Walk Away

by Crom

I remember when I used to love dialing up my favorite bbs and playing the cheesy text based online games that they had. Legend Of the Red Dragon, Hack and Slash, Trade wars, etc. and I remember that it used to be fun. I was the loser kid, the one who had few friends, and no real desire or need (so I convinced myself) of social interactions. My modem was my gateway to salvation, and few friends I had were also interested in the possibilities of 2400 baud magnificence. I used to think it was fun to take apart computers. Hell, I took apart my first one, even though I didn’t do anything inside, and barely had any idea what the components did. I used to open up Apple II e’s at my dad’s school just to see what was inside (not much). Eventually I got to comprehend everything inside my PC, and began to do my own fixing, my own configurations. And, as time passed, I became adept at my interest. It was a logical step then to pursue a career in computers of some form or another. It was my passion, my muse.

My brother is much the same way. He loves bikes. He’s worked in the cycling industry for his entire life, in some capacity or another. He rides everyday, sometimes going out on his bike, merely to ride. To simply enjoy the feeling of doing what he loves. A short time ago we were talking about his next step in the industry and why he wasn’t happy where he currently was. He said to me “You know I never want there to be a day when I come home from work, and hate what I do. Hate bikes, because it’s the thing that stokes me everyday. I’d hate to not want to do what I love.” Our parents, teachers and guidance counselors always had that piece of advice for us all, get jobs doing what you love, and it will never be a job. Maybe we should all be content to get jobs doing something totally unrelated to our interests. It’s a dark day when you start to hate the thing that’s kept you going all these years.

So many people speak of a job that’s more then a job. Something they can care about. And, any job is pointless if you care nothing for it. Unless you’re whole motivation is to receive that glorious pay cheque every 2 weeks. But, even then, there are the basest things you invest in a job. To do it well, to do it professionally. If one is merely a lapdog for a shiny nickel you should pack your bags, and get the hell out of town. But. Ah yes, the great “but”: how many people are burned out on the thing they cared the most about? I’ve known several teachers who were tired of teaching, not because they cared any less; the stone just got to damn heavy. Why do we so recklessly assume the best course of action in our lives is to commit our livelihood and future to not getting burned out on our hobbies and interests? How many gourmets get home at night and think about what to cook for dinner, and not feel like falling down? Teach a man to fish, he’ll never go hungry…but how long before his every waking hour is consumed by the desire for something besides fish.

I’ve dealt with an innumerable amount of complete morons since I started working in the computer industry. Oh, and yeah, I know “there’s always some jackass where you work”, well no. For most people it’s one jackass where they work, for IT people, where you work is the place they TRAIN the jackasses. The management of most major corporations has so little understanding of what’s necessary that you could parade a line of colorfully drawn flowcharts explaining the procedures to them, and they’d still wonder what you’re talking about. The lesser peons of the ignorance chain are equally as vacant, and assume you’re existence is to serve them. Its’ always amazed me that people who use computers as much as they do in their work, can be so completely devoid of any understanding as to how to work them. It makes the term “computer skills” highly questionable. What skills would those be, the ability to identify one by sight? You can mash the keyboard in the hopes of producing a discernible result? Well shit, you’re hired!

Maybe this is merely the superfluous meanderings of someone who doesn’t like things the way they are. Perhaps I’ve just filled two pages with garbage in order to feel better. But, how many people would not have nervous breakdowns if their life’s love wasn’t giving them ulcers? If the thing they dreamed of when they were kids wasn’t in fact a horribly lit nightmare that they trudged off to every morning for the rest of their lives? So many people spend their days planning for when they’ll retire, for when they’ll be truly free from the mind-numbing hell that is fluorescent lighting and miles of filing cabinets. When I was 19 I was miserable; I hated my life. I told my family that I was going to move to California and sell coconuts. My mom thought it was the best idea I’d come up with in a long time. Maybe we should all get the fuck outa Dodge. We should go to sunny islands, play beach volleyball and drink fruit juice. Right now someone’s going “But the world would come to a halt!”; what fucking world?

The shiny skyscrapers, read the paper, drink the coffee, and catch the bus world? The machine that drives itself. Humanity has defied the laws of conservation; we’ve created the perpetual machine. All the crap we do is merely in place to serve the pointless life we’ve created. I go to work, to make the money, to eat the food, to do the work, to get the money. We should revert back to hunter/gatherer. We’d have a lot less shit to worry about, just predators and the weather. How much of the world exists SOLELY to keep it running? We scramble and claw our way around trying to keep the house of cards we’ve made from falling down, but no one seems to know why we ever built it. Progress? Hah. What’s progress got us?

I’ll tell you: Better medicine, longer lives, radio telescopes, microwaves.

And what’s that got us?

We neglect our bodies more, for longer periods of time, we search the sky for answers and the microwaves give us cancer. FAH! Fuck Microwaves.

Fuck the internet, GSM, handhelds, laptops, liquid crystal, magnetic storage, particle acceleration, dark matter, ionizing radiation, cloning, ccd cameras, infrared remote control, cybernetics, nanotechnology, and gene therapy.

Fuck internal combustion, television, radio, the light bulb, Thomas Edison, the atom, urethane, rubber trees, adhesive tape, the hammer, sharp edges, corrugated cardboard, the Wright brothers, vacuum, screw Occam and Heisenberg, and give up soda pop.

Walk the hell away. Throw away all the b.s. irrelevancies that we’ve piled onto ourselves in the mad attempt to progress. To be better then what we were, only we didn’t get better. Just easier, faster, more efficient. Our food cooks itself, our lunch is canned, and the dinner table is replaced by TV trays. We’ve sold our health and cognitive power for convenience and ease. Go back to horses, steam power, candles, torches, chain mail, long swords, colic, black plague, inquisitions, wax, petticoats, duels, and farmsteads. Progress is a buzz word, made up by the best PR group ever, our own minds. It’s a lie pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth: We are pointless automatons, designed and built in Ford Canada assembly lines and fired out to purchase Ikea furniture and pay 45% tax on everything we do.

Walk away.

  • Walk Away
  • by Crom
  • Published on October 1st, 2002

More from :

Other recent features: