The Human as a Machine

Playing video games in a pizza parlour in Plymouth.

“I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

I live in the United States and I am fortunate. I’ve always had a home, enough food to survive, warmth in the winter, and clothing. I’ve had all my essentials and more.  I am aware of the state of living in places like Bangladesh and it is not my intention to belittle their suffering.  I only speak from my own experiences.  My experiences are from the point of view of someone living in the low class of a first world country, and I am certain that the experiences of others in a different country are much difference and most likely worse than mine.

I work in corporate retail.  Where doesn’t matter.  We’re doing a little “reorganising” in my department and I was harshly warned by my manager today that even a pen out of place would warrant a write-up.  Anyone not working for themselves knows that a write-up means trouble.  It could be as little as a stern talking to, to getting you fired.  One way or another, if they add up, you will get fired, and you won’t have a friendly reference.  I just cannot help but replay my manager’s warning in my head and feel how ridiculous it sounds.

We as humans are all different creatures.  At the most basic level, we can talk about right-brained and left-brained.  Organised and artistic.  What I hear beneath the words of the warning is that I am going to be “trained” to be efficient, in someone else’s opinion of the word.  I am a fairly organised person, so such rules will effect me far less than other people in my department.  Nonetheless, we are going to be “whipped into shape” or we are going to be without jobs.  Perhaps that sounds a little overdramatic.  But, at the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was completely true.

I have a friend who is ambidextrous now because when she was in kindergarten, she was “whipped into shape” and taught to use her right hand.  And some things never change.

The people with the money and the power get to make the decisions, create the rules.  Yes.  We underlings to have a choice.  We can break away from the rules, get a different job… maybe.  Or, maybe we can go to unemployment, because no where is hiring.  We have a choice.  Adapt and survive, or live free and die.

Humans are machines to those who have the power, and power comes with money.  If you don’t have either, your opinion, values, beliefs… you self has no use.  Conform and survive.  Otherwise you (and I) are of no use.

Step back and think about it.  How does it make you feel that other people get to decide who and what you’re going to be?  You can work hard, so hard that every day, at the end of it all, you hardly have enough energy to swallow a mouthful of bread before collapsing for four hours before going back to work.  How does it make you feel that you can give your all to someone, and still it’s not enough?  That someone else wants to mold you into something they like better?

How does it feel to be a machine?

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Weather ReportWeather Report: It’s as muggy as a rainforest.  One of my Facebook friends said “Welcome to the jungle” to me today in response to my status, and I can’t get that out of my head.  Humidity is so very jungle-like.  The temperature is a lot better today than yesterday, and that makes the humidity more bearable.  I just felt a cool breeze waft in through my window, so I think it’s going to cool down a bit out there.  Got down-poured on earlier.  I loved it for the first five minutes and suffered the last five minutes back to my car.  Some people, you just can’t make happy.

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Health ReportHealth Report: I’ve only had one piece of gum and five Lindor Truffles to eat.  Finished off both of them, so they won’t be a temptation in the future.  I almost went to Rick’s to get a milkshake and stopped myself, which I’m glad I did now.  Looked in the cupboards and didn’t see anything exciting to eat, but I’m tired on my feet.  Feel like I’ve been running around non-stop for four days.  Good exercise, but it’s doing nothing for my stress management.  Especially because my associate review is coming up in a couple weeks.  If I’m stressed, I eat a lot, so I’m worried I’m going to put those five pounds back on.  It took way too long to take them off.

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Financi-SmashFinanci-Smash:  I hit up Turn It Up! today, which is one of my favorite stores.  Scored eight movies (1776, Back to the Future Trilogy, Ned Kelly, Kate & Leopold, Jumanji, Master of Disguise, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Godzilla) and a Frank Sinatra cd.  Coulda kept going, but I cut myself off.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that I’m now down $50.  That leaves me at $20 until Friday.  I need to work on my spending habits.  Should be making good money next week, and won’t go back to Turn It Up!  for a month or so, which is good.  No need to spend anything more this week anyway.

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Social LifeSocial Life: Tomorrow with Sean.  God knows I need some cheering up.  Some stress relief, and Sean’s great for that.  He’s got no worries, no cares.  Then ActingOut tomorrow night.  Let’s hope it’s really stress relief.  I don’t need anymore stress.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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