On Work

Okay, kids! Let’s talk about work.

Many people have already told you that you can do anything you set your mind to so long as you work hard at it. While this is completely untrue, it is important for you to believe it. However, when bandying this platitude about, what most people don’t tend to think about is: “What is work?”

This is not a simple question. How you choose to define the word makes all the difference in the world.

To be successful, one has to stop regarding work as being the expenditure of time and energy. It isn’t.

As to your time: if you sit staring at your phone in front of an open textbook for four hours, you haven’t studied. This should be obvious. The faster you lose the childish notion that the appearance of work is as good as the real thing, the quicker you will start to achieve your goals. When you get out into the world, your boss and coworkers are not substitutions for your parents. They have no reason to keep you around other than your output of real work. This is not an economy for slackers.

As to your energy: this is more in regards to your own personal goals. Once we’ve figured out not to waste our time, a lot of people make the mistake of believing that expending a lot of energy is working hard. This is the mentality of a wage slave. “Boss told me to move this pile of heavy shit over there and it took me eight hours and was really hard. Boy I did a lot of work today!” This is fine if earning a wage and getting physically strong is your personal goal at that point of your life. If that’s your outlook, then you did do a lot of good work. However, if your goal is to write a screenplay, and you go home too tired to do shit except eat dinner, have a wank, and go to bed, then you didn’t do shit. When your energy output is running counter to your goals, it’s time to change one of them.

Work ought to be viewed as productive output in pursuit of a clearly defined goal. This is not to say that you won’t have to take some shitty job to pay the bills. But even when we do get stuck doing this, how we approach this work means the world. Are you just putting your time in like a pylon, or are you learning new skills? If you have to clean toilets, then at very least learn the best way to do that. Cultivating a work ethic, learning people skills and how businesses work from the ground up, and impressing people that might offer you a slightly less shitty job: these are all admirable work goals in a shitty job.

Developing skills and good habits is never a waste of energy. Wherever you wind up, just make sure you aren’t spinning your wheels; or, worse yet, sitting idling in a garage of your own making.

Puffy Reenactment

I like how historical military reenactors are completely obsessive about getting every detail of their kit right but then don’t bother to lose weight.

I’m sure there were a couple of portly Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War, but modern reenactments looks like they’re put together by a balloon animal artist.

Inspirational Advice

Okay, what the hell is going on with these images of inspirational positivity sayings that switch font every few words? The whole point of the piece is to foster some kind of mental health in people, which is laudable, yet they present themselves in the most schizophrenic way possible.

If the block of text were a person, it would have no idea who it is trying to be. Are you a cowboy? A French duke? An early twentieth-century medicine label? A kindergarten teacher? What is going on with you?

You need to take a moment and settle down, friend. Marshal all your conflicting impulses and present the world a united front. Stick to one costume at a time, because this mixing them all together at the same time is a mess.

The Anusrasiertleckenman

by Balls Malone

In the olden days of the Bavarian Alps, folk would whisper of the Anusrasiertleckenman.

As the story goes, on the vernal equinox if you slept out of doors or in a barn or shed, the Anusrasiertleckenman would visit you.

Wearing only undersized lederhosen, the Anusrasiertleckenman appeared in the form of a small, rotund man, perfectly hairless but for his marvelously swirled handlebar mustache.

Now, if as you went to sleep, you left beside you a pitcher of fresh cream and a bowl of newly churned butter, the Anusrasiertleckenman would strip you naked, massage your body and his with the cream and butter provided, and then shave your anus skillfully with a razor-sharp hatchet. Only when your anus was perfectly smooth would the Anusrasiertleckenman lick the rest of the cream and butter from inside it.

However, woe to those who might fall asleep out of doors or in a barn on the vernal equinox without providing the Anusrasiertleckenman his dairy offering. For this offense, or for providing cream and butter not of the utmost freshness, the Anusrasiertleckenman would exact a fearsome toll with his hatchet: adding the offender’s anus to the collection he would tote around in a sack made from a troll’s scrotum.

What an exquisite torture it must have been, to feel that blade’s edge in your anus, wondering the whole time if your cream was fresh enough to prevent your hole’s extraction! Thrilling!

These days, cultural anthropologists who can be persuaded to speak of the Anusrasiertleckenman tend to regard him as a cautionary folk tale emphasizing the importance of hygiene standards in dairy production. Of course, the hatchet ass shaving and rim job stuff is just Germans being German.

German hand axe, late 16th century.German hand axe, late 16th century copy

Friendship

You know that feeling when someone you care about suddenly comes out with a really obnoxious, pseudo-political opinion that you know they picked up from some toxic talk radio host, or a co-worker they spend too much time with; and they just won’t shut up about it because they want to have an argument; and you know their argument is as fucked as their opinion, but at this point you only know it on an intuitive level, and you don’t want to argue about it, so you try to disagree vaguely; but they just keep fucking at it until you snap and start arguing; and now you’re into it and you get into the zone and you completely fucking destroy their whole argument, from foundation on up, and you get excited because now you have figured out why their argument and opinion is fucked and have told them so; and they totally ignore everything you said and just keep repeating their useless fucking talking points like you haven’t completely demolished them already; and they still WON’T FUCKING SHUT UP; and you get this wave of hatred for them that is only as profound as it is because you love them so much; so you fucking snap and totally lose your shit and get completely inappropriate; and then they wander up the high road, like some kind of long suffering martyr, and call the argument quits because you’re “getting too upset,” and they forgive you with this shit-eating grin of theirs; and you just want to stab them in the neck; to feel their hot life’s blood squirting through your fingers; but instead you calm down and go and get something to eat with them; and later on they bring up the “argument” to a third party and frame it in such a way that makes it seem like they totally won; and now you don’t give a shit because you love them like you are a cretinous puppy, so you smile and nod, and throw out some mea culpa for losing your temper; and when you finally get home you really feel like it was pretty good day?

Friendship.