Sunday, August 03, 2008

Winners and Losers

I was berated the other day for leaving the corporate world and my well-paying engineering job. According to the person berating me, I should grit my teeth and go back to engineering for a couple of years and all my problems would disappear. Okay, first that would never happen. I doubt I could go back it I wanted to; I was fired from my last job for "ethical reasons" which is a fancy way of saying I refused an assignment. The ethical problem, from my point of view, was on their end and I refused to participate. I can't say more than that. I have a black mark on my record and that can't be erased, plus most of the jobs around here do similar things to that company. In addition, my last stint in the corporate world left me severly ill physically -I developed numerous ills I won't go into -and made me so depressed I seriously considered suicide. Six months back in a cube writing computer programs -if I lasted that long -would leave me fit for the looney bin.

But let's ignore all of that for the moment. It's the assumption underneath the rant that I want to explore. According to our culture we are all either winners or losers. The winners make it in the corporate world, make lots of money, and generally leave the rest of us in the dust. All the rest of humanity are losers. We have only two function in life: to produce items for consumption and to consume. If we can't do one or the other, preferably both, we are trash and should be disposed of accordingly.

So let's look at the balance sheet. I couldn't hack it in the corporate world. So, I'm a loser. I make very little in the way of traditonal 'consumables'. And I consume very little. So, not only am I a loser but I'm also trash. Gee, thanks for the compliment.

Nothing else about me matters? Not my gardening skills, or my writing, or my caretaking skills? All that I am and will ever be can be boiled down to the amount in my bank account. Or so our culture would have us believe.

I don't buy it. I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous. More than that, it's bull****. A person's worth can't be measured by money, or production, or consumption. To try is not only ridiculous, but wrong. This is one of the problems with our culture. No, indeed I think this is the main problem in our culture: that we judge everything according to its worth in dollars. If something can't be measured in money or if its value is low, its worthless. In order to repair our culture and our world we need to not only destroy that worldview, but turn it on its head: the most important things in the world are thost that can not be measured, that can not be appraised, that are worth the least in monetary terms. I am talking about love, about friendship, kindness, caring, clean air and water, healthy ecosystems, the love of the cat sitting on my desk batting at my arm. THOSE are the things that matter, and when we value them, then we will be truly on the way to chagning the world.

7 Comments:

Blogger MoonRaven said...

It's so sad, RAS--but this is what it's all about. The system is all about comparisons--winners & losers, your place in the hierarchy(s), your monetary worth.

I really liked what you said about what's important--love, friendship, kindness, caring, healthy ecosystems--all the things that are worthless in the corporate world because they have no monetary value. The stuff that can't show up in economic reports. The stuff we need to use to build a new world--along with your gardening skills and caretaking skills and maybe even your engineering skills, put to very different uses.

If you are a loser, we are all losers--because we are in danger of losing what really matters.

8/03/2008 9:26 AM  
Blogger Kati said...

Yeah, the current thought processes of the "civilized" world suck. I'd rather be a happy loser than a miserable "winner". As for job/work/career, I don't think a job is worth doing, worth making money at, if you don't enjoy it. That's why I don't ever want to quit my job, even when it's hard to justify financially.... Because I love the work. (Now, moving UP the job ladder is definitely a hope and dream. And a possibility.)

Keep your morals because they're what matter most in the end. And best of luck with the "other stuff", the monetary side of things.

8/03/2008 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R.A.S.,

Thank you! Interesting, I too was berated more than once for not working eight days a week.

This is encouraging to read that more people are attuned to the “Male Dominated” domination over all version of reality. It is not just males that act out this version either. It is a reality that is a huge and ultimately really dangerous Pavlovian reward hell cycle right now. Winners, get all the spoils. And it is definitely spoiled these days. When cultures focus so much of their energies on the prizes, they stop noticing that their environmental and social nests are in hyper-critical condition. And that is putting it mildly. But then questionable games (teaching tools) like McMansion Monopoly have a rather perverse way of conditioning the human mind. And speaking of just how insane it is right now, the makers of the game Monopoly have come out with a hyper-speed-version of the game that can be played in fifteen minutes by people that are in a rush, to win something and feel good? Or is it just another manipulative distraction venue? Is there something really, really wrong with this picture?

Social Status. Royalty Entitlement. Proprietary Special Interest Lobbyists. Commerce Vampires. Insatiable Vanity. The Church of Vapid Ego Celebrity. Our Gladiators are better than your Gladiators Syndrome. The list goes on and on.

This contagious world view of working ourselves to death for “Self / Social Wealth Valuation” winner syndrome positioning is unfortunately already destroying itself. And even more alarming, is that it is taking our once sustainable planet, and our ability to exist upon it along with them. Yes, indeed, time for some evolution here.

We need to help these people start a new organization called: Practicing Workaholics. And it needs to start in America, where vacation (essential rest and re-creation) time and real time for mid day dining is now in the emergency room, barely breathing. And no, big Pharma is not the answer, though one would imagine that it is, watching all the chemical drug advertisements on television that promise peace of mind, sex and sleep.

Those inflicted with never ending effort towards over-achieving “Social Wealth Status” (often degrading, or cheating others to reach their perceived benefit of hierarchal placement [ENRON]) are being consumed by a vicious globalized disease. Unfortunately some will not part with their indoctrination to the way their world is supposed to be. Ignore them, because they are fighting among themselves for power and positions that are vaporizing right before their eyes, and they do not even see it. Just look at how desperate the global finance system is, in attempting to stop the bleeding from the corrupt international housing finance mortgage greed implosion. A system that was preying upon peoples dysfunctional need to a=strive for excessive wealth, and escape from poverty, and express excessive illusions of wealth in housing. And now many are losing everything, and others are trapped in huge, and painful lessons. Actually, we are all paying for this lesson right now, as the associated real estate industry has blown housing affordability completely out of the water. Big houses and mortgages, and now many people cannot even feed themselves. Not a good thing.

Question the places where this “D-I-S-E-A-S-E” is implemented and perpetuated (organized, commercially driven, steroids laden sports is one _lace), and then challenge the myth of wealth valuation / accumulation at the expense of others, and our environment. Eventually the “My Versace hi-fashion style, or my HUGE S.U.V., is better than your powerless energy efficient vehicle,” personas will meet their own reality. The clock already started on this dysfunctional race a long time ago, and this capitalism on steroids picture is not pretty.

Also, the industrial square McSchool house educational “Winner / Loser” system is severely broken and floundering in intense chaos, and has been for a long time. Just consider why many “Prom Queen & King” school systems suffer 40% drop out rates, and instantly create, school shootings, life time criminals and gangs. These losers that the winner wealthy(?) people pay increasingly dear amounts to maintain systems to protect themselves from the outcasts in our once democratic nation. People need to get beyond status peer pressure really fast, and they most certainly need to question what is really happening in our super-costly out-dated school systems.

Though, thank goodness for our new global “Free, Voluntary Internet School System With Out Borders.” People can learn, consider alternate options and better themselves without being bullied, discriminated, rated, degraded, or placed on the questionable ladder of success of the old broken American Dream. Here people can teach and share stuff (Wikipedia, among many millions of other sources) that regulated environments, Logo-Universities or proprietary profit motivated educational book re-publishers cannot, or dare not discuss. Plus, this new school, does not see the color of skin, learning disabilities, rich or poor status or gender as an issue, unlike most traditional educational and often working environments.

Indeed, what happened to nurturing the real wealth of the heart, friends, love, diversity, compassion, and empathy? Notice how some of the new mega-churches are preaching that their God(?) wants us to be prosperous with lots of soul / mind / world distracting material wealth?

By the way, only 143 more days until Christmas. Get those shopping lists warmed up shoppers...

8/03/2008 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As, you can see, this "Winner/Loser" brain dysfunction has me quite riled. It has for a long, long time. So I have to add a bit more to this issue.

This country could instantly bring down this horrendous current price of car fuel rather simply. Ride more buses and or other public transit. But the current stigma that illogically states that "Bus Riders are Losers," keeps people in their winner status cars. Again, we all pay for dysfunctional ego pride, and need to appear wealthy, and literally drive up the price of global oil, and food. For everyone.

Imagine how much support for advanced public transit could be generated if we altered our thinking. Imagine how much real wealth we could save if we used more public transit. One recent study showed an average of $8,000 per year can be saved by not owning a car. Now that will buy a lot of food and other essential needs...

8/03/2008 5:56 PM  
Anonymous murph said...

ras,

I like your post. Outlines a rather
influential part of our society. Good work lady.

8/04/2008 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm,

How about this winner thing from another perspective:

Perhaps there really are no losers. Only neurotic winners. Someone just thought it would be clever to uneven the what used to be a relative fair and egalitarian playing field some time back...

Person with a neurosis from Wikipedia: ‘It has perhaps been most simply defined as a "poor ability to adapt to one's environment, an inability to change one's life patterns, and the inability to develop a richer, more complex, more satisfying personality.’ Therefore, perhaps insatiable competitive winners, or winner wannabes, or certain segregated dogmas, always have to have an outlet, such as value climbing, or excessive materialism, or growing collections of homes or parishes in order to feel better, which subsequently creates a never ending chaotic social ladder system, with most everyone trying to crawl all over each other to try and make it to the top. Which of course, as we all know, or should know, there is no top. The people up there just pretend there is in order to make us weenies on the lower echelons envious. Besides, the view, and space to breath is always so much clearer at the bottom...

As the Camel said to its driver, it is always better to be on the bottom, that way one never falls off. The driver always treated the camel much more nicely, and fairly after their little conversation. Or was that what the rank and file said to their dictator...

8/10/2008 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a good article looking at the factory school model:

“Factory-model schools produce many dropouts. Actually, they’re designed to do so. Factories eliminate product failures, in this case disaffected students, as early in the process as possible, in the service of efficiency. Until these schools cease to be educational assembly lines, dropouts should come as no big surprise...”

http://www.projo.com/education/juliasteiny/content/se_educationwatch9_12-09-07_3E857EH_v14.16aec4c.html

or

http://tinyurl.com/66cf7o

8/10/2008 6:23 PM  

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