February 1, 2011
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There’s about 8 of us. A motley crew of unemployed academics shuffled together in a room to participate in a course on how to successfully apply for jobs. We are here to find the way out of unemployment and get our lives back on track as it were. Today we will be taught how to get through the job interview.
“So why did you study philosophy?” she asks me.
“Because I thought it was interesting.” Not the most elaborate answer, I know, but it’s the short version of the truth.
She smiles a condoning smile: “Yes, that’s the way it is when you’re young and don’t know about the labour market.”
And for a second I feel stupid. Clueless. Because in a way this career consultant woman is right, studying philosophy is not a very smart career move. But then logic and reason return and I realize that what she just said is actually a perfect testimony to everything that’s wrong with our famous western civilization. It’s all about making yourself attractive on the job market. To get ahead of the competition. Adapt to what the almighty Market wants. The greed game. Consumerism. All bottled up in that one remark. Studying philosophy, yes the follies of youth… Read more of this post
January 12, 2011
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A while ago I was at a street art fair. With an ambition to not only have a look at the art but to also write something about it I brought along my camera and a note pad. I walked around in the big hall taking pictures and making random notes trying to figure out what the hell I was going to write about all of this. What I was going to do with all of these impressions. Writing something about all of the artists was so obviously impossible, so what then? I kept thinking “what do I want to write about all of this?” And I am still not sure.
Art fairs are difficult. Just like music festivals are difficult. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the impressions. At least for me. It’s at times like that I realize just how difficult it is to stay in the moment, to really process what you are actually experiencing as you are experiencing it. Even though it’s all so amazing and inspiring it just turns into a big blur of awe.
Afterwards I saw a friend of mine:
“So how was it?”
“It was rad!”
Very descriptive, huh? But that’s the problem, I find it hard to say something beyond that. Because it was rad. Obviously there were things that I liked more, pieces that I spent more time with, but as far as an overall impression goes, rad is pretty much all I can come up with. Pitiful, isn’t it?
But the plan was to write about it, so I feel I should honor the commitment I made to myself and try to come up with something more to say about it than ‘rad’. Read more of this post
November 17, 2010
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For the past two weeks I have been participating, involuntarily, in a course about how to apply for jobs. I already know how to apply for a job, so that part of the course is a complete waste of time, but I am getting loads of insights to the wonder that is the human psyche. Just now I had following conversation down in the lobby by the elevators:
“Hi I’m the janitor. Where are you going?”
“To the 4th floor.”
“Are you a participant in the course?”
“Then you have to take the stairs.”
“Because that’s the way it is. It’s the rule. Says so on the sign there.”
I looked at him in disbelief and then I looked at the completely deserted lobby. There was really no one else around. The course is taking place in a high-rise building with a multitude of activities happening on the various floors. Office space, a kindergarten, various school type activities etc, so there are times when the elevators are very busy. At those times it does of course make sense to have a rule that says that the people higher up in the building, or the parents with their kids, have right of way to the elevator. But at this particular time the lobby was deserted. No one in sight. But the janitor was still sticking to his point – I should take the stairs. He even went as far as to say that he wanted to see me do that. I contemplated telling him that wouldn’t really be possible since he was actually standing in the elevator as we were having this conversation and the stairs are located in a separate entrance, but then I decided against it seeing as the likelihood of it being a very fruitful discussion was virtually zero. I waited him out and then took the elevator. Read more of this post
September 12, 2010
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Last night on my way home I ran into an old “acquaintance”. I hadn’t seen him since new years and I haven’t seem him in daylight since last summer. It was a very brief encounter on the U-Bahn platform and not much was said. But the one thing that struck me was that he had aged. He looked older. I could see that one year that had passed. It was nothing dramatic, just a few more lines here and there, but still a testimony to the passing of time.
It’s happening to me a lot these days. I run into people who I haven’t seen in a while, people my age, and it hits me that they have aged. Noticeably. I can see their age in their faces. Not in a bad way, it’s more like they for the first time actually have an age. Like just started happening. And for some reason that scares me a little. Read more of this post
September 9, 2010
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I wish I had someone who took care of me. And when I say take care, I don’t mean take care as in nurture, I mean take care as in book that long overdue appointment with my taxman, clean up all the papers on my desk, do my laundry and paint my bedroom. Someone who could just take care of all the shit I never get around to doing until it’s almost too late. I need a life administrator, a personal assistant, someone to take care of all my bullshit. Someone who takes care of me and the mess I create. And yes, it does sound very much like wanting to have a partner or a parent. There are plenty of people who live their lives like that. But unfortunately I am not one of those people. Nor do I want to be. I was never really all that ok with having parents in the first place and the ones do I have are completely useless in all of the above areas. In fact, they would need the exact same assistance. And I suppose this statement could lead one to assume that my condition might have some sort of hereditary aspect, an assumption that could also very well be absolutely correct, but even if that is the case it doesn’t really bring me any closer the solution of my issue, so what ever. Plus, I am really way too old for parents. I need to look for the solution somewhere else. Read more of this post
January 8, 2010
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This whole life long monogamy thing, it’s a pretty new invention. This whole couples and romantic love thing. And I am wondering if it’s not just a way to keep us passive, occupied. A way to hold us back. We are fed with the dream of that perfect partner that will make your life complete. It’s all up to you to make it work. Love as the one salvation. The one and only thing that will make your life complete. The main theme of your life. And somehow it seems a bit like a hype. Unsubstantiated. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against love per se. I like I love. Love is a good thing. I love. It’s not about that. I just wonder if we may not have a very warped and twisted idea of what love actually is. This whole idea of romantic love. What does it actually mean? “And they lived happily ever after.” Did they? And just what the hell did they do while they were doing that? The two become one, and then what? And even more important, what happens before that? Is it all just about that one long search for the perfect partner? Is that the whole purpose? And what if you don’t find that perfect someone? What then? Does that mean you failed? Read more of this post