This year Independence Day comes at a moment when I am in something of a liminal state in respect of my professional life. I’m not becoming independent, but may be switching masters. The best I can do at this point in my life is throw off one set of chains and immediately strap on another. I do admire those who can be free agents rather than employees; the latter always has a feeling of serfdom. But unless you really have fuck-you money you always are serving somebody. And that’s not entirely a bad thing, god knows. I am rather bad at serving, and at this point I am starting to actually feel somewhat sorry for all the bosses who’ve had the unenviable job of trying to manage me.
All normal people learn how to submit, how to take up a place in a hierarchy, how to serve. That’s what keeps society running. But what an enormous strain on the soul it is. No wonder people turn to anarchism, music, drugs and other forms of rebellion. My own rebelliousness feels like a leftover adolescent quality, and I am way past the age where it is seemly to act like an adolescdent. But without it I am quite literally nothing, I can’t accomplish much unless I am in some way doing it against the grain, on my own terms. If that sounds like bragging, it isn’t meant to be, just an accurate statement of how things are with me. A successful rebellion might be worth boasting about, but rebelliousness is just a pain in the ass for everyone.
I hasten to add that I don’t have that much personal grounds for complaint. My working conditions and rewards are pretty damn good compared to the bulk of mankind. And the new job is quite promising along several dimensions. But work, workplaces, commerce, and money remain what they are.
Previous Independence Day posts: here, here, here