Posted by: Rob | July 17, 2009

Evoking Thought

One of my regular reads, and a member of my (short) blogroll, is a guy who goes by the moniker The Unbearable Banishment.  He’s a family man.  Lives in NJ and commutes daily to a job in NYC.  He writes about his experiences and things that interest him.

He recently posted some observations he made upon arriving home after work one day under the heading “how the other half (meaning, not you) lives“.  I invite you to follow the link and read it, if you haven’t already, and the comments as it will put the latter half of this post into context.

Reader comments were interesting, as they generally are, and between the post and the comments, I was prompted to pen the following response, which I decided to reproduce here.  (Kind of like a twofer, I suppose).

Interesting observations.  And interesting comments were prompted.

My thoughts:  Nowadays, I am almost bemused by what has become of North American “culture”.  And I mean the whole gamut: from the woes and throes of “mommyhood” to the soul-killing, commuting work-a-day world.

It would be really funny if it wasn’t so fucking sad and pathetic.

Remember when it was called the “Rat Race”?  One would have thought that once it was identified, it would be recognized for what it was and it would go away.  Not so, apparently.  Instead, it has grown and expanded.

The question I wrestle with (and I wonder if any/many others consider this) is: What am I doing this for?  Like, what is my ultimate goal here?  I have been granted a finite amount of time to be in this existence on this planet.  Am I using this time wisely?  I often conclude that no, I am not (and that applies almost totally to the time I spend at my employment) and that makes me feel frustrated, depressed and a bit angry.  Unfortunately, there is no one thing that I can direct these feelings at and, for whatever reason, I haven’t empowered myself to make a the changes I should. (Why not?  Um, fear, probably.  Damnable fear.)

BTW, if you’re wondering, I am the “Rob” that is awaiting rescue (see above comments).  🙂

One more thing: If anyone feels offended or insulted by your observations, it is my opinion that this is because what you have said has touched someone else’s own suspected inner truth.  We only become overly defensive about things that we already know, deep down inside, that we have a problem with or are conflicted about.  But, that’s just MHO.  And what the fuck would I know?


  1. just went back through the comments on the original post – wow. surprised me a bit…

    i work for fairly simplistic reasons: to pay my bills, take care of my family and to (if i’m lucky) provide a quality of life that allows me to travel, play and have adventures.

    if i’m REALLY lucky, i can find a source of income that seems meaningful, is satisfying and makes me feel somewhat ‘fulfilled’ – whateverthefuck that is…

    if the job were soul crushing, sucking the life out of me, and absolutely unbearable? i’d first look for alternatives, and then would consider dropping the ‘quality of life’ in order to get by with less income for reduced ‘soul loss’…

    again, this all gets down to “choice” — many folks don’t have a choice. agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY that the discourse on the trauma of motherhood, and the misery of the modern workplace gets worn pretty thin…

    if you don’t like what you’re doing – home or at an office? make an effort to change it or shutthefuckup. (oooh… did i say that out loud?)

  2. Thanks for the link, Rob. Boy, you just never know what’s going to push someone’s buttons! I really took it up the ass from one of Mrs. Wife’s friends. In the name of good diplomacy I called and offered an apology, but just between you and me, I think she’s a bit thin-skinned. I thought the anger was out of proportion with the offense.

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