Took a little break yesterday

I took the day off yesterday. I know, given my employment situation, that’s counterintitutve, let me explain.

Sometimes you just need to escape.

My world is starting to collapse, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve been pounding my head against a wall for years now; trying to catch a break and get back into my profession. Nothing has worked and frankly the job related websites and social media sites have been a waste of time.

iuI’ve been orbiting a black hole and the orbit is decaying. The gaping maw of professional oblivion has got me and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

Now I know why the band played on as the Titanic sank.

I am experiencing first hand, how some phrases come into being. Remember the old favorite, “Re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?” How about, “When rape is inevitible, relax and try to enjoy it.”

Sorry… I’m sounding a little whiney and I’m getting slightly off point.

stress-2Worry, fear, anger, and fight, are all good and necessary feelings, they can guide you, strengthen you, and to some extent are all necessary to ensure survival. (I’m honestly not sure about worry but I think it’s a precursor to fear and the fight or flight response.)

That being said, in a situation where these things are the only diet you have, you lose persective and become numb. After a while you simply stop giving a flying fuck. This is a relatively new phenomena, in days past, you might worry that the guy from the next farm over had a grudge but the worry wasn’t long term because you’d call him out, and it would be settled by the inevitable fight.

These days, you’re being damaged, attacked, hurt, raped… and there’s no-one to take a swing at. You have no choice but to keep trying to succeed but failing that, you can’t engage in any of the normal human behaviors. How do you fight the ethereal? What are you running from, or to?

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpgAs an aside; this is, I think part of the explaination for Trumps campaign success.

There are a lot of people just like me who feel that their back is against the wall; not because thery’re pro, or anti social justice, or selfish per se, but because their options are increasingly limited by the erosion of the middle class.

A lot of folks are simply realizing that things are getting worse, not better for them economically.

When was the last time anyone had their boss hand them a bonus check for a job or project that was particularlly well done? I believe, the imposition of institutional mediocracy has done more damage to us as a people, than anything in the past 50 years.

“Sorry, dude but I can only give you a 2% raise because that’s what everyone is getting. But I recognize that you’ve worked very hard this year.”

incredibles-team-the-incredibles-10-incredible-facts-in-honor-of-its-tenth-anniversary-jpeg-168588There was a line from the movie The Incredibles that resonated with me. “When everyone’s special, no-one is.

If that’s your mentality or your corporation’s then why not just “phone it in, all the time?” This is how you diminish exceptionalism, and gut innovation, and progress.

Since there’s no upside to innovation, doing something faster, better, or smarter, you end up with a group of people who will find ways to get what they need with the minimum of effort. Or the people will turn their intellect to finding ways around the rules.

As an example, take a look at the former Soviet Union. I’ve got a couple of Russian friends that are absolutely the GO-TO people if you want to figure out how to get more from a bureaucracy. One guy managed to manipulate the insurance bureaucracy so that he got 5 technically elective surgeries in 7 months and way more than the allotted time off work during the same period of time. He wanted the surgeries, didn’t want to pay for them, and used the down time to finish law school and pass the bar. While getting paid to do it.

I wasn’t sure about the ethics of his actions, but I damn sure respected his ability to manipulate the insurance company and the Human Resources department of the company from whom we worked. In retrospect, I should have taken many more lessons from him.

I think Trump’s rise is based on the frustrations of the middle class being squeezed out and having their options for advancement limited. He’s telling America something that is closer to the truth than we’ve heard in 20 years.

It’s resonating because lies of establishment politicians are coming home to roost. Even if Trump is lying, at least it’s a different pack of lies that sound more like truth, than the previous pack of lies.

I’m reminded of a certian frustrated Artiste cum house painter from Austria. It could be argued that this house painter came to power because he capatilized on the frustration of a citizenry who’d grown tired of platitudes and wanted to see action from their leaders. I don’t know if that argument would stand up under scrutiny, but as a broad generalization It might.

I digress.

Old BooksSo the problem is, how do you take a “Vacation” without spending money you don’t have, fuel you can’t afford, or whatever?

There are a great many things you can do to pass the time. You can have sex, (with yourself or others.)

You can drink until you pass out. Drinking numbs the pain for a while, but you wake up feeling like shit.

You can smoke a little weed, but if you’re the least bit prone to paranoia that can actually add to your stress level and an outstanding case of the munchies can clear your pantry. Both the weed and the muncies can cost you as much as a trip to the movies or more.

You can clear out your medicine cabinet, eating all the Rx pain killers you have on hand. (Dangerous, but for some people it works.)

You can binge watch your DVD collection.

Or you can do what I did.

imagesTurn off the damn computer, tablet, phone, TV, stereo, what have you and read a book, or two.

Since I was a kid, books have been my escape from reality.

My learning to read is the single greatest gift, next to unconditional love, I’ve ever received.

So in a bit of a funk, I turned to my oldest truest friend. I opened a book, and stepped into another world.

I re-read a story I’d read years back and I laughed and cried, and ohhed and ahhhed, and for a time, rested my over stressed mind.

My world and it’s associated troubles faded away. I was in another place, and was using my mind in a completely different way.

Instead of worrying about things, I was with the characters in a world where I could taste victory and success.

It was a nice break and while my problems still exist the respite provided by books is a welcome one. I also saved myself a trip to Talos IV.

TOS_1x00_012I hope your world is stable and spinning on, and that your reality is as pleasant.