Posts Tagged ‘Work’

Personal Update

Sunday, November 1st, 2015


Frances Crethers circa 1974 (1925-2015) My mom was a trick rider in the Rodeo and was able to ride her horse until early this year 2015. She always loved animals and her horses.

I haven’t written much on the blog this year and most of what I have written have been papers for school. This year has been one of deaths in the family. My mom passed in August and my youngest son’s mom passed in October. I had to organize the funeral and the disposal of the ashes for my mom. She was living in Florida and wanted her ashes taken to the family plot of her parents in Connecticut which I duly did.
My ex who was only 51 passed in France and I had to fly over there on a long weekend to attend the funeral and spend time with my 20 year old son. We spent a day looking at cave art after the funeral and under the circumstances had a good but brief visit. I made him promise to come to America next summer.
My step daughter has been living with me on and off since last winter and her four year old daughter is a lot to handle.
School and work have been exhausting and I have been sick more than I like this year. My girlfriend and her kids have been great and supportive and I feel a little guilty at not being able to spend as much time with them as I would like. Overcompensating with trips to Disneyland and Legoland, places I would not normally recommend, but it is part of my ongoing attempt to normalize my relationship with America and not be such a commie, anarchist critic.
Interestingly enough much of my old anarchist and Marxist critique has become part of the curriculum of many of the classes I attend and it is somewhat fulfilling to find myself vindicated on an intellectual level, even if I don’t gain any monetary or status compensation for the years of critique and struggle. I have been just one more foot soldier in the war against capitalist aggrandizement.
Watching the antics of Donald Trump, the representative of Corporate Capitalism at its most extreme make a public fool of himself, is an indication of capitalism’s imminent demise. The fact that a socialist can run for president and be as successful as Bernie Sanders is the first sign of progress bubbling up from beneath the surface since the imposition of Reaganomics. Obama’s last minute attempts to bring the US into some kind of structural integration with the perils of climate change may be too little too late but it is something none the less. How much further along we would be if Carter had won reelection in 1980
Let us hope President Bush or Clinton don’t set us back too far in the next presidency.
That is about all I have to say for now.

Random Talk About School, Work, And Life After Work.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I am semi-detached from the working world, or at least I have been for about a year now. I started back in school last winter and am enjoying the chance to write extensively about subjects that generally interest me, as opposed to work where most of what is done, is boring, repetitive and/or morally ambiguous in the best of circumstances. That as they say, is why it is called work. School is not work for me. It is a pleasure, although most of my classmates, fresh from high school and not particularly aware of the tedium ahead of them in the working world, are themselves mostly unenthusiastic about their classes. Not in the rebellious sixties, we-want-the-world-and-we-want-it-now, sense, but in a more resigned, is-that-all-there-is, sense. There is a palpable fear element that I don’t remember from my college days in the seventies. We were not feeling any impending doom, at least not in the urgent, economic, get-a-degree-or-starve sense that modern kids seem to have. It is not verbalized so much as it is a presence, like a cloud hanging over school experience, making everything have a tinge of desperation about it. I find it to be particularly unpleasant. It makes colleagues seem more like competitors for limited resources. This is a paradigm that has been deliberately created by the powers that be, they have some social experiment in mind. If this is an attempt to make Americans more competitive, and more docile at the same time, well, it may produce good test takers, but as far as decent human beings goes, well it seems the education system is failing. But then perhaps I ask too much. After all what is wrong with preparing people for the serious business of work. As if most workplaces demanded much more than ten percent of an intelligent person’s brain. Most jobs require that you show up, on time more or less, be able to follow simple instructions, be polite to the customers and your superiors, and perform certain repetitive tasks at the proper interval. That is about it. Sometimes there is a little stress and you have to perform at a rate that is uncomfortable, and there are long periods when looking busy is about all there is to do. But I speak of office work. It has been a long time since I performed tasks of manual dexterity, beyond being able to operate a keyboard and pick up a telephone. I can’t imagine working on an assembly line, or performing tasks that took real physical skill, although I am pretty handy with a mop.
Sales is the type of job where you don’t do anything at all, but you are constantly on edge, trying to please people. Because you’re entire purpose revolves around enticing somebody to buy from you and not the guy down the street. It is thoroughly degrading work. There are people who enjoy it. They see seduction as a game that brings financial reward. For me it always brought rejection, I was always a terrible salesman.
But now I am in a position where I may have to go back to work, at least part time. I am not sure what I will do. Probably some flunkey job, but I will wait until the wolf is at the door and there is some pressure to do or die. With a social security check every month the pressure is not so great. But Social Security is not much money, it is a survival wage, like unemployment. Ultimately not satisfying; there will be some pressure to find gainful employment which for the most part means, meaningless activity that produces a profit for somebody else. I basically had a bad attitude about work. I always saw it as a form of exploitation. I desired a world of communistic sharing of tasks. It may not have been as efficient, but it would have been fairer. But I was raised in a capitalistic country and now in a capitalist world. I am glad I am more or less off that wagon. I just hope I can figure out how to live on what I get from the government, the result of thirty odd years of labor, for the foreseeable future.
Projects on the other hand, are great. I always have lots of those. Right now I have to clean my place, get some blood work at the hospital, finish this blog, go to the university library and get a book on Chiang in the 9th century, work on my novels, and well, you know, there is always more to do than time to do it. In a couple of weeks I am back in school for the summer session. Life is reasonably good, even with kidney failure.

Palin Book Out. Obama Bow, Healthcare Stumbles On Abortion, Work Stories

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Sarah Palin the “Hi there Sailor” of politicians. Her book is out. We need more Sarah in the Republican Party. I think that she is exactly what they need. A dingy wingy zinger filled marsupial. She is just what we all need sort of a Goldie Hawn of politics. The Goldie Hawn of Laugh In days.
She has her book out now and I guess she blames the Republican Party for not presenting her properly. She is kind of cute in a white bread sort of way.

There are things going on in the world but I am not really in the mood to discuss them. Healthcare legislation is threatened again by the battle over abortion rights. Bart Stupak is trying to say that his anti abortion amendment to the House bill is simply keeping the status quo. He says he will not restrict private money going to pay for money on Chris Matthews Hardball. According to MSNBC the anti Health Care business groups are out spending the pro health care reform advertisers two to one. I have noticed that the Chamber of Commerce anti health reform ad is on MSNBC all the time. They waited until they could see the whites of their eyes as the saying goes. Will they outflank the pro health reform groups? Hard to say. But they seem think that now is the time.

Today at work I had to listen to racist jokes being flung around in a company production meeting, people were trying to bait me because I am standing out, even mentioning that I had gone to an anti-Nazi rally. The group mentality is to try to hammer me into the norm which is a sort of generally unstated racism, that occasionally comes out as a venting of blame and because the talk radio has made it hip to be politically incorrect and to consider standing up for equality and respect for others is somehow oppressing people. That is the argument that rightwingers use against so called political correctness, that is restricts their freedom. And what freedom are they talking about the freedom to be racist, sexist and immature. It is a locker room sort of concept of freedom, The freedom to pick on the little guy, to blame the victim and to feel superior and free to swat someone on the ass with a wet towel. That is the kind of freedom most right wingers mean when they talk about political correctness. It is as if they are oppressed by the nerds and guys with glasses. The smart guys.
I can understand them. Once in a while like when I go to Europe I get to feel that way myself. But there is a deeper more instinctive meaning. The group in a tribal sense wants to know if you can take the pressure, if they can count on you and if you are going to run crying to the authorities or if you are going to crumble and wimp out. They want to know what you are made of and part of it is not only knowing if they can get to you, but it is also knowing if you have a sense of humor. A third factor is knowing if you can think on your feet. It is a way of getting to know a person and part of it is exposing them to the nasty side to see how you respond. It is a ritual of determining if you are about to become a member of the group or if you are a loner who will refuse to accept the groups norms.
It happens all the time and for me it is walking a fine line to determine if when to resist and when to let things pass. Always fighting will make me a frother and always giving in will make me a wimp. What I will do is stand up when it is important and build trust. That is the important thing if I am to make a difference on the job and if I am going to have any success in propagating a progressive agenda.
There is no point in being a prig just for the sake of standing on principal. Because if I am to work with these guys I need their support and to have that I need their trust. Once I have that we are cool. But to turn a company of semiconscious racists red necks into true blue progressive patriots? That is a tall order. But hell what else am I going to do while on the job. Work?

What is all that noise about the Obama bowing to the Emperor of Japan? Dick Cheney is now saying the president of the USA should bow to no one. Low blow. Apparently the Chinese Media made a big deal about it. There is no love lost between China and Japan. The Chinese still smarting over the beating they took from Japan in World War 2. Unlike the Russians who got to beat down the German aggressors the Chinese never did get to really beat the Japanese. In fact the Japanese were conducting offensives in China almost until the end of the war. China more than anyone was offended by the American bowing to the Emperor.

Such is life.

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