point of working hard.
Nobody ever reaches the point where they say “ha, I’ve done all my work, I’m finished, excellent, I think I’ll stop now and have a nice cup of tea”. The few who do are normally entrepreneurs who get lucky with a single product and don’t particularly like working anyway; not the Richard Branson types who have a megalomanic need to continue buying up every conceivable product and service and slap VIRGIN on it. Really again, what’s the point? How’s that possibly doing any good for anyone? Even Branson, it’s not as if he needs the money (I think he might be a little mental, I mean, look at his grin).
Work is nothing but a distraction. One argument is that encouraging it is a way to keep the population occupied. Too tired to care about politics or question authority? Too busy to notice your rights being eroded? Never mind, you’re an honest person, you’re a hard working individual and you keep quiet and play the game. Shame you’re not going to get much out of it, but at least you won’t be a nuisance. Then again, the sad reality is that we have nothing else to do. Or at least, we believe this is the case. So work consumes our lives and we add false value to it, pretending that spending 40 hours a week behind a desk is somehow a worthwhile existence as your life ends one minute at a time.
Still, them be the rules and there’s not much you can do about it. If anyone can find an alternative way of living, answers on a postcard please. Send them to Gordon Brown and he’ll lock you up for 56 days you terrorist bastard. I work because it’s the only game in town and if you don’t play it you’re an outcast, a bit like that kid at school who never played with anyone else and had a weird grade 3 skinhead. Still, things can be done differently. We work the longest hours in Europe for a start. I refuse to allow myself to believe that working is nothing more than a waste of time. There is a middle ground between dedicating your adult life to grafting and sitting around eating Cheerios whilst watching Loose Women (look at my previous post on this here). Acknowledging the waste in your life can make you miserable, but at least it’s some form of resistance, and more importantly, it’s the first step to taking back what’s rightfully yours… your life.