May 29, 2014

Unhappy when working. Unhappy when workless, Ctd

I often feel guilt for my bohemia. Guilty that I can sit in a coffee shop and read and practice my art while others have to slave around. Guilty that I can go to a Live Drawing event for a few hours and get paid what those coffee shop works get paid in a few days. Northern Irish poet Nick Laird said:
"I still feel a deep sense of guilt about writing. At least when I was a lawyer I felt useful, now I can waste whole days not doing much at all."
He also said:
"The writing life can be difficult. Time just dissolves away to nothing some days, and it is sometimes hard to believe in the validity of the enterprise."
Oscar Wilde wrote about the contrast between the bohemian and the lower echelons that make their bohemia possible. In The Soul of Man Under Socialism, he wrote:
"The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends." 
Kevin Drum wrote an article in Mother Jones, 'We Shouldn't Denigrate the Diginity of Work, Even Accidentally'. In it he said:
"Even people who hate their jobs take satisfaction in the knowledge that they’re paying their way and providing for their families. People who lose their jobs usually report intense stress and feelings of inadequacy even if money per se isn’t an imminent problem (perhaps because a spouse works, perhaps because they’re drawing an unemployment check). Most people want to work, and most people also want to believe that their fellow citizens are working. It’s part of the social contract. As corrosive as inequality can be, a sense of other people living off the dole can be equally corrosive."
Eric Stough, producer and animation director for ‘South Park, said:
"The key to a great life isn’t just happiness. It would be a boring life if it were."
Previous post in the series here.

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