The more I see of the homeless population in Seattle, the more I think it’s not a lack of resources available to people that are underprivileged. Shelters, soup kitchens, and scant opportunities are available. But why try? Why is it that there are only a few ways to survive in the Americas: become stressfully rich, scrape by while living in massive debt, or live outside the system? Is there any way out of corporate subjugation?
“Do you have 50 cents you could spare this afternoon?” “Yeah, sure… You hanging in there alright?” I gave him all my change, 8 cents, and one dollar more. “Thank you. Yeah, I am.” The man wearing a dirty hoodie in the dry heat walked off, looking disbelieved over money. Life in “The Story” isn’t easier than our own. John (left) had periods of teenage homelessness before being “adopted” into Trishna’s (right) life. Can we adopt everyone?
We’ve arrived at such an entertainment saturation that we can easily discard anything even remotely disinteresting. I’m just as guilty as any of us. Removing anything that could distract me from accomplishing my goals could be a succinct explanation of my work ethic, and yet, there are proper ways to handle our discarded distractions. Now is the best time to consider the prevention of consuming entertainment wastefully, because we’re only getting more saturated by entertainment!
We have too many distractions. Some distractions are good. Too many distractions leads to that certain indecisiveness that spoils us of our time, enables us to be lazy, and prevents us from doing what we must. These distractions help us cope with terrible commutes or mediocre gigs at the expense of addressing what we must do to resolve the origins of these stressors. Taken broadly, the more we distract ourselves, the less we can do.
Seattle traffic is beyond capacity. A stretch of I-5 (northbound and southbound) that usually takes around 5 minutes to drive through in light traffic now exceeds 20 minutes when all the commuter single-occupancy vehicles leave their gigs at 5PM. Wade it out until 7PM and it’s less terrible. The traffic focuses until, and dissipates after, one point: Mercer Street. Our new neighbor has invited all of their friends without the least bit of consideration for anyone else.
Our careers permeate into everything we do. When I get invested in my work, I am no longer Anthony or the writer with the nickname Zombiepaper, I am an entity in complete service to my employer. (Oops.) We all sacrifice our humanities for money and security, though. In this first in a 12-day exploration of careers, let’s talk about “the gig life,” and how I retain, or restore, my humanity while working hard and smart.
A digital cultural artifact of our networking history will be lost when AOL Instant Messenger shuts down on December 15. Museum curators at places like the Internet Archives and OoCities act as conservationists for the future. Unfortunately, technology is moving too fast now for most to consider the importance of capturing our digital remains before they disappear. Let’s use this service’s discontinuation as a reminder that we should consider how our pasts can shape our futures.