If Karl Max was alive today he’d have to revise his opinion about religion. We no longer need the promise of a golden afterlife to placate grey-faced, factory worker grunts. For most of us in the West, life has become a lot more comfortable and, for those of us who are still living in abject poverty and misery, consumerism has replaced religion as our insidious balm of choice. Who needs God when you can replace Him with things, or the heady dream that you’ll soon have those things?
In the grand scheme of things, my life is OK. I’m not exactly happy, and I do live from pay cheque to pay cheque, but I have food, clothes and a roof over my head. Life is a struggle, but it’s not the same soul-crushing, spirit-sapping struggle it was for people like me when Marx was alive.
But there is huge problem – I no longer think, or care about all the really important issues I should care about. And why is this? It’s because I spend 40 hours of my week, sitting on my arse in a cubicle. Sometimes I do get to interact with my colleagues in a normal human way (face-to-face!) but the vast majority of my daily interactions take place in online work chat rooms because I need to sit at my computer and get good “stats”.
The most “meaningful” work relationship I have (and I’m truly stretching the definition of the word “meaningful”) is with “T.”, a married, self-professed piece of white trash from some shitty Republican town deep in the heart of the state. I like him because he’s irreverent, very funny and is a Socialist, but I’ve barely exchanged more than a few sentences with him in person. All of our work relationship takes place via chat.
When I get home at night, I’m too tired to do anything except fall on the sofa, and watch episodes of “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” on TV, glass of red wine in hand. I barely read any more, and if I do, it’s usually 30 minutes snatched here and there in my lunch hour. I try to read “The New York Times” as much as I can (I’m old-fashioned…I get the paper version delivered every morning) but it worries me that I just absorb all the things I read there, without really thinking about them. I just go back to my online work chat room, and laugh at whatever new nyah nyah cat or Rebecca Black meme people have sent around.
I know it’s arrogant to think this like this, but ten years ago, when I had just graduated from university, I never thought my life would be this way. I thought I was destined for great things. Ha! I know I’m a good writer and singer, but there’s now so little time to get things done. Combine the lack of time, with my unfocused brain, crippling perfectionism and fear of failure, and it’s no wonder I never do anything creative.
I don’t know where to start, to be honest. I’m thirty-three years old, and I haven’t done anything much with my life. I can never seem to make the changes I should to be “successful”.
Is this it then? Am I destined to spend the rest of my life in a fucking cubicle, becoming more brain dead by the second?