Monday, October 20, 2008

Hooray for slackerdom!

So I spent the whole day thinking about work today. While at work. Not the work I was doing, or supposedly doing. But other work. Another job. Something less than the heaping and rancid mess that is public education. It's too hard to teach the youth of today while being overly cynical and not caring a bit about their futures. I have anti-depressants to keep me going. Oh yes. And alcohol. Though less frequently nowadays.

I think that working for the man is necessarily incommensurable with that of the lowly existence of the slacker. I used to relish my free time and the occasional nap in the afternoon after a long night of thinking/reading/writing. I won't say that it's like pulling teeth getting kids to read a sentence longer than a text message, much less write complete sentences and at least learn to use the visual component of their already sorely poor imaginations while reading some great work of literature. But I think the honest thinker can only go so far with the "I don't care" multitasking constantly "connected" attitude so prevalent today without finally giving in and ceasing to pretend to care reciprocally. 

To sum it up, I want a different job. Something more suitable not to my own tastes, but rather to those that are currently defining the course of Western civilization, potentially leading to our slow and protracted downfall: I want the least responsibility possible. I want to be a shmuck, just like anyone else. I want to shirk everything and pass it on down the line so I can go home and rest comfortably within the bizarre universe that is my budding family. I want to let the generation coming of age right now screw itself over (yes, I can be a miserable old jerk, even this early in life) and bring on the last vestiges of Western traditions  and heritage. As slow as the setting sun. This will be my mantra every morning from here on out, until I can get out of that correctional facility of a school that I currently occupy. 

Enough of responsibility and idealistic caring! Stand up for slackerdom. (Too lazy to use another exclamation point.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

From the land of Nowhere

So. There are some things that I miss from college days that are sorely lacking in this geography. One might file this under the shock of forcing oneself headfirst into the toilet of the real world. 

I went to the Long Branch Cafe in Carbondale with my wife earlier in the week. We went up to Illinois so that she could finally visit her family, after a nearly three-month absence in which I did nothing but work/have a nervous breakdown/stress some more while she stayed home with the baby/drove around trying to familiarize herself/watch t.v. I'm not exactly a vegetarian, nor am I of the nostalgic-hippy persuasion, but I think there is some point to be made about good food, good coffee, good music, and good conversation, even when it's only overheard. I miss jazz. I miss seeing studiousness. I miss the general professional and (ironically) goal-oriented slackerdom that is graduate school and intellectual hyperactivity. Nothing of the such to be said about this place, though...even though I'm forced for heritage purposes to claim it as a place of origin.

I know H.L. Mencken called the South the "Sahara of the Bozart" long enough ago, before Faulkner's rise, before Penn Warren and O'Connor and all of the great things in literature that have arisen since out of this little patch of earth. Those are rather exceptions. Maybe in a place like Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta, Gainesville, or Athens you can find such environments as described above. Carbondale has the fascinating distinction of being near a sort of nexus of the American physical universe. Somewhere South, yet somewhere quite North at the same time. Droves from Chicago walking between campus buildings and bar-hopping. Locals all around who are either distant transplants, and then the locals who remain and remain...and remain. It's a nowhere, an island in space where some pretty strange happenings go on. The Land of Nowhere, however, is something else. 

I like to overhear conversations more than I prefer eavesdropping. I overhear people all the time while I practice my thousand-yard stare at work or out and about. All I ever hear is talk of money, football, and other assorted bizarreries. Just try and talk jazz with anyone at a bar. All educators speak of is the "dream" of making miracles on a daily basis, in a slow and protracted fashion. I myself find it hard to care so much. I'm starting to think that the limit of this poor language that we speak is to be found in places like this one. As if the slow passage of time here can't find a solid match in world. Or the mundane comings and goings of the general population.

So this is what the real world is like, then, I guess. More later. Time to go and waste right now.