Saturday, February 19, 2011

My First Post In 5 Months: Part I – This Ain't Maggie's Farm No More, So Why The Hell Should I Work There?

In the course of having lost my job, several months ago, to the ubiquitous chameleon of political control maintenance, I have succumb to and initiated my share of personal shifts of paradigm. When the chameleon stomps you, after all, you are likely to either change along with it or change, in oh-so poetically a Newtonian fashion, in an equal and opposite way of the chameleon itself. I'm not sure which change I'm in the process of yet. Perhaps complimentary. Perhaps clashing. The time the chameleon was most recognizable, in recent history, was as the Red Scare. After a couple of decades, everybody learned to spot its spectral trail and it learned to start changing color, again. If you can't spot it, how can you point your finger at anything but the paranoid-sounding, conspiritorial multi-noun, “THEY”? Given I only know where it's been and I don't always know where it is, whether or not I know what I'm doing can't be said. I can say, however, is that these changes I'm making seem to be a lot more indulgent of my creative conscience. My lawful returns on the premium I've paid, over the years, to the Unemployment Insurance Agency are coming to a close and the resolutions I've come to regarding employment and income have begun to venture into the realm of ideas that would typically be out of character for myself. Upon the renewed realization that employment and income are more of a dichotomy than bedfellows, I've spent my time and mind on developing alternative resources. In the interest of maintaining the legality of these resources, I don't think I'm going to mention them, here, but I can say that I am finished with jobs. I am intent on working for myself and I will no longer submit to putting my livelihood in the largely incapable and self-serving hands of business people unless under the conditions of temporary economic duress. Such a resolution would not have been made by my previously employed self, months ago. Rather, those months ago, I would have written such a resolution off as irresponsible and bordering on scam. A job, however, seems to be more of a contradictory comfort, these days, than a necessity or the mark of a hard working and stalwartly ethical individual. The comfort of third party employment has, as of late, come to mean nothing more to me than artificial comfort much in the way that wax on an apple I could just as well polish, myself, would.

In an economic world, whether it it free market, socialist or otherwise, one comes to know one's income as their living; their livelihood. The idea of employment sullies this, I believe. After all, your living is not just a means of survival. Nor is it merely a means of acquiring comforts. If your money is your living, it should be, in one way or another, in service of your goals and dreams. If you are working for an employer, however, this is not as conceivably possible. After all, if you are employed, your time belongs to somebody else. If your time belongs to somebody else, the money you make is simply an exchange that is, somehow, representational of the time you have taken away from your aspirations and given to your employer. This means it is impossible, no matter how high your salary or wage, to make an actual living under an employer. Being employed does not mean you are earning a living, being employed means you are selling yourself so somebody else might make their living from the time and effort you've given them. So, not only are you selling yourself; you're selling yourself short, because who is to say their dream is of greater value than yours? Jobs don't earn you a living, they only represent a personal compromise. Although I don't think this compromise makes anybody weak or cowardly, I no longer intend to make that compromise.

Ever since I can remember, I have been gifted with tendencies towards two specific crafts: visual arts and storytelling. While friends and family suggested I work for Disney, to capitalize on my skills as a line artist, I found other outlets for my talent. I drew characters of my own and for each of them, I had concocted a story. These characters had pasts and their stories often intersected in different ways. After watching a movie that struck my fancy, I would often scurry to my bedroom, drawing pictures inspired by the movie and weaving stories that served as an artificial sequel, so I could continue to enjoy the movie beyond the restrictions of its run-time. I, later, understood this as fan fiction. When I was a child, however, it was simply an outlet for what I've been drawn to engage in for my whole life: visual storytelling. More than anything else, my creative mind was made to create comic books and motion pictures. Cut open my skull and pull out my brain and I can promise you that there will be a warning tag stuck to the bottom, stamped by G_d, informing the user that if my brain is used for any other purpose but visual storytelling that its performance, as an organ, cannot be guaranteed to the user and the warranty will have been voided. In the words of Dee Dee Ramone, interjecting his own performance of “Love Kills” during the Ramones' last show, “It's me; this is the way I am.”

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