May 8th, 2009


Another day, the sun is shining but it's black clouds over me. Thoughts on work.

For the employed and hating it, and the unemployed and hating it, I have these quotes from Alain de Botton about work:

"There is one difference between 'labour' and other elements that conventional economics doesn't have a means to represent or give weight to but is nevertheless unavoidably present in the world: the fact that labour feels pain and pleasure.

When production lines grow prohibitively expensive, these may be switched off and will not cry at the seeming injustice of their fate. A business can move from using coal to natural gas without the neglected energy source walking off a cliff. But labour has a habit of meeting attempts to reduce its price or presence with emotion. It sobs in toilet cubicles, it drinks to ease its fears of under-achievement and it may choose death over redundancy."

And this: "The most remarkable feature of the modern workplace has nothing to do with computers, automation or globalisation. It lies in the widely held belief that our work should make us happy. All societies have had work right at their centre; ours is the first to suggest that work could be something other than a punishment or penance."

Morrisey summed it up nicely: "I was looking for a job and then I found a job/And heaven knows I'm miserable now ..." Basically you lose, employed or not. My goal for years has just been to find the least miserable-making job I can get; today I looked the fact that I'll probably never be anything other than mediocre in the face and it didn't do much to lighten an already gloomy day. Gotta rely on art for that - hope Jordi Savall has really got it happening tonight, as I need whatever cheering up my ill got gains can provide.

I can't keep up with myself

This has been one of those great weeks where I get to really plunge deep into the offerings London has. In addition to the Royal Ballet (Monday), I got to see "dark cabaret" band The Tiger Lillies last night and then ultra-high culture viola da gamba player Jordi Savall tonight (swoon thank you lj user=wechsler> for getting the tickets and also for going with me). Meanwhile I've just put up the review for Wednesday night's thing, the first part of the cycle of new plays about Afghanistan the Tricycle theater is mounting. I liked it enough that I would go back and see the other two sets if the opportunity was available.

Meanwhile I'm mourning two other things that have slipped through my fingers. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Trafalgar Studios managed to sell itself out three weeks ago (and nary a return has come up as far as I've known), while Punchdrunk's Tunnel 228 is totally booked out. I know half of you think I do too much, but what's frustrating to me is that I still just can't keep up with all of the great stuff that happens here.

Tomorrow: big plan is housecleaning for hours. Oh, and the patio set wechsler got us as a housewarming present is shown up - with luck perhaps I can eat lunch outside!