~Theory of Achievment
The idea that work, money and product is essential to life is inevitable. It also sucks. A lot of people do jobs they hate, hate themselves and are constantly worrying about money. And why is this? Well, let's think about the beard. And yes, that is my good friend Karl Marx (who in my philo text, I had him being played by Rutger Hauer in the new film The German Ideology. Oh the train of thought in Touey classes.
So my text for this post is Marx's Alienated Labor. He looks at how our job will "devour us whole" until the person working becomes the commodity and the product becomes the focus.
"The worker becomes poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and extent. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he produces. The devaluation of the human world grows in direct proportion to the increase in value of the world of things. Labour not only produces commodities; it also produces itself and the workers as a commodity and it does so in the same proportion in which it produces commodities in general."
One thing Marx gets at further from this point is the whole Creater idea. God was the creater of man and now humans have more focus than God. His labor produced something alien to him and what he produced became more important. Such is our work. And it's true. Materialism is disgusting. I fall into this many times, but now that I am broke and can only spend minimal amounts of money on things (beer), we realize how important the products we make have taken over. Advertising, sales, marketing and such have become the new thing. Humanity is the biggest commodity out there. Although we buy a 6 pack of Rolling Rock, its not the selling of the beer that matters, its us buying it and spending the money on it that does. So we are the necessity in the transaction. Without someone to buy something, those objects are meaningless. But they have that market, so the commodity is what matters, and that commodity is now us.
Hal Hartley, again, nails this with his short film Theory of Achievment. His portrayal of Brooklyn, New York as the Paris of the 20th century, as a hub for art, shows how "unskilled, middle class, college educated, white, broke and drunk" starving artists have more to them then the business men and women of the world. But they are poor. They rove around, drink and, well are basically my group of friends.
These starving artists are always on the quest to find truth. Much like myself, I love reading, art and such to find answers to the unending questions and just like another Hartley short, Surviving Desire, it sometimes isn't the answers we need to worry about as much as asking the questions. The questions focus our "reading" of the world and we can get a better grasp of what it's all about.
So this labor reading I noticed is that pertinent to the rest of the focus of what I am going for in this series. So I gave up. Instead I am going to continue with other ideas and readings. However, I may come back to this after I work for more than 4 days.