Sunday, March 13, 2011

I want to break free

But still, it was not the desire to ‘write’ that was his real motive. To get out of the money-world — that was what he wanted. --Said of the "artistic" Gordon Comstock, the quixotic/puerile Marxist protagonist of Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying
I don't do well in the money world. Like Gordon, I have hypocritical/half-hearted affiliations (ones enabling responsibility-shirking it turns out) with a money- and status- effacing ideology and community. It flatters me to believe that my ideologies/my community determine who I am--with meaningless work a malign alien in my life, a millstone. Silly, of course: life is made up of but two things: work and leisure (it goes without saying which one precedes and permits the other). But after a shitty week at work, I'm itching to get out of this place, sheltering myself in and taking up the armor of artistic expositions of Romantic notions like freedom, of self-expression and summer days.

"How'd I get here?," I've wondered over the last couple of days. First, I blame the culture, under the tutelage of which, I spent my childhood internalizing the pep talk mantras of "follow your dreams" and "do what your passionate about." Once the privilege of the elite, such idealization has been everywhere promulgated by our schools and the mass media.

Think your grandfather's happiness ever rested on his capacity for and success in his own creative self-expression? Well, of course not, but we live in a different age, in the age of Adler and Maslow, in the age of the white-collared working class of the service and information economies.

Of course, base vices (selfishness and laziness, e.g.) are the warp and woof of our being and opportunistically take up the cloaks of lofty principles when they operate--in one's self-righteous consciousness and in one's unsolicited apologias declaimed to hapless co-workers, friends, and family, recourse is always made to virtues, disguising their

Danny Noonan: I planned to go to law school after I graduated, but it looks like my folks won't have enough money to put me through college.
Judge Smails: Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too. --From Caddyschack

Though it will never happen, I want out of the money world.