Friday, February 18, 2011
People Don’t Need Words, They Need a Sense of Purpose
As I listen to the woman upstairs, who has been unemployed for fifteen months spend yet another 12 hour day scrubbing and rearranging her apartment, I pause to think of what our purpose on Earth is. The woman upstairs stomps firmly and endlessly back and forth from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day, 7 days a week, around 355 days a year, completely scrubbing and rearranging every object she owns. And then doing it again the next day, not unlike what I do writing this blog. When I had that legendary “I’m only doing this till the play sells” job for 23 years, I at least knew I had to be there to make sure 2,300 newspapers got their comics. Now, about 88 percent of every function at my old job has been automated. Both I and the lady upstairs are on Disability. And we have 24 hours a day to fill. She is 10 years younger than me, but I’ll wager neither one of us will find a husband, and if we do...what will be so damned special about our days? Shopping at A&P? Having someone to talk with about “Jeopardy”? The lady upstairs never has one visitor...so perhaps someone to comment on the sparkling kitchen floor? With no money for necessities, are the Arts going to be that important to anyone? Were I teaching, maybe...but what is the point of teaching if there are no jobs to apply the knowledge to? The idea behind a society is that there will be something for every person to do, but sometimes, there is nothing. At least I have an income. How frightening it must be to have a house and children when the unemployment runs out. Unless you seriously want to see the streets packed with starving and dying people...you must think about what you can do about it...or what the computers can do.