A few formative essays related to work and society this month:
First off Søren Kierkegaard’s mind-blowing critique of the modern world, The Present Age, written 150 years ago. I remember how terrifying I found it to read, me who my whole life has dreamed of writing a ‘small little encyclopaedia’, but it was also a majestic trumpet-blast. Yes, Darren, burn so brightly your balls ignite, then perhaps you’ll be able to look Søren in the eye when he meets you at the Gates of Horn. Not that I ever quite lived up to my fiery intentions, but thank God for Mr K’s petroleum-based polemics.
Next, Bob Black’s classic essay, ‘Why Work?’ which I came to via the now equally classic essay Anxiety Attack on the Anxiety Culture site. I was fascinated by George Woodcock’s monologue The Tyranny of the Clock at this time too. All worth close inspection if you feel yourself tempted by The Refusal of Work movement.
In a similar vein, The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde is a strange, absurd and ecstatic — which is to say essentially realistic — nineteenth century version of socialism. Not sure I agree about ‘Christ not revolting against authority’ — I reckon he did (unlike St Paul, one of the most subservient and sneaky thinkers in history) — but that doesn’t impair Wilde’s point that ‘Christ had no schemes’, and neither should we. It is enough to head in the right direction.
Phew! If you’ve gone through all that, your brainpod will probably be ready to burst its peas. Next month we’ll crack open some dance and comedy — and you don’t get much deeper than that.
I also had people telling me that my RSS feed isn’t working. RSS you say Darren? I know just what you mean! You’re talking about a standardized system for the distribution of content from an online publisher to Internet users, yeah? Well, apparently you know more than I do. Anyrate, by sticking my tongue out, furrowing my brow with moronic intensity and pressing loads of buttons, I fixed it. So if you have an RSS in your ‘mainframe’, go here. I think.