Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

The Life of the Unemployed

September 21, 2007

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve update this. And, as no one reads it anyway, I’m planning on dialing up the typical level of ostentation from threat level ‘Amber’ to ‘Orange’ as this is just one big exercise, equal parts self-aggrandizement and self-deprecation. Aaaaaaaand done.

I’m back in Washington D.C. After a summer of intellectual stagnation, self-doubt, asking people for money, managing staff, unethical behavior, farmers’ tans, nuclear-familial disintegration and a pittance of a paycheck, I have returned to the place that, in German, means ‘a whale’s vagina.’ Washington D.C., drink it in. It always goes down smooth.

I’ve been unemployed for about five weeks now and it’s beginning to get a little redundant. When you’re unemployed, you attempt to stretch every tolerable activity into an ordeal lasting long enough to fill the void once occupied by your job. Allow me to give you a couple examples.

The first five times through, the movie ‘Fight Club’ is artistic genius. Nowwwww, viewings number six, seven, and eight may compel you to scratch out your own eyes. Seriously. Don’t do it.

And, as Fight Club is only 2 hours long and there’s only so much one man can masturbate in a 24 hour period (they’ve done studies you know) I’ve had to find other things to do. So I started running again. Great idea—until I sprained my left foot, rendering myself completely immobile. I’ve been sedentary for a week. No joke; I am anchored to this couch. And, seriously, there’s only so much one man can masturbate in a 24 hour period.

Then I got really lucky. I limped into the bookstore looking for male fashion magazines (again, unemployed guy here) and wound up purchasing Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Cat’s Cradle.’ If you’ve never read it, stop reading this trash and go pick it up.

Cat’s Cradle, written in 1963 during the Vietnam soirée (yea, ostentation alert), is a book about mans’ absurdity and the inevitable apocalypse to which it will be attributed. On it’s surface, this book is about a writer set about chronicling the lives of famous people the day the United States dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, the midget son of the father of the Atomic Bomb, his horse-faced sister, their brother (a third world dictator’s right hand man), the necessary lies of religion and its conflict with science in the modern world. It’s a comedy.

Vonnegut is always very funny, but this book is dark and fatalistic. Among the most profound ideas present in the book is the extent to which man uses lies (religious, scientific, sociological) to make life livable. Scientists believe that all of life’s mysteries can be solved in a lab and churchgoers have the audacity to imply an understanding of God’s will; we prop up our heroes and embellish the villainy of our villains. An especially disheartening commentary to the young idealists among us is what the chief religious guru in ‘Cat’s Cradle,’ a man named Bokonon, has to say in his 14th book entitled, “What Can A Thoughtful Man Hope For Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?” The book has only one word, “Nothing.”

It’s truly one of the best books I’ve ever read (and to think, I almost picked up a fashion mag) and I recommend it to anyone interested in thinking. It’s one of my hobbies: thinking. I’m good at thinking, just passable at writing, ahhh life’s many frustrations.