Truth Against the World

Friday, December 28, 2012

Have A Meaningless Holiday Cheap Plastic Shit On Me.


There was a time, not so long ago, where it seemed the only limiting factor for what you could accomplish was your own laziness. Maybe this idea has always been an illusion, but I don't think so. A four year college degree doesn't get you employment now. The only thing you can expect from a four year degree now is a monthly bill that has to be paid. My wife got a four year degree in communications and all it has done has been to generate a $117.63 bill every month which is comparatively low. That's mostly because she worked and paid $800 a month towards college while she was attending. We have another 10 years to go before her student loan is paid in full. What are we to do now to better our financial situation? What kind of meaningful work is there in our meaningless society? If you were to argue that our civilization has meaning, what kind of meaning would you argue for?

Our lifestyle is dependent on a wealth pump with the intake end rooted by coercive trickery in the third world. It's come down to a cheap plastic lifestyle assembled in China and imported to America. All of this cheap plastic shit is designed to make it's way to a landfill where it will outlive the human race as cheap plastic shit. My house is awash in this holiday plastic shit that was generated through a perverse celebration which requires everybody to perpetuate this cheap plastic shit paradigm. The fact that it's meant to be a celebration of the birth of our salvation is just too ironic for further comment. What does the Winter Solstice have anything to do with cheap plastic shit made in China and Jeebus? Apparently there is a link, or I wouldn't be literally tripping over it now. To make matters worse half of these gifts just end up going straight back to Wally World where they are exchanged for store credit because trailer park America can't even abide the cheapness. They'd rather have store credit to buy cheap American beer and cheese puffs so that they can anesthetize their minds from the onslaught of how cheap their lives have become.

I suppose it's a good thing that all of this worthless crap is so cheap because minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. That's $290.00 a week gross at 40 hours a week. That's in the neighborhood of $230 a week take home which is $920 a month. Are they fucking serious with that shit? What the hell are you supposed to do with $920 a month? About the only thing you can do is buy some cheap American beer and cheese puffs at Wally World to go with your kid's cheap plastic made in China gifts. It's no wonder America stares at the teevee at night, after working for jack shit at a job that doesn't matter. All so that we can live in a place that's not worth caring about and is destined to rot as soon as climate control goes away. That cheap plastic shit is going to outlive our residences.

The only thing the world cares about is money. Have you ever really let that sink in? I remember making the decision, right about the time I dropped out of college with a 4.0 gpa, that I wasn't going to live my life being concerned about money. I didn't want to make decisions that had to do with the acquisition of money because it felt so cheap and trivial a thing to be concerned with. I thought there were ideas and causes that needed my attention more than money. I was wrong. Those ideas and causes require money. It's strange how if you have enough money, than you don't have to worry about making money because the bankers just give you money. I wish I could live off of the interest from all of the money that I have. But when your bank account looks like it was made in China, all the bankers do is nickel and dime you $5 dollars a month for the privilege of keeping your money there. I had a negative balance in my savings account a couple of months ago from those charges growing more than my "savings." This is just the way it is. It's sad.

How is it that I've made it to 33 years old and I am just now figuring all of this out? I got married. Somehow that meant buying a house and being concerned with something called a "career." I wasn't very good at the career bit. I had one, it lasted about six years until I had to chose between being medicated with a career or not medicated with no career. I chose the later. Now I'm going back to college for the eighth time in my life. Hopefully with my new found knowledge about the way the world works, I'll be able to actually acquire a degree and a career after said acquisition. It's not a career that I want. I never once said "self, I think we should be a nurse." It's a practical decision that revolves around what the world requires from me. I'm doing it for the money. I've never done that before in my life. I've never done something so blatantly about money. When I'm studying medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, probability and statistics, and intro to computers this semester it's all going to be motivated by the end goal of a job that will pay me well for my time. It has nothing to do with my ideals, or about the change I want to see in the world, or about helping people...just money. Just the root of all evil. That's what I have to concern myself with at 33 years old. Why? Best I can tell it's because I was so brazen as to want to reproduce and have a family. Apparently that means I have to be concerned first and foremost with money. Because without it...well that doesn't make me a very responsible family man now does it.

Now here I am, studying to be a nurse. In this case I like the euphemism of RN. RN sounds less gender specific (or how about a murse), which is a quality I like since I don't have tits that can feed a baby. Where else does the term "nurse" come from? If you think about it I will be nursing my family with money. So my tits will feed them money instead of milk. I wish I could nurse my family by building soil, keeping livestock, and growing food...or farming, but that's not in the cards. Not for me at least. How foolish of me, all these years thinking that the unexamined life was not worth living. When you examine it, if your going to be honest, what other conclusion can you come to other than that your examination better come up with the rent and utilities. For 750,000 years paleolithic man didn't have to worry about rent and utilities. Money wasn't even a concept. Life was a somatic experience with meaning all around. Now the only thing that matters is money, and the only meaning is cheap plastic Chinese pointlessness that lies about waiting to be tripped over. I can hear it now, "yeah, but he had to worry about getting eaten by saber tooth tigers, killing Woolly mammoths, and not freezing to death." Sounds like a meaningful existence to me. What do we have to worry about now? Taxes, terrorists and football? Inconsequential drivel and cheap plastic Chinese made crap.

I've got an announcement to make (you must be pretty bored if you've made it this far) plastic Chinese made crap (for good measure, and to help drive my point home). I managed to get diagnosed by a psychiatrists with Aspergers syndrome. That's right, I'm officially an Aspie. Just barely mind you. It wasn't an easy case, but at the end of the day I met all of the criteria as outlined by the DSM5- 299.80. Presence of: A2,3, 4. B 1 and C,and absence of: D, E and F. I was right. At least I'm justifiably different from the rest. I have a reason for this shittier than usual attitude. I have just enough Aspie to make me intolerably in the world, but not enough to make it a disability to get me off of the hook that's attached to the rent. Finally I have a psychological reason for not liking my own species much. Still, I have to buckle down, and go out into the pointlessness to extract money so that I can have a family. The only way to extract that money is to participate in yet more pointlessness. When society is soulless can there ever be any hope of meaningful activity? How fucked is it that the last thing I want to do is to deal with people (here again explained by Aspergers) and yet just about any work I could get will require me to deal with people. Our society is a service one. All we do is make up a bunch of needs and then service them. I've been thinking that maybe I'll try to get a job at a grocery store since at least eating is a need that has to be met. A nuclear engineer turned medic turned grocery store clerk. You don't really have to deal with people. Just ring up their shit and say "have a nice day." Maybe I could get a job stocking shelves. That would be even better. Talk about wasted talent. Yet I never found a job that was worth any talent. Eventually I'll be nursing, which will occasionally provide me with the opportunity to do something worth while, granted only occasionally. At least I'll be paid well for my effort. I'll just have to learn to become impervious to the rude patients who view the hospital more like a hotel than a hospital. I was thinking I might like to be a hospice nurse. At least then people will be dying and less prone to acting like ass holes. It should help keep my life in perspective as well. Plus, being an Aspie, I don't suffer much from empathy, which is a positive attribute when seen from this angle. I'm just trying to focus on my strengths.

That's gonna be some time from now, given I reach that point in time. Our society isn't exactly healthy. What do I have to bitch about really? I've got a roof over my head and food in my belly. So what if I have to go out and spend my priceless time on this Earth cultivating and fostering a lifestyle that's not worth caring about. The least I could be is grateful for the opportunity to line the man's pockets. After all, it's not as if I'm entitled to anything other than taxes. I'm just bitter that my ideas about right living don't matter at the end of the day. What matters is the acquisition of money. After that, if I'm left with any, I can use it to be the change. That's the point. Without money, you can't be the change...not if your me, and definitely not if you have kids depending on you to keep them safe and healthy.

This Monday I'll be off to fill out applications for a job that will hopefully be more than minimum wage. Grocery stores and restaurants. I could go back to granny snatchin' but it will only pay $11 an hour, and I'll have to put up with the smell of lotion and doodoo that's so ubiquitous in those geezer freezers where we stuff our elderly for big pharma to profit off of until they stop breathing.  Granny snatchin' is too depressing for me to go back to. I'd rather flip burgers at McDonalds where I'll at least not have to deal with the public. I can just stand there and do a menial task over and over again while not dealing with what it is that I'm actually doing there. Besides, those burgers are no more poisonous than allopathic medicine is (and I won't be tempted to eat them either). I'll just go from poisoning people for minimum wage to poisoning people for 60 grand a year right out of school. I think I can deal with people for that amount of money. The most I've ever made in my life is $28,000 a year, so I'll be more than doubling that. That's 60 grand? $4000 a month take home thereabouts? I'll be fuckin' rich, and I get to wear scrubs as a work uniform. My wife will be able to stay home and raise our children, and I'm going to have a lot. If I'm gonna be out there participating in the meaninglessness of a society not worth caring about than I'm going to at least come home to meaning. I'll have time, and money left over after the bills are paid. That will enable me to afford to be the change I want to see in the world. Great advice Ghandi, but some of us have kids to feed. Granted, I chose to have kids, but isn't that a large part of the human experience? Aren't you glad your parents had you? And if you have any siblings, aren't you glad your parents had them?

So what is the meaning of life? It seems the answer to that question only matters if you can afford to ask it in the first place.


William Hunter Duncan said...

Geeez, grumpy! Curmudgeon. You sound like you are 73. LOL

I know a couple who travelled the world on 90 day nursing contracts. I know they spent time in Argentina, Chile, New Zealand - I think they've settled down in Juneau or Anchorage, with their new baby.

Nursing sounds like Nurture, to me, which is feminine, of the Goddess so-to-speak; which of course, any man or woman can be a healer - though I imagine a true healer might at least TRY to feel what others feel - that pesky empathy. Not that I've ever felt anything like empathy from most of the health practitioners I've encountered. Callous condescension, for sure, remote detachment, yes. Comes with the job, I suppose - not at all like the wise one at the edge of the wood, or deep in it, of yore. You might, as part of your nursing training, familiarize yourself with healing plants in the landscape around the Whoville quadrant of Palookaville. That might be meaningful to your neighbors, when their meds run out - though I grant, they might burn you to, full with the earth spirit as you are, and suffer their constipation instead. LOL

Anonymous said...

You reckon if Twain were alive today he'd be an Aspie, or maybe depression?

Absent our emotional attachments to it, money becomes nothing more or less than another factor to account for. Money is a means to an end, but there's always more than one way to skin a cat. There just aren't very many of them left anymore.

btw, I'm actually considering the plausibility that Dimitry Orlov is riffing off the stuff I sent him without saying anything to me. This either a crime disguised as a joke or a joke described as a crime.

I still haven't made up my mind as to whether I should care in either case as it is such a ridiculous vanity project that is going nowhwere in a post literate, post communicative America in either scenario.

Its Justin americana

Jeff Z said...

Hunter is right. Gita (my wife, that is) is an RN and she gets unsolicited mailings all the time- they're trying to entice her into working in Missouri or Colorado or Dubai or some other place that has a shortage of nurses. If you want to get out of Palookaville, that's a good way to do it.

Shame about the state of the world, yes. We all adapt to the extent we need to- but the world is going to change, and knowing the permaculture skills and the names of healing herbs will be more important than knowing the names of all the magic pharma concoctions that you're going to have to memorize. Someday. No timeline there, sorry- but pretty sure it'll be within our lifetimes. The ship is already on the rocks and we're burning the furniture in the galley stove to keep warm and fed. Everything seems normal to the passengers that haven't been informed we're on the rocks, and who are enjoying all the filet mignon that just got brought out because the fridges stopped working.

Nobody has been told that they'll have to swim to shore through shark infested waters yet.

Don't give up on the skills you've been building. They will be important someday. Do what you have to do to stay afloat in the meantime.

That's my two cents

Harry Duran said...

funny post - it made me chuckle first thing in the morning - no mean feat.

jasun said...

funny post - it made me chuckle first thing in the morning - no mean feat.

Auticrat said...

Ideas about "right living" seem to be characteristic of Aspies/Auties:

"It eventually became clear that my logical and ethical behavior just wasn't good enough - I was alienating strangers with my failure to "act like everyone else." ~ John Elder Robison

Lycaeus said...

You#re doing it for your family and that is noble!

You could always consider cutting grass, it#s what I#m doing. If you can get maintenance contracts there is a surprisingly huge amount of money for a little work out in the sun.

Just found this blog and Ill be checking back.

Luciddreams said...

Lycaeus, I've thought about that...doesn't work well during the winter however. No grass to cut.

Not a bad idea spring and summer.

Justin Wade said...


I'm 34 this year (I think). Also, just got the word that I'm gainfully employed again and on the terms I sought. I am very excited about this turn.

I'd like to start a mailing list if anyone else is up for it. Specifically I am thinking of you, WHD, Jason Heppenstall, myself. The main idea is people in the same boat facing fairly similar circumstances ought to have meaningful things to impart to one another that are more suitable for a private conversation.

All three of us dealt with the reality of having to go back for employment differently judging by our entries.

I'm making a jump again soon, will be in internet contact though.

uvatmvf @ gamil ...

I've got my whoville chronicles forthcoming at my site called "Liters to the Black Bone". Its based on the experience we had last year with my family and trying to put down roots there. One of the first things my brother said to my wife was, "Thai dogs are lazy and sleep on couch cushions all day," one of the last things he said to me was an admonition not to sell his stuff in NYC.

Anyway, that's all in the past somewhere back east. Meditation is really doing great things for my eyes. Couple more books if you are interested in meditation, for whatever reason:
Practical Neural Zen
Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

Justin Wade said...


Was the Archdruid doing satire this week on purpose with the thermostat bit? If he'd a said computer...

We should start a democracy club and figure out how to settle on voluntary thermostat self control. Think about it.

Luciddreams said...

email list sounds good. I typically say whatever the fuck comes to mind here, cause it's my space. It may be "public" cause it's on the net, but it's my space. My family knows better than to read it, I think, and they know if they found a problem here than it's there problem not mine. I've always been that way...what you see's what you get...honest to a fault. When I renounced Christianity I felt it necessary to write a long letter to my mother explaining it all to her. I remember saying "and therefore, everything you taught me about religion is potentially wrong so I have to forget about it and start over again." She was devastated.

But yeah, I'm cool with a more private email group. I'm sure WHD and Jason would be cool with it to.

As far as the Archdruid's last post, about the thermostat...yeah I don't think he was doing satire. I see his point, but I'm too jaded to think that turning the thermostat down is going to save a damn thing. Plus, I don't live alone and people have different values. If it were up to me I'd be shittin in a composting toilet and heating one room with a woodburner like WHD. There's a lot of shit I'd be doing that I can't do. I damn sure wouldn't be aiming to be a nurse, but I chose the family thing.

New Years day and one of my teeth broke. I have terrible teeth genetically. I floss, brush, use listerine and even a tongue scrapper religiously. I was eating a lifesaver of all things. Ironic. It was a traditional gift from my mother for christmas (stocking stuffer). I was eating the damn thing and reading the ingredients thinking "why the fuck am I eating this shit?" Then something a little too crunchy appeared. No insurance. No money. Baby on the way...WTF now? Fuck if I know. I do know I gotta take my ass to the community college tomorrow to finalize classes and get books. Hey, at least I got the pall grant.

Happy fuckin' new years right.

Congrats on the job, and on your terms, that's awesome. So you aren't moving to Thailand now I take it? Let me know about the email group.